What is Glulam Beam? Glulam Beams Advantages & Disadvantages | Properties & Uses Glulam Beam

What is Glulam Beam? Glulam Beams Advantages & Disadvantages | Properties & Uses Glulam Beam

What is Glulam Beam? Glulam Beams Advantages & Disadvantages | Properties of Glulam | Benefits of Glulam Beam | Steel Vs. Glulam Beam | Glulam Beam Span

What is Glulam Beam?

What is Glued laminated timber (glulam beam) is a structural engineered wood product made up of layers of dimensional lumber bound together with long-lasting, moisture-resistant structural adhesives. The substance that provides the laminations is known as laminating stock or lamstock.

What are Properties of Glulam?

Glulam timber is a wood product with superior performance and durability. Glulam is a laminated engineered wood product having a large number of engineered layers, each layer consisting of a solid core and thin, hollow veneer layers.

Specifying glulam means specifying engineered wood products manufactured from standardised components. Glulam is fire resistant

Glulam is sound absorbent, can be used in an environment where noise pollution is undesirable and is a cost-effective way to provide acoustic solution.

Glulam is the ideal choice for pergolas and canopies due to its ability to withstand high wind pressure and reduce noise emissions.

Glulam has very little moisture absorption. It can be easily cut into custom lengths, with no warping or twisting of the pieces.

Benefits of Glulam Beam

Glulam is a revolutionary laminated timber structural solution that is used in a wide range of commercial and residential buildings. Glulam is a construction material that is ideal for long span and curved designs because it provides strength without compromising aesthetics.

Material that is locally available and environmentally sustainable

The first and most obvious advantage of glulam is that its main component, timber, grows in the ground rather than being mined and subjected to the high energy demand manufacturing procedures required by steel and cement.

Shape and size adaptability

Designers can manufacture glulam in sizes ranging from 45mm x 45mm to 250mm x 1800mm x 30m long due to the inherent flexibility of the lamination process.

Our glulam is produced using European mechanical presses that may be modified to produce bespoke and frequently difficult curved shapes.


Glulam is frequently chosen over steel or concrete for its aesthetic, and it is often attributed with giving a structure a warm and inviting atmosphere.

There are numerous timber species and treatments available, each with its own distinct personality that can be adjusted to your needs.

Remarkable strength-to-weight ratio

In comparison to steel and concrete, timber has an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. When comparing identical beam diameters in glulam and steel for the same load bearing capacity, glulam has around 1.5 – 2 times the strength to weight ratio of steel.

This means that the ‘buildability’ of glulam buildings improves — for example, it becomes possible to manhandle a beam into a roof area, or, on a larger scale, craning of massive prefabricated roof parts becomes practical.

Another advantage is that smaller foundations are required for a lighter building.


The durability of glulam is affected by the type of timber used, the type of glue used, the type of preservative used, and the application. With the proper specifications, glulam can be used for the most difficult of situations.

Swimming pool buildings are one application where glulam is chosen for its endurance – this is a very corrosive environment with high humidity and chlorine levels, and glulam provides a long-lasting, low-maintenance solution.

Glulam is built to survive for decades with minimal upkeep.

Performance Consistency

The glue laminating method eliminates the natural performance fluctuations that are characteristic of solid sawn timber.

Because glulam beams are engineered wood products that are constructed to satisfy particular performance criteria, specifiers and users may be confident that glulam products will function as intended on a consistent basis.


In fact, large section timber pieces perform admirably in fires. This is owing to the fact that lumber chars at a predictable rate and does not distort like steel.

Extensive study has been conducted on the fire performance of glulam, and structural glulam members can be engineered to endure a particular amount of time in a fire based on the rate at which its chars.

Additional fire-resistant coatings can be utilized to improve fire performance even further.

High dimensional stability and strength

Because of its high strength and dimensional stability, laminated wood outperforms solid wood.

Whereas solid timber posts and beams will fracture and distort with time, a glulam member of the same size (and sometimes smaller) will stay stable and attractive for many years.

Environmental efficiency

Glulam beams are extremely efficient to manufacture. The energy required to manufacture a glue-laminated beam from a log is merely a fraction of the energy necessary to manufacture steel or concrete.

Glulam is more resistant to earthquakes and fire than any other structural construction material.

Glulam Beams Advantages

Glulam is sometimes referred to as the “new steel” due to its moldability and great strength. Aside from providing chances for architects, contractors, and hobby carpenters to develop little and large projects, glulam is also a long-term sustainable solution.

