Weight of Glulam and LVL Beams • Reference Charts
By Roof Online Staff • Last updated March 11, 2023
Table of Contents
- Introduction to Glulam and LVL
- About Our Glulam and LVL Weight Tables
- Further Information about the Weight of Glulam and LVL Beams
- Table 1: Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) Weights
- Table 2: Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) Weights
- Related Pages
Introduction to Glulam and LVL
Glued Laminated Lumber (Glulam):
Glued laminated timber, also known as glulam or GLT, is a type of engineered wood product made by bonding together several layers of timber with high-strength adhesive. The result is a strong, versatile material that can be used in a wide range of building applications, including use as supporting members for roofs and floors, structural columns, and arches.
The adhesive used to bond the timber layers together is usually a moisture-resistant resin, such as phenol formaldehyde or melamine formaldehyde. This ensures that glulam beans remain stable and strong even in damp or humid conditions.
One of the main benefits of glulam is that it can be custom-made made: it is produced in a wide range of sizes and shapes to suit different design requirements. For example, curved or angled glulam members can be created by bending or cutting the individual layers of wood before they are bonded together. This means that glulam can be used to achieve unique architectural designs.
In terms of sustainability, glulam tends to be an eco-friendly choice because it is made from renewable resources and has a low carbon footprint compared to traditional building materials like concrete or steel. Additionally, because it is a lightweight material, it can reduce the amount of energy required for transportation and installation.
Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL):
Laminated veneer lumber, commonly called “LVL”, is a type of engineered wood product that is made by bonding together thin layers of wood veneer with adhesives. This process creates a material that is both strong and dimensionally stable.
The production process for LVL involves the production of thin sheets of wood veneer (it’s a lot like plywood manufacturing) which are then glued together with adhesive resins and compressed under heat and pressure. This results in a material that has very consistent strength and other desirable properties, making it an excellent choice for use in structural applications.
A principal advantage of LVL is that it can be made to very large sizes and lengths, which makes it suitable for beams, headers, and columns. And since it’s made from a renewable resource and has a low carbon footprint compared to many other materials, it is also considered a sustainable building material.
LVL can be used in a variety of building applications, including residential and commercial construction, as well as in the manufacture of furniture and other products traditionally made from wood. It is often used in combination with other building materials, such as steel or concrete, to create composite structures that take advantage of the strengths of each material.
In terms of design, LVL beams are often custom-made, and can be shaped during production to meet specific architectural requirements. It is also less prone to warping or twisting than solid wood, which can make it easier to work with and ensures a consistent performance over time.
About Our Glulam and LVL Weight Tables
The following tables provide the approximate weight (dead load, self-weight) for two types of engineered wood, glulam and LVL beams, used in building construction in the U.S.
The tables provide the weight per cubic foot as well as the weight per linear foot for various dimensions of each material.
Weights for plywood, OSB, and other engineered wood panels can be found here.
The weights we give were calculated using the product data sheets or manufacturer specifications of actual engineered wood products.
However, the values given in the tables are meant to provide a general idea of typical weights for engineered wood, and should not be used if precise values are needed for critical engineering calculations.
We also provide weights for dimensions (e.g., per 1/4 inch) that are not actual dimensions of any real LVL or glulam beam. We did this to make it easier to calculate weights for custom beam dimensions that don’t have published standard weights and are not listed in the tables.
When precision is necessary, always refer to the specification sheet for the actual specific product you intend to use, or contact the technical department of the manufacturer.
Further Information about the Weight of Glulam and LVL Beams
To learn more about glulam and LVL, we highly recommend that you visit the website of the APA – the Engineered Wood Association. They have detailed information about engineered wood applications, beam sizing, design tables, product guides, and more.
You will have to create a free account with them in order to access the publications (in pdf) that contain the most detailed information.
Here is their main glulam page. They seem to be covering LVL on their Structural Composite Lumber page, which can be seen here.
Table 1: Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) Weights
For technical data covering the physical properties of every sort (and size) of glulam beam, including weight per foot and allowable loads, see Glued Laminated Beam Design Tables.
A glulam beam typically weighs 36 pounds per cubic foot. The trick is to figure out how many cubic feet are in the beam. We hope this chart helps with that.
|Weight of Glulam (Glued Laminated Timber)|
|36 Pounds per Cubic Foot (lbs/ft3)|
|3 Pounds per Board Foot|
|Table Shows Weight per Linear Foot
for Standard Glulam Beam Widths (1 inch is not a standard width) and a Sample of Glulam Beam Depths
|Glulam is not typically manufactured in widths or depths of less than 3 inches.
Weights for these dimensions are included to make it easier to calculate weights for custom beam sizes not included in the table.
|Width of Beam
|Depth (Height) of Beam in Inches|
|1 inch||0.03 lbs||0.07||0.09||0.13||0.16||0.19||0.22||0.25||0.5||0.75||1||1.25||2.5||5|
Table 2: Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) Weights
Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) typically weighs 41 pounds per cubic foot.
|Weight of LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber)|
|41 Pounds per Cubic Foot (41 lbs/ft3)|
|3.42 Pounds per Board Foot|
|Table Shows Weight per Linear Foot
for Standard LVL Beam Widths (1 inch is not a standard width) and a Sample of LVL Beam Depths
|LVL is not manufactured in widths or depths of just 1 inch or just 1/4 inch. These are included to make it easier to calculate weights for custom-made, non-standard dimensions which are not included in the table.|
|Width in Inches||Depth (Height) in Inches|
|1 inch||0.07 lbs||0.29||2.06||2.63||2.71||3.2||3.38||3.99||4.56||5.13||6.83|