When you walk into your local lumber yard, there are always sights and sounds to capture your attention. But it’s the smell of fresh-cut wood that always captures the imagination, letting us know we’re on the verge of an exciting new project with the benefits of engineered lumber.
Over the last few decades, though, engineered wood has become increasingly prevalent, making traditional wood a less obvious choice for our projects. As we’ve had our lumber yard here for 100 years, you might think we’d have gotten defensive about this new kind of wood!
In fact, it’s the opposite. We’ve been big supporters of engineered lumber for home projects, and have really enjoyed seeing it become common in both residential and commercial designs.
Still, when you’re not familiar with it, the idea can feel a little foreign. Engineered… lumber? But doesn’t lumber just come from trees? If you’ve ever had that thought, don’t worry – you’re not alone!
Today, we’re going to clear this all up. We’re talking about just what exactly it is, as well as sharing 3 benefits of engineered lumber to help you make the right decision for your next project.
What Is Engineered Wood?
As engineered wood becomes a more commonly used building material, it’s important to know what exactly it is.
Engineered wood is created when strips of wood particles are pressed together with adhesives in order to form solid joists and studs. These pieces are often shaped into framing boards for either floor joists or support beams.
Engineered lumber, or engineered wood products (EWPs), are indeed made of wood. It’s where that wood comes from that makes it different from traditional lumber. It can be sliced from tree trunks or taken from sawmills as either wood chips or sawdust.
From there, heat, pressure, and resin are used to mix all the wood pieces into one usable form.
Ultimately, this is a process that allows us as builders to use waste wood from sawmills that otherwise would not have been able to be saved.
That ingenuity allows engineered wood to be used in a wide variety of ways, from industrial buildings to your own home construction projects.
Also called manufactured board, composite wood, or man-made wood, engineered lumber maintains many of wood’s great qualities, while bringing three of its own unique benefits to the table.
We’ll start with how engineered lumber is more environmentally friendly than other common building materials, including concrete and steel.
Because engineered lumber is a byproduct from a manufacturing process, its creation doesn’t involve releasing as much carbon or other toxins into the environment.
Thanks to its remarkably low amount of fossil fuel consumption, it is essentially a neutral energy source.
When compared to wood, engineered lumber also comes out ahead. Considered a more ecological option, engineered lumber requires up to 60% less wood than conventional lumber because it can be made from smaller, faster-growing trees.
Though engineered lumber comes from trees that grow faster, that speed doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing quality.
Instead, this composite wood is regularly regarded as straighter, stiffer, and more durable than regular wood.
Those qualities make it a favorite of contractors. Since it follows such tight manufacturing standards, there is less likelihood of the wood shrinking, twisting, or otherwise being deformed.
Fewer defects and a more predictable quality makes it much easier for builders to rely on engineered lumber.
On-Site Performance of Engineered Lumber
While it’s true that engineered lumber may cost more than wood products, you do get what you pay for.
In terms of construction, the added strength can have a positive impact on home designs, as they need to utilize fewer structural components.
Engineered lumber is also lighter, which cuts down on installation time and labor costs.
With all that, many builders find that projects featuring engineered lumber can have a lower cost per square foot than comparable building materials.
Plus, because engineered lumber can be made to spec, construction site waste is lessened and clean up is faster – meaning workers can get home sooner!
Enjoy the Benefits of Engineered Lumber For Your Next Construction Project
One of the most critical decisions you’ll make as you take on your next home construction project is what kind of wood to use.
To learn more about why engineered lumber might be the right choice for your home, reach out to our expert team at Johnson Lumber today.