What Is Engineered Lumber, And Is It Worth Using For Your Next Project?

Engineered lumber is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional lumber in construction projects. 

But just because it’s popular does it mean it’s the right fit for your next project?

At Johnson Lumber, we are big fans of the versatility and adaptability of engineered lumber, and we wanted to share some pointers with you. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore what engineered lumber is, how it’s made, and why it could be a smart choice for your next construction project.

What Is Engineered Lumber?

Unlike traditional lumber, there’s no felling of the engineered lumber tree out in the woods. 

Instead, engineered lumber is made from a combination of wood fibers, resins, and other materials that are bonded together to create a stronger and more durable product. It was developed as an alternative to traditional lumber, which can have natural inconsistencies that can compromise its strength and durability. 

This results in a material that is more consistent in size, shape, and strength than traditional lumber, making it ideal for a variety of construction applications. 

Engineered lumber has been around since the 19th century, but it started to become more popular in the 20th century when the need for a more efficient use of lumber and a demand for stronger and more stable building materials grew. 

This innovation has revolutionized the construction industry, allowing for more efficient and sustainable use of wood resources while still delivering high-performance building materials.

What  Engineered Lumber Is Used For Around Your Home

Now that’s all well and good, but let’s get to how this applies to you: here are three common places you could use engineered lumber in your own home:

  • Framing – Engineered lumber is often used for framing walls, floors, and roofs in residential construction because it can provide greater structural strength and stability compared to traditional lumber.
  • Beams and joists – It is also commonly used for beams and joists in construction because it can provide consistent strength and stiffness. This makes it an ideal choice for supporting heavy loads and resisting bending and deflection.
  • Subflooring – Another common use is as subflooring material in residential construction. Thanks to engineered lumber’s high strength and stiffness, it is ideal for supporting the weight of flooring materials and furniture, while also providing a level and stable surface for flooring installation.

4 Benefits Of Using Engineered Lumber

Now that you know a bit more about what engineered lumber is and what it’s used for, you may be getting a stronger sense of why builders like it. 

On that note, here are four advantages that we’ve found for using engineered lumber:

  1. Strength – Engineered lumber is designed to be stronger and more durable than traditional lumber, which can result in a longer lifespan for your home’s structural components.
  2. Consistency – As opposed to nature, which can be a little hard to predict, engineered lumber is manufactured to be consistent in size, shape, and strength. This means there is less waste and fewer errors during the construction process, which saves time and money.
  3. Sustainability – As engineered lumber is often made from sustainable wood sources and can be manufactured with less waste and fewer harmful chemicals than traditional lumber, it is seen as a more environmentally-friendly choice for homeowners who are conscious of their carbon footprint.
  4. Versatility – Because it comes in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and materials, engineered lumber is versatile enough to accommodate all sorts of home renovation projects.

2 Disadvantages Of Using Engineered Lumber

Unfortunately, no building material is perfect for everyone and every use case. 

While the downsides of engineered lumber can be considered minor, we wanted to share them with you so you get the full picture. 

  1. Cost – Engineered lumber can be more expensive than traditional lumber, which can be a significant factor for homeowners on a budget. However, a higher upfront cost may be offset by the material’s longer lifespan and lower maintenance costs.
  2. Moisture sensitivity – Some types of engineered lumber can be sensitive to moisture, which can cause swelling, warping, or other structural issues. It’s important to choose the right type of engineered lumber for your specific application and to ensure proper installation and moisture management to prevent any problems.

Given that each type of engineered lumber is going to have a slightly different composition or use case, these disadvantages may not actually apply universally. Fortunately you can speak to our team to help gain a better understanding of how to use engineered lumber!

Visit Johnson Lumber To See If Engineered Lumber Is Right For Your Next Project 

Still on the fence about using engineered lumber for your next home project? The experts at Johnson Lumber are here to help you figure out if it’s the right fit for you. 

Stop by our Millersville or Edgewater locations, or send us a message, and we’d be happy to explain further!

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