Using LVL FAQ's

Frequently asked questions about using LVL

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If you have a question that isn't below or would just like to find out more about using LVL, please get in contact with us.

What is LVL?

LVL is Laminated Veneer Lumber; a highly-engineered wood product. LVL is similar to plywood but the grain of adjacent layers of veneer is aligned in the same direction. Plywood has alternate layers aligned at right angles.

What kind of wood does Wesbeam use to make LVL?

Wesbeam LVL is made from sustainably sourced timber grown in the Mediterranean climate of Western Australia. We use Maritime Pine, Radiata Pine and Karri grown in managed forests which comply with strictly-audited Chain of Custody requirements. Any part of a tree that’s not used to make LVL is either left to break down in the forest, used as mulch on the gardens of Perth or made into particle board.

How is LVL made?

Wesbeam manufactures its LVL products at a purpose-built, world-class facility at Neerabup, north of Perth. The manufacturing process involves laminating a series of sustainably sourced timbers with phenolic adhesives in a continuous assembly. All veneers are assembled with the woodgrain running along the length of the LVL. The product is then pressed as a 1200mm nominal width continuous billet in various standard thicknesses. View our process for yourself here.

What are the key features of Wesbeam's LVL products?
  1. Strength. Wesbeam LVL has a high strength-to-weight ratio due to the combination of the natural characteristics of sustainably sourced timbers and our leading-edge engineering and manufacturing processes. In fact, e-beam LVL can be used a substitute for steel in many situations. 
  2. Consistency. Because our LVL is an engineered product, it has a low Coefficient Of Variation which, at 9%, puts in on a par with steel (7% COV) whilst outperforming timber (38% COV). As a result, it is easier to predict the way the material will behave, giving greater control over performance to specification and maintenance costs.
  3. Lightweight. Wesbeam LVL is up to half the weight of its equivalent size in hardwood - and even less when compared to steel - making it easier and safer to work with, and reducing the need for mechanical lifting. This also speeds up the construction process, as well as giving a project lighter foundation requirements.
  4. Fixed cost. While the cost of steel escalates, the price of Wesbeam's Australian-made LVL does not fluctuate with world commodity prices. This gives greater control over building costs.
  5. Smooth edges. Framing carpenters appreciate our LVL’s smooth, chamfered edges for easier, splinter-free handling.
  6. Longer lengths. Our LVL products are available in lengths up to 13.2 metres - and even longer on request.
What are the applications of LVL?

Wesbeam LVL is used in a wide variety of applications including floor bearers and joists, large section beams, roof construction, bottom chords in girder trusses, flanges for e-joist, support beams in concrete formwork, mass columns, walls and floors in mid-rise commercial buildings.

Is Wesbeam LVL a more environmentally-friendly product for use in construction?

Wesbeam's LVL is produced from sustainably sourced timbers from around Perth under a 50 year State Agreement with the Western Australian State Government. The rate of planting equals the rate of harvest ensuring a ready supply of wood fibre well into the future. During manufacture, we recover 55 to 60% of material from each log which comes into the factory. This compares favourably with hardwood at 35% and pine timber at 45 to 50%.

Our LVL products provide the building industry with a replacement for the hardwood timbers which are now becoming unavailable for such applications.

Wesbeam invests $1 million per year in the planting of maritime pine east and north east of Perth. These plantings will assist in the Government's program of reducing the salination of Western Australian farmlands.

Does working with LVL involve learning new skills?

LVL cuts, drills, nails and screws much the same as timber. However, nails should not be driven parallel to the direction of the LVL veneers.

What kind of technical support can I expect from Wesbeam?

We support our products with locally-based representatives backed up by engineering support from our head office in Western Australia.

Where can I buy Wesbeam LVL?

Wesbeam structural products can be purchased from the state distribution centres of our many resellers. For your local Wesbeam office, refer to the contact details at the bottom of the page.