How Do You Choose the Correct LVL Beam Span Size?

Choose the correct laminated veneer lumber span size by finding the correct span size for the LVL beams you are using and the spacing of the floor’s support columns on a LVL span size chart. Always use the correct LVL span size chart for your particular load-bearing application.

The simplest type of LVL-based floor is a single floor that does not support an additional load. Common single floors include second-story floors or floors over a basement. Because these floors support the lightest loads, they require the fewest support columns and the smallest LVL beams.

Use an LVL span size chart for a single floor by finding the size range of LVL beams you are using and the space between the floor’s support columns. Then match these figures with the appropriate maximum span size. For example, if you are using an LVL beam with two plies of 16 inches or three plies of 14 inches with the columns spaced 14 feet from one another, the maximum span size is 36 feet. This span size only applies to single floors; floors supporting additional stories or roofs require sturdier construction and use different LVL span size charts.

Keep in mind that values given by an LVL span size chart are approximate. Numerous factors – such as the area’s humidity, weather conditions and even average snowfall – can have a large effect on an LVL beam’s maximum span size.