What are the key differences between CLT and Glulam?
Both Cross-laminated timber (CLT), and glue-laminated timber (glulam) are engineered wood products that are commonly used for mass timber construction projects. One commonly asked question is what is the difference between glulam timber construction, and CLT construction?
First, to understand the differences it is important to understand what laminated timber is. This is an engineered product, meaning it is man-made and not naturally occurring like wood planks would be. Adhesives are used to bind together multiple layers of timber to create a strong, engineered product.
Differences Between CLT and Glulam
Here is where the differences lie. CLT timber has each layer combined with adhesives with the grain alternating at 90 degrees between each later. Glulam timber has each layer combined with the grain lined up. So why is this important?
There are some key differences and reasons for each of these over the other.
First, CLT timber has more strength than glulam timber. This is because rotating the grain gives it strength in every direction. Glulam has the advantage over CLT of being available in larger sizes and longer lengths compared to CLT.
Often, a mass timber project will involve both CLT and glulam pieces, as both are sustainable, prefabricated, fire-resistant, sound-absorbing and easy to install and erect. CLT is used for load-bearing walls and other areas requiring more strength, and glulam for partition walls.
With all the benefits of engineered mass timber, this industry will continue to grow and develop. Make sure you consider it for your next building project.