How to Boost Framing Efficiencies, Reduce Callbacks With Laminated Strand Lumber

Laminated strand lumber (LSL) is more than just engineered wood; it’s a veritable jack-of-all-trades suitable for a diverse range of framing applications.

July 20, 2015

Imagine designing a house frame with fewer products to specify, less lumber to cull through and reduced installation times. Laminated strand lumber (LSL) is more than just engineered wood; it’s a veritable jack-of-all-trades suitable for a diverse range of framing applications.

Engineered for consistent performance, LSL, such as Weyerhaeuser Trus Joist TimberStrand®, starts straight and stays straight. As a result, it is one of the most versatile building products available. Here is a look at where LSL is a timesaving substitute for traditional dimension lumber. 


Instead of crews wasting time cobbling together headers, LSL provides a one-piece solution for residential door and window openings, reducing installation time. The engineered material is also more stable than dimension lumber, cutting back on drywall cracking and, therefore, callbacks. LSL is available in pre-cut lengths to minimize jobsite waste and extra labor.

Rim Board

LSL’s characteristics as straight, true and consistent make it an excellent option for rim board. The material also is dimensionally stable, excels at transferring vertical and lateral loads to the foundation and provides an excellent attachment point for exterior decks.


The consistency of an engineered product means installers are only picking straight, knot-free studs from the pile; and with resistance to twisting, shrinking and bowing after installation, callbacks due to drywall cracks are virtually eliminated. Using LSL for wall framing also can help contractors install cabinets and countertops flush without the hassles of shimming. The flat, stable surface they create for tile installations reduces the chance of tile and grout cracking.

Sill Plates

Sill plates are one of the most vulnerable parts of the frame, yet are often an afterthought come installation time. Unlike traditional lumber, LSL sill plates are always straight, ensuring walls get off to a square start. TimberStrand sill plates treated with StrandGuard are protected throughout the cross section, eliminating any need for field treatment when drilled for anchor bolts. They are also warranted against insect damage and decay.

Tall Walls

Two-story foyers and open-concept great rooms are a trend that’s here to stay—good for homeowners, but a hassle for contractors. Available in long lengths, LSL helps ease that burden; using studs, sill plates and headers made from LSL, contractors can build tall walls that will be strong, stable and straight.

For more information on these and other LSL applications, visit

Tomo Tsuda, P.Eng, PE is an Engineer for Codes, Standards and Product Engineering with Weyerhaeuser Trus Joist. He has worked for Weyerhaeuser for 17 years, including 10 years in Japan. Tomo is a licensed civil engineer in British Columbia and Idaho.


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