Microlam, also known as Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) or Lambeam, is a fairly new improvement in manufactured lumber. Manufactured to be used for joists and load-bearing walls, this “super plywood” disproves the notion that bigger means more load-bearing capability.

Uses for Microlam or Lambeam

  • Joists
  • Load-bearing or carrying walls
  • Headers

Like in traditional plywood, Microlam or lambeam is made by sandwiching thin sheets of wood and gluing them together with very strong glue. Each sheet is placed perpendicular to the sheet on either side. Unlike plywood, however, Microlam is very strong, solid, and heavy, and is considered to be “construction-grade”.

In older homes, joists were formed with two-by-eights or two-by-tens. Now, because of the Microlam or lambeam technology, the joists can be significantly smaller while maintaining the same or even greater carrying strength. Microlam can get quite expensive, so using it to replace sagging joists in remodeling projects would not be warranted. In new construction, however, Microlam offers a greater strength with less bulk.