Published On: Mon, Nov 15th, 2021

The Best Types Of Engineered Wood for Building

Engineered wood is a type of lumber that can be used for building purposes. Engineered woods are popular because they have structural stability, dimensional stability, and low shrinkage rates. This article will discuss the most common types of engineered wood flooring you can use to build within your next project.

Let’s take a closer look at these types of engineered wood.

  • Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)

Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) is made by bonding layers of veneers together with a resin. This type of engineered wood provides great strength and stability, which makes it ideal for use in structural elements such as flooring or beams. Because LVL is formed from thin sheets of material glued together, the finished product can be much thinner than solid lumber without any loss in durability. 

In contrast to other types of engineered woods like particleboard, LVL does not shrink over time due to its laminate construction. Laminated boards are also more resistant to expansion and contraction caused by fluctuations in humidity levels because there’s less risk that one layer will swell while another contracts; this helps ensure your building remains structurally sound.

photo/ NWFA

  • Hardboard (HDF)

Hardboard is one of the most widely-used engineered wood products. It’s strong, affordable, and comes in many colors. Hardboard has a thickness of between .03 inches to .09 inches thick and can be cut into virtually any size. The disadvantage to hardboards is that they have low resistance against punctures or scratches from nails or screws.

In general, this type of board should not be used for load-bearing walls, but it does make an excellent sub-flooring product where there isn’t heavyweight on top as it may bow over time with too much pressure applied to the surface layer (the veneer).

  • CDX Plywood

CDX plywood is made from 100% North American Poplar, which makes it a great choice for homeowners that want their home to be as sustainable as possible. CDX Plywood also has excellent water resistance and can last up to 50 years when treated properly. It also requires very little maintenance because of how durable the material is.

CDX plywood is the cheapest option, but it’s also the one that takes up the most space. For this reason, CDX isn’t a great choice for commercial construction projects where every inch of square footage counts because there are other types of wood with a higher return on investment costs.***

  • Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

Oriented strand board, sometimes called “OSB”, is one of the most popular engineered wood products used for building. OSB can be found on many commercial and residential construction projects because it is an inexpensive material that has a good balance between strength and energy efficiency. It also doesn’t require any type of additional treatment before being put to use in buildings due to its high-quality waterproofing coating already applied during manufacturing.

  • AC Plywood Wood

The AC plywood type of engineered wood is the most common type for building. It’s a composite material made up of layers, and this allows it to be relatively lightweight but also strong. AC plywoods also have an A-side that looks like natural wood grain and can be stained in different colors for aesthetic purposes. They’re water-resistant too but don’t offer any protection against fire or weathering so they’re best used indoors only where there won’t be much contact with these elements.

The Bottom Line

Engineered wood can be a great choice for builders looking to use sustainable building practices. It offers many of the same benefits as natural hardwood, but because it is made from different types of composite materials, it lasts longer and requires less maintenance than traditional wooden structures.

Author: Alicia Haven

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