Is Glulam Beams Better Than Solid Wood?


glulam beams


It can be a challenge to decide which construction material to use when you are planning a building project. Wood has been a popular choice and is used frequently in construction. You can construct a wide range of structures using its accessibility and unique features.

It can be shaped and sized to meet virtually any construction requirement since it is highly flexible and compliant. It has the smallest carbon footprint among all the renewable and biodegradable building materials, which makes it more environmentally friendly than brick, steel or plastic, which rely on fossil fuels for production.

Many people consider Glulam beams and timber solid beams as the most suitable kinds of wood. These types of wood have different characteristics and purposes. You must know what each of them is if you want to make the right choice for your building project.

To assist you in making an informed decision, we compiled details about both types and their benefits for building projects. 


Glulam Beams


Glulam is a type of engineered wood that consists of many dimensional lumber layers bonded with structural adhesives. The adhesives keep layers tightly bonded for decades and are moisture-resistant.

Building projects can benefit from glulam wood. Lumber is glued together from smaller pieces taken from younger trees in second- and third-growth forests. As a result, Glulam is more sustainable than any other wood product. It is also faster to restock than wood that’s extracted from older and larger trees.

Glulam timber is available in a variety of standard widths and lengths that can be adjusted to meet design needs. Glulam beams are the best material for buildings with large curves and arches.

This wood is used for vaulted ceilings, domes, and bridges because of its adjustability. Compared to dimensional lumber, it is stronger than steel and more rigid. Bolts and steel plates can be used to connect Glulam beams.


Construction forms of Glulam include:


  • Trusses
  • Columns 
  • Tied rafters
  • Arches
  • Bridge supports
  • Straight beams 


Strong, lightweight, dimensionally stable and fire-resistant, are some of the many benefits high-performance Glulam offers. 


At Aber Roof Truss we can deliver a total glulam solution starting from concept through to completion, helping you in design and establishing your requirements. 



Solid Beams


In the construction industry, solid beams have a long history. The warm feel and classic appearance of timber framing make it popular.

Although solid beams have a more appealing appearance and are ideal for decor, they are susceptible to cracking and checking. Therefore, before you decide to use a solid beam in your building project, you need to know the condition of the wood.


Which one to choose?


Choosing between Glulam’s and Solid Beams can depend much on the cost, design, and aesthetics of your project. Glulam is a great option if you are looking for something architecturally interesting and complex, with long arches covering an open space, without interruption by beams.

Give us a call if you have any further questions or would like to discuss a project with Glulam.