These are the advantages of Glulam Timber Beams;

  1. Sturdy – In terms of weight, glulam is one of the strongest building materials. When compared to other building materials, glulam is one of the strongest in terms of strength. Because of its flexibility and great strength, glulam is frequently referred to as the “new steel.” Laminated wood is stronger and harder than regular construction wood.
  2. Renewable – The raw material is a renewable resource. Glulam is a material that may be reused or recycled. Glulam is a part of the natural eco-cycle since it is renewable and recyclable, and the manufacturing of glulam goods is mostly reliant on bioenergy. Because the adhesive contributes for only 1% of the mass, glulam is an ecologically sound product.
  3. Stunning – Glulam is a visually appealing and environmentally conscious product.
  4. Energy Efficient – When compared to other building materials, the energy consumption utilized in the production of glulam is quite low.
  5. Resistant – Glulam is more resistant to harsh situations than many other building materials.
  6. Adaptable – Glulam can be formed into almost any shape. Not many materials can compare to glulam when it comes to creating different types of architectural and constructive expressions.
  7. Stability – Glulam is not prone to twisting or bending.
  8. Fire Resistant – Glulam is more fire resistant than many other building materials. Glulam keeps its structural integrity in a fire for a longer period of time, making it a great material for bearing structures. It is also quite stable in shape when compared to steel, which is only one of the numerous advantages of using glulam as a construction material.
  9. Cost Effectiveness – The entire cost of a glulam construction is frequently less than that of other construction materials.
  10. Simple to Work with — When dealing with glulam, simple hand tools or machine equipment can be employed.

Disadvantage of Glulam Timber

  1. It is pricey. When it comes to price, glulam timber is always more expensive than regular timber. Because the expense of producing this lumber is proportional to the price.
  2. The quality of glulam timber is the second disadvantage. Glulam Timber is created by gluing numerous pieces of wood together. If a defective timber is used in the midst of the timber block during manufacture, the entire timber block can decay. As a result, after a few years, Timber will gradually deteriorate.
  3. The weaker resilience to shifting humidity is a disadvantage as compared to steel.

Glulam Timber /Beam FAQs

Where is Glulam Beam Used?

Glulam can be used practically anyplace, whether for structural or decorative purposes. The most popular applications include entrances, posts, flooring, lintels, rafters, and pergolas.

How is the Performance & Efficiency?

The performance of glulam is far superior than that of other building materials. When span and strength are required, Glulam is frequently a stronger and more flexible alternative than steel or concrete.

Increased efficiency can be easily achieved by using premade glulam parts that have already been stained. Ready to be built on the job site.

What are the Advantages of using Glulam?

Bearing more weight without cracking or breaking. Able to withstand earthquakes, prolonged loads and constant temperature changes. Able to maintain shape, even after extended exposure to weather. Easy installation with pre-fabricated parts that require no welding or cutting.

Made from recycled and locally sourced trees, wood waste and biomass. Recyclable, environmentally friendly and sustainable resource.

 What are the Advantages of using Glulam?

Fire resistant. Sound absorption and thermal insulation. High resistance to pests and insects. Non-toxic, non-polluting, 100% recyclable and biodegradable.

What are the Shortcomings of using Glulam?

Limited availability. Not adaptable to complex shapes. Difficult to repair. High cost of labor and materials.

What are the Benefits of using Glulam?

Glulam resists fire, pest damage, and insect infestation better than any other construction material, including steel or concrete, and can last for hundreds of years with very little maintenance. Glulam is inherently fire-resistant. No other products have achieved the fire resistance rating that Glulam has, and no other materials have the same high resistance to pests and insects, including mold or fungus.

Is glulam better than steel?

It depends on the application. In terms of strength to weight ratio, glulam is almost three times stronger than steel. Because steel has a far higher allowed stress, steel members are typically smaller than corresponding glulam members, but the glulam is usually lighter.

Glulam is actually as strong as steel in vertical applications, and heavier objects can be supported more efficiently with glulam than with steel. Glulam is also more energy efficient to produce than steel

Why is glulam stronger than steel?

Increased strength due to the laminating process – glulam is stronger than solid timber as it has fewer natural defects and a wider distribution. It is also comparable to steel in strength but is much lighter

How far can a glulam beam span?

Glulam beams can span up to 100 feet horizontally, and 20 meters vertically with appropriate engineering design. Glulam beams can span more than 100 feet in big open spaces.

A double ply beam can span in feet a value equal to its depth in inches when supporting joists that span 12 feet with no overhang beyond the beam.

A double 2×12 beam can span 12 feet, a double 2×10 beam can span 10 feet, and so on.

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