How Is Engineered Wood Used?

Engineered lumber is made from the same hardwoods and softwoods used to manufacture lumber, but has been treated through chemical or heat processes to produce wood that meets size requirements that are hard to find in nature. Engineered wood products are available as framing members like beams and sheet goods, which can be used as sheathing or flooring.


Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)

LVL is produced by bonding thin wood veneers together in a large billet so that the grain of all veneers is parallel to the long direction. The LVL billet is then sawn to desired dimensions depending on the end-use application. Because LVL is made with scarfed or lapped jointed veneers, LVL is available in lengths far beyond conventional lumber lengths.


Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL)

PSL is manufactured from veneers clipped into long strands laid in parallel formation and bonded together with an adhesive to form the finished structural section. The length-to-thickness ratio of the strands in PSL is around 300. Like LVL and glulam, this product is used for beam and header applications where high bending strength is needed. PSL is also frequently used as load-bearing columns.


Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL)

Similar to PSL, laminated strand lumber is made from flaked wood strands that have a length-to-thickness ratio of approximately 150. Combined with an adhesive, the strands are oriented and formed into a large mat or billet and pressed. LSL is used in a variety of applications from studs to millwork components.


Oriented Strand Lumber (OSL)

Similar to LSL, oriented strand lumber is also made from flaked wood strands. The strand geometry for OSL results in length-to-thickness ratios of approximately 75. Combined with an adhesive, the strands are oriented and formed into a large mat or billet and pressed. OSL is used in a variety of applications from studs to millwork components.



Manufactured from thin sheets of cross-laminated veneer and bonded under heat and pressure with strong adhesives, plywood panels have superior dimensional stability and an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and are highly resistant to impacts, chemicals, and changes in environmental temperature and humidity.


Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

Oriented Strand Board is a widely used, versatile structural wood panel. Manufactured from waterproof heat-cured adhesives and rectangularly shaped wood strands that are arranged in cross-oriented layers, OSB is an engineered wood panel that shares many of the strength and performance characteristics of plywood.


Medium density fiberboard (MDF)

Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers, often in a defibrator, combining it with wax and a resin binder, and forming it into panels by applying high temperature and pressure. MDF is generally denser than plywood. It is made up of separated fibers but can be used as a building material similar in application to plywood. It is stronger and denser than particle board.


Cross-laminated timber (CLT)

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a wood panel product made from gluing together at least three layers[2] of solid-sawn lumber, i.e., lumber cut from a single log. Each layer of boards is usually oriented perpendicular to adjacent layers and glued on the wide faces of each board, usually in a symmetric way so that the outer layers have the same orientation. An odd number of layers is most common, but there are configurations with even numbers as well (which are then arranged to give a symmetric configuration).


Estimating services for your next project are available either on-site or in-store. Contact your local Spahn & Rose to get started on your next building project.


Spahn & Rose offers a broad range of engineered lumber product options for residential & commercial applications, with the best quality, variety & value in the industry.


onCENTER® engineered lumber offers limitless design possibilities for builders, designers, and developers in both commercial and residential projects. With top-quality LVL, Glulam, I-Joists, AFL, and Rim Board delivered directly to your job site, you have everything you need to ensure a successful, on-budget project, every step of the way.

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A longtime supplier of engineered wood, structural panels and lumber, Boise Cascade, a publicly traded company headquartered in Boise, Idaho, believes in building strong homes, businesses and communities that stand the test of time.

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For more than 55 years, Cascade Manufacturing Company has provided contractors and homebuilders with reliable, well-designed manufactured components, including cold-steel-forged framing and engineered wood panels.

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A leading distributor of structural building components, Lumber Specialties offers a variety of products including roof trusses, floor systems and wall panels from an array of high-quality building-materials vendors.

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Weekes offers engineered products such as I-Joist, LVL, glue-lam beams, columns and headers, siding products like James Hardie Fiber Cement and TYPAR House Wrap. We also sell Cedar Siding and Trim, Fiberon, Trex and RDI Railing and a large assortment of pine and cedar boards and pattern stock.

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We’ve been developing new building products and solutions for more than 100 years. We’re your source for value-added solutions that improve performance, safety and profitability. From builders to homeowners, we offer exceptional product performance and unparalleled support including lumber, engineered lumber, OSB & panels and more.

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