LVL Beam: Sizes, Cost, Span and Price & 10 Interesting Points

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1. What is LVL Beam?

LVL Beam

 ✔ LVL beams (Laminated Veneer Lumber) are beams generated by engineered wood. They are assembled by bonding thin wood veneers, typically softwoods like pine, spruce, or fir, with sealants subjecting them to lofty heat and pressure.

CompositionMultiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives
Common UsesHeaders, beams, rim board, edge-forming material
StrengthStronger, straighter, and more uniform than milled lumber
ResistanceLess likely to warp, twist, bow, or shrink due to its composite nature
Manufacturing LocationCommonly produced in North America
Size RangeVaries but can be compatible with I-joist framing members for use as beams and headers
Key Technical RatingsElastic modulus: 12-14 GPa; Allowable bending stress: 19-21 MPa
Composition (General)Approximately 97.54% wood, 2.41% phenol formaldehyde resin, 0.02% phenol-resorcinol-formaldehyde resin, 0.03% fillers
CautionNot suitable for outdoor load-bearing use due to limitations with chemical treatments



2. Technical Detail and Application of  LVL Beam

LVL Beam

Technical Details of LVL Beams
Modulus of Elasticity (MOE)1.6 to 2.0 million psi
Modulus of Rupture (MOR)3,500 to 7,000 psi
Shear Strength850 to 1625 psi
Bearing Strength500 to 1,500 psi


Applications of LVL Beams
Beams and HeadersResidential and commercial construction, bridges, and heavy-duty structures.
Rim Joists and Floor JoistsHomes with wide spans or heavy loads.
Glue-Laminated Timber (Glulam)Heavy-duty construction, bridges, stadiums, large structures.



3. Laminated Veneer Lumber Beam Sizes (LVL Sizes):

LVL Beam

Manufacturers deliver various sizes for LVL beams, although the authoritative thicknesses typically range between 7/4 and 7/2 inches.

LVL beams are typically available in lengths of 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, and 44 feet, with the prospect of superior orders up to 60 feet.

The depths of LVL beams vary from 5.5 inches to 24 inches and are estimated in increments such as 29/4 inches, 37/4 inches, 19/2 inches, 45/4 inches, 95/8 inches, 14 inches, 16 inches, 18 inches, 75/4 inches, 20 inches, and 191/8 inches.



a. LVL Beam Thickness

LVL beam standard thicknesses range from 7/4 inches to 7 inches.

It comes in 1 plywood of thickness 7/4″, two plywood of 7/2″ thick, three plywood of 21/4″ wide, and four plywood of 7″ thick.


b. LVL Beam Length

LVL beam lengths are typically available in 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, and 44 feet, with excellent rankings up to 60 Feet.

The LVL Beams found in the market are 4-foot increments. It can be acclimated according to user choice. More than 60 Feet in size is severe to enrapture and handle.


c. LVL beam depth

The depth of an LVL beam is 11/2 inches (140 mm), 29/4 inches (184 mm), 37/4 inches (235 mm), 19/2 inches (241 mm), 45/4 inches (286 mm), 95/8 inches (302 mm), 14 inches (356 mm), 16 inches (406 mm), 18 inches (457 mm), 175/4 inches (476 mm), 20 inches (508 mm) and 191/8 inches (606 mm).



4. What is the range of LVL Beams Cost?

LVL Beam

The cost of Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) beams usually plunges between $3 to $12 per linear foot for the materials alone.

Opting for induction could inflate the cost to around $50 to $200 per foot, resulting in a total installation expenditure of roughly $800 to $2,500.



5. How Much Does it Cost to Install LVL Beams?

An LVL Laminated veneer lumber or Engineered beam costs $3 to $12 per foot for just the materials.

Install a Laminated veneer lumber beam for residential construction costs $50 to $200 per foot or around $800 and $2,500.

 LVL Beam SizeCost
24-ft $72 to $288
30 ft$90 to $360
20 ft$60 to $240
22 ft$66 to $264
25 ft$75 to $300
26 ft$78 to $312
28 ft$84 to $336
18 ft$54 to $216
16 ft$48 to $192
14 ft$42 to $168
12 ft$36 to $144



6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of LVL Beam?

High strength-to-weight ratioCostlier compared to traditional lumber
Uniform qualityIt may be more difficult to work with than traditional lumber.
StraightNot as aesthetically pleasing as traditional lumber
Resistant to warping and twisting



7. Qualities of LVL:

LVL Beam

Laminated veneer lumber stands similar in appearance to plywood, although in plywood, the veneers swap direction while stacking, and in LVL, the surfaces all stack in the identical order.

In LVL, the direction of the wood grain is invariably parallel to the length of the billet.

Stacking these veneers into a complete board, called a billet, makes a single part of LVL convey a common direction of the wood grain.

The manufacturer generally rates LVL for elastic modulus and allowable bending stress.

Standard elastic moduli are 12 GPa (1,700,000 psi), 13 GPa (1,900,000 psi), 14 GPa (2,000,000 psi), and common permissible bending stress values are 19 MPa (2,800 psi), and 21 MPa (3,000 psi).

Although the creation of LVL is usually proprietary, and thus its make-up is primarily dependent on particular manufacturers, in general, one cubic meter of North American Lumber is composed of 97.54% wood, 2.41% phenol formaldehyde resin, 0.02% phenol-resorcinol-formaldehyde resin, and 0.03% fillers

Phenol formaldehyde resin2.41%
Phenol-resorcinol-formaldehyde resin0.02%



8. Manufacturing of LVL Beams:

LVL Beam

LVL is usually produced in North America by companies preparing I-joists. LVL is prepared to sizes consistent with the depth of I-joist framing members for benefit as beams and headers.

Further, some factories cut LVL into needed dimensions for usage as chord members on I-joists.

In 2012, North American LVL factories made more than 1.2 million cubic meters (43.4 million cubic feet) of LVL in 18 various facilities, and in 2013, the production grew by more than 14%.

It is not concurrent that LVL mills are usually co-located with I-joist manufacturing facilities as many builders employ a variety of I-joists and LVL in floor and roof assemblies.



9. Interesting Point to be Noted:

LVL Beam

CompositionIt was engineered by bonding thin wood veneers from softwood species (e.g., pine, spruce, fir) with robust adhesives (e.g., phenol-formaldehyde, melamine-formaldehyde resin).
Manufacturing ProcessVeneers are stacked, glued with grains oriented in the same direction, and cured under high heat and pressure for stability and solidity.
Size and DimensionsVarious sizes and dimensions are available for load-bearing requirements and span lengths.
GradeStructural grade (e.g., “LVL-1” or “LVL-2”) is assigned based on factors like veneer quality, adhesive type, and manufacturing processes.
Span CapacityThey are designed and tested to support specific loads over defined spans, with span tables and load-span charts for beam selection.
Flanges and CoreIt comprises a core and flanges; thick and thin flanges enhance stiffness and load-carrying capacity.
Fire ResistanceFire resistance may vary based on the adhesive used during manufacturing.
InstallationProper installation guidelines provided by manufacturers should be followed, including appropriate fastening methods, support spacing, and attachment hardware.
ApplicationsThey are used in residential, commercial, and industrial construction for floor and roof framing, wall framing, headers, beams for doors and windows, and other load-bearing structural components.
SustainabilityEnvironmentally sustainable, optimizing wood resource use from responsibly managed forests and more diminutive, fast-growing trees.



Read Also: WPC Board
Verified By:  Er. Bipana Kshetri Puri 


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