Why We Use Laminated Wood

Why do we use laminated wood? Why is laminated wood better than an old-fashioned simple solid log? This post will try to explain.

glu-lam beams for roof

Let’s start with explaining what exactly is laminated wood. Laminated wood is wood that has been cut into 40 millimeter planks, then dried, then glued together again into solid logs. The newly created solid logs can be anywhere between 80 and 200 millimeter thick. View the picture on the left of a 120 millimeter laminated log. Clearly visible are the three 40 millimeter planks.

laminated timber

So why is this better than old-fashioned massif wood? The answer is about drying and shrinking. A log shrinks when it dries. It becomes thinner (but not shorter). The drying process starts at the outside. Near the outside of the log the humidity drops rapidly, while on the inside the log still has its old original humidity. The result is that the heart of the log is too big, too swollen still in relation to the outside of the log. And the log cracks.

massive wood vs laminated wood

Even when logs are not force-dried in an oven, they crack. Force-drying a log in an oven makes the problem worse. So when you build a house from solid logs, you will get cracks, there is no way around it. Cracks on the inside may look rustic, but cracks in outside walls are not good. Cracks reduce the insulation value of the outside walls, and dirt and humidity in cracks negatively affect the life expectancy of the log.

So what to do? The answer is very simple: – cut the logs in 40 millimeter planks – dry the planks – glue the planks together into logs. The 40 millimeter planks can easily be dried without cracks. The result is massive wood, and no cracks.

Laminated wood is very rigid. It doesn’t warp or bend, and it will stay straight forever. We use laminated wood not only for the walls, but also in the roof. That is unusual among house builders, but it shows our commitment to quality. Our roof rafters will not hang or sag, not even after 100 years.

laminated wood for wood house