Engineered wood I-beams were first introduced in the late 1960s and were used mainly for high-end home construction. However, today up to half the homes built in the United States now use engineered wood I-beams. Engineered wood I-beams are considered an excellent alternative to sawn lumber for floor joists due to their strength and overall lower installation costs. Wood I-beams look similar to the traditional steel I-beam. They consist of a center section constructed out of a thin layer of Oriented Strand Board (OSB) material that is sandwiched on top and bottom by two wide flange sections made out of finger jointed sawn lumber.
Typically there are cut-out or knock-out sections in the OSB material that can be removed for running electrical wires and heat ducts. Engineered Wood I-beams have several major advantages. First, they are much stronger, straighter and stiffer than conventional sawn lumber. Data indicates that they are 50% stiffer than sawn lumber. Consequently they provide less deflection, which translates into better floor construction.
As a result of their strength, wood I-beams can be used to cover larger spans and can be separated on wider on-center spacings. Because of their unique construction wood I-beams do not warp, shrink, cup or twist and thus they are able to create stiffer floors that have fewer tendencies to settle or squeak. Advantage Development Co. uses TJI engineered I-beams on all new construction, and are a firm believer in engineered wood products for all home construction. Visit us today at http://www.advdevco.com/ and see why we should be your new custom contract builder.