Building Terms – I-Joists and LVLs

I-Joists and LVLs are becoming more and more popular as framing options, but do you know what they are?

I-Joists are classified as an Engineered Wood Product.  They replace the use of solid dimension lumber in places like floors and roofs.  Prefabricated wood I-joists utilize the geometry of the “I” cross-section and high-strength components to maximize the strength and stiffness of the wood fiber. Flanges are manufactured from sawn lumber or structural composite lumber, while webs typically consist of plywood or oriented strand board.  The advantages of using I-Joists are many including; easier construction, better load capabilities, and very environmentally friendly.

LVL’s or “Laminated Veneer Lumber”  is an engineered wood product created by layering dried and graded wood veneers with waterproof adhesive into blocks of material known as billets. Generally speaking, “engineered wood” is manufactured by bonding together wood strands, veneers, lumber or other forms of wood fiber to produce a larger and integral composite unit that is stronger and stiffer than the sum of its parts.  LVL’s allow builders to create wide open floor plans without the use of support columns.  A second important benefit to LVL is that the veneering and gluing process enables large timbers to be made from relatively small trees of many species, thereby providing for efficient use of forest resources.  You can read more information regarding the impact of engineered lumber on the environment at the APA website.

If you are building a new home be sure to ask your builder about the use of engineered wood products or call Schutte Lumber Company at 816-753-6262