Engineered wood products are lumber products manufactured from wood strands that have been processed through a variety of mechanical methods to create a product of the same appearance and characteristics of naturally occurring wood. Engineered wood, sometimes called composite wood, produced board, manufactured wooden core or engineered wood, and other names by different companies, is a manufactured board product designed through bonding or sealing the individual strands, particles, joints or combinations of knots with adhesives, glue-type materials or other processes of fixing. Most engineered wood products conform to American Wood Standards Association (AWSAA) guidelines for dimensional stability. Engineered wood products are often stronger and more dense than naturally occurring lumber products. They also have greater dimensional stability than non-engineered/braided wood products.
In the past, the main processing technique used to produce engineered wood products was to first strip the tree, take away all bark, remove all limbs and leave the tree intact. The resulting boards were then bound and glued together using glue. The tree would continue to grow and die, eventually producing large quantities of inferior quality timbers that could not withstand the environmental stresses placed on them during shipment. Today, pre-manufactured boards are made to the same high standards as naturally occurring timber, using various cross-engineered techniques to bind the individual strands together using the appropriate glue. These pre-manufactured products provide speed, high yield, consistent consistency in size and shape, and excellent dimensional stability. The result is a faster delivery time, reduced logistics costs, and an increase in profitability due to a reduction in supply chain costs.
Engineered timber and board are typically more fire-resistant than naturally occurring products. They're also more resistant to moisture, termites, rot, and insect infestation. Because they're engineered wood products, they provide increased strength, durability, and flexibility compared to traditional lumber. Additionally, the small gaps found between the boards provide a natural barrier against moisture, which means that in the case of a storm, water will pool to one side of the board, rather than pouring in.
Today, engineered wood products come in many forms. Engineered lumber is found in flooring applications, such as floors for commercial buildings, commercial office buildings, and storage units. In addition, engineered lumber is also found in siding applications. Engineered lumber is also utilized in home building projects for floors, walls, basements, attics, and porches. Whatever application you're considering, whether it's for flooring siding or building a walled fireplace, you can be sure that manufactured and pre-engineered wooden boards offer tremendous advantages over natural wood products.
Main Advantage of Engineered Wood Products
One of the main advantages of Engineered Wood Products over natural hardwood is that they don't decay. Hardwoods will rot, warp, and develop termites quickly. This results in significantly higher costs for repairing a damaged piece. On the other hand, engineered wood products don't rot or warp until they are almost completely damaged, making it less costly to repair a damaged board compared to replacing a completely destroyed one. And because bonded together using a composite bonding agent, engineered wood products do not change color, are very consistent, and do not require annual maintenance to keep them looking good and performing well.
Another advantage Engineered Wood Products have over traditional wood is their strength. Engineered Wood is stronger than naturally occurring wood yet lighter than veneer. Because Engineered Wood is lighter than veneer, its cross-bracing properties allow it to be much more easily utilized for constructing structures. Also, Engineered Wood products have much more strength than either softwood or hardwood. A skilled craftsman can construct strong Engineered Wood Products that rivals the strength of most solid materials, including aluminum and steel. In addition, Engineered Wood products are often fire-resistant because they contain a special type of polyurethane foam that resists most common types of fire.
One disadvantage of Engineered Wood Products is that they tend to cost more than either hardwood or softwoods. Because Engineered Wood products are constructed by skilled craftsmen rather than by manufacturers, they are often more expensive than commonly available solid wood products. Also, there is a lower level of skill in constructing Engineered Wood Products compared to constructing Softwood Products. While some craftsmen are able to construct Engineered Wood Products with lower skill levels than softwoods, the price of these products is generally greater, and the lower level of skill means that many people can construct Engineered Wood Products. In addition, due to the cost of skilled craftsmanship, some consumers choose Softwood Products rather than Engineered Wood Products.
One advantage that is sometimes overlooked is that Engineered Wood Products tends to be more flexible than most natural materials. Because the boards are constructed using engineered wood products, it is typically possible to cut them to nearly any size, including full, half and quarter inch sizes. This makes it possible to create the very specific products that many businesses need. Also, because of the ability to cut the Plywood and I-joists to the precise sizes needed, it is possible to construct much taller buildings, which provides more usable space. Additionally, if the business prefers to utilize only solid wood or polymer board, Engineered Wood Products can often be used to support the plywood and i-joists. This allows for the construction of stronger, sturdier structures.