Glulam Vs LVL: What Is the Difference Between Glulam & LVL

Engineered wood products are used in most if not all, modern buildings that are made of wood. And glulam timbers and laminated veneer lumber are the two options that builders choose most often (LVL).

Let’s look at the differences between Glulam and LVL to see which one is better for your woodworking project.

Glulam vs LVL

Glulam vs. LVL: Glulam is made by gluing boards from the same log together. The boards are set up so that the grain runs in the same direction on each one. Because of this, glulam beams are very strong and stable.

LVL, on the other hand, is made by gluing together boards that are cut from different logs. The boards are set up so that the grain goes in different directions on each one. This is what makes LVL beams strong and stiff.

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)

lvl Wood

LVL uses heat and pressure to stick thinly sliced veneers together in a straight line. This is a process that works well for narrow beams. It has a higher shear strength than LSL but not quite as much as PSL when it comes to bending stress. LVL costs more than LSL, but it’s still cheaper than PSL and glulam.

The main reason builders use LVL so much is because it’s cheap. One of the best things about this type of beam is that it can be made to fit narrower beam widths. Not only that, but you can also make a bigger beam by nailing together several plies. This helps a lot in renovation projects where it’s hard or impossible to lift a big, heavy beam.

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) is Mostly Used For

Most of the time, strong engineered wood beams are used for building structures. Here are a few ways people usually use it:

  1. Purlins
  2. Formwork
  3. Raised roofs
  4. Truss cords
  5. Beams
  6. Carriers of the floor
  7. Lintels

Benefits of Using LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber)

Here are some of the great things that LVL has to offer.

  1. Simple woodworking tools can be used to cut and shape it.
  2. Is a good way to save money?
  3. Has fire-resistant qualities like solid wood and burns at a slow, steady rate.
  4. High durability and ability to last
  5. is easy to find in long sizes.
  6. It’s easy to turn small wood pieces into big LVL beams.
  7. Provides the most structural stability and a lot of strength

Glulam in Construction

Glulam Wood Construction

Glulam, which is short for “glued laminated timber,” is a way to connect different types of wood laminations with a special glue. The result is a material that is very strong and can be made bigger than other SCL options. It can also be made to fit different sizes and shapes, including curved ones, so its uses are almost limitless.

Glulam’s Strength

Glulam Vs LVL

Because of how strong it is, Glulam is used in both home and business construction. It can span large distances without needing structural support. When used in exposed ceiling beams, trusses, and other architectural elements, it gives a modern look. This also makes it a good choice for commercial spaces with high, open ceilings and roofs made of panels. Glulam is also good because it is very resistant to fire and water.

Glulam is Often Used For

Some common ways to use glulam are:

There are round, square, and more complicated ones.

  1. bent beams
  2. Bridges with arcs
  3. A straight line
  4. Tie-downs and arches
  5. Trusses

Benefits of Using Glulam

  1. are made in well-managed forests and have the PEFC seal of approval
  2. Have great fire resistance, even better than steel beams
  3. Low in formaldehyde, so they are good for the environment. Cut down on handling and shipping costs.
  4. Glulam can be used in a lot of different ways, including for roof and floor beams, columns, decking, and bracing.
  5. Can be easily changed to meet specific design needs
  6. are easy to find in standard lengths and widths
  7. are easy to put together and fix
  8. Have the unique ability to make spans of up to 500 feet that don’t need to be supported.
  9. Are made to precise dimensions


Both LVL and glulam have their own benefits when it comes to building. Glulam beams are usually made to fit a certain design. Most of the time, they are already sanded, stained, and finished when they arrive at the job site. They look beautiful, and it goes without saying that they are expensive. Even though they’re not as heavy as concrete or steel, they’re very strong. Most of the time, Glulam is used to build big buildings like universities, airports, hotels, and museums.

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