How Far Can Glulam Beams Span?

How Far Can Glulam Beams Span?

Glulam falls under the wood category; glulam beams are made out of wood products that are manufactured for various designs. We might know what the product is or exactly what glulam beams are, but very few of us worldwide know what it is used for. Read more How Far Can Glulam Beams Span?

If the glulam beams are placed in a huge area, they can span to a maximum of 100 feet. One of the greatest advantages of using glulam is that it can be manufactured in various sizes and shapes as per the consumer choice.  

What are Glulam Beams?

Glulam beams are only manufactured from the upper layers of the woods that are bonded together with the industrial adhesives. That is where the term comes from glulam= glu+lam. Glulam beam comes with a good cost on average but, that highly depends on the engineering or the manufacturing process. 

The lumber cut from the wood of a tree comes in the same thickness for most of the product, which is in a 1-3/8” thickness or 1-1/2” thick lams. These lams are mostly made out of the Douglas fir located in the western part of the country and also from southern yellow pine. Rosboro is the largest full-width glulam manufacturer located in North America. 

Glulam products fall under the same net width, but any width can be custom-made as per the consumer’s choice and preference. This can be done because they use engineered wood products (EWP) that are primarily manufactured to meet the range of design stresses. 

These beams are known for their rigid and powerful body because these beams are manufactured with the strongest lams both on the bottom and top part. This unique concept allows the lumber products to be used more effectively and efficiently and also by placing high-grade lumber in the zones where it has maximum stresses and lumbar with less structural strength. 

Now, these beams can withstand loads that weigh between 69,000 and 95,500 pounds. The report was found by Centennial Research Facility, and they also revealed that these have a very strong capability. 

Uses of Glulam Beams 

Glulam beams are mostly used in the areas or departments where there needs heavy work. They can be found in various public or general places. They are highly common in large curves to build vaulted roofs, bridges, and domes. This is because the product from Glulam offers superior strength and stiffness over dimensional lumber. 

The connections for the glulam beams are typically made by using bolts or steel dowels and steel plates in various finished products. That is also how the overall product stays strong and rigid. 

Below are some of the common uses of glulam products or beams:-

  • Straight Beams (lintels, purlins, ridge beams, and many more)
  • Tied Rafters 
  • Columns (round, square, rectangle, and complex sections)
  • Arched bridge parts  

Why Opt For Glulam?

There are a lot more advantages to using glulam products than their disadvantages. Glulams made products are very effective and efficient and can be used anywhere. They are fire protection as well and even better than steel. 

Other than that, there are a few more advantages of using glulam products, including beams, and they are as follows:-

  • Eco-friendly material  
  • Easy installation and surface repair
  • Adaptable use of roof and floor beams, decking, columns, and many more
  • Highly customizable to fit special needs for anything 
  • Standard sizes of such products are available immediately and fast
  • They are very good fire resistance, even better than steel, as per a few reports
  • They are manufactured for precise dimensions 

How Far Can Glulam Beams Span?

Glulam beams can span not more than 100 feet, even in large open spaces. Normally, people do not come in need to span in such a big measurement. To span up to 24 feet, the consumer will need a 12” (nominal) I-joist, or they could use an engineered floor truss to span the product. The consumer can even come in need of an LVL or steel beam midway to span in 24feet. 

Consumers willing to span glulam beams into 12 feet can do it with no overhang beyond the beam; if there is a double beam ply, then it can span in feet a value that is equal to its depth in inches. 


There are various advantages of using glulam-related products or beams in various places, including homes. They are also highly safe and cost-effective, so there will be no wastage of money using such products. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. How strong and rigid are glulam beams?

Answer- The beams made out from glulam can withstand loads between 69,000 and 95,500 pounds, so we can now imagine how strong and rigid the glulam beams can be. They are highly strong and capable of carrying heavyweights. 

  1. What makes glulam so strong?

Answer- Glulam is consistently stronger than solid timber due to the reduction in size and natural defects. 

  1. Are Glulam products fire resistant?

Answer- Glulam products are not affected by the fire as they are fire resistant because glulam retains constructional stability in a fire. 

How Far Can Glulam Beams Span?

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