More joiners and manufacturers are turning to Laminated Timber, but misconceptions persist about the technology. Jason Daw, Regional Sales Director at International Timber, explores the myths and advantages of Laminated Timber.
Laminated Timber is a type of engineered timber that consists of layers of wood veneers glued together to form a strong and durable material. Dating back to the early 20th century, it has evolved into a solid building material that offers strength, durability and design flexibility.
Flexible and load bearing
A key advantage of Laminated Timber is its flexibility. The layers of wood veneers can be bonded together in different directions, making the finished product ideal for use in curved structures or traditionally difficult, uneven surfaces. This flexibility also means Laminated Timber can be cut and shaped to fit any design, giving architects and designers greater freedom to create innovative and bespoke designs.
The layers of wood veneers are bonded together using a strong adhesive, creating a material that is stronger and more durable than traditional timber. This makes it an ideal choice for constructing structures that need to support heavy weights and stresses, such as bridges, floors and roofs.
Some within the industry don’t consider Laminated Timber as being cost-effective compared to other building materials. However, it can offer significant savings, especially when compared with other similar materials. It is often made from recycled wood fibres, which are more readily available and environmentally beneficial.
The manufacturing process also uses less wood than solid timber, reducing the overall cost of production. This means builders and developers can achieve the same strength and durability as solid timber at a lower cost, without compromising on the strength and sustainability of the material.
Maintenance and repair
Another advantage of Laminated Timber is its low maintenance and repair costs. Solid timber products can be prone to warping, splitting and rotting over time, and can be costly to repair or replace. Laminated Timber is less prone to some of these issues. This reduces the potential maintenance costs tenfold as it is less likely to require repairs or replacement over its lifespan.
Laminated Timber is also a sustainable and environmentally friendly option, thanks to often being made from recycled wood fibres, which reduces the demand for new timber and helps conserve natural resources. Additionally, the manufacturing process for Laminated Timber uses less energy and produces less waste than the production of solid timber. This gives it a lower carbon footprint and is also less harmful to the environment.
Laminated Timber is as aesthetically pleasing as solid wood and is a great alternative for use as exposed beams, compared to steel or concrete.
International Timber is a specialist in laminated and modified timber products, including a range of options suitable for a whole host of building project applications.
* This article was originally printed in the May/June issue of Supplying Timber magazine.