What Are the Essential Uses of Timber in Civil Engineering?


Timber is the most used material in all construction projects for it lends the structure its strength and style. Finished timber is available in the market in standard sizes to be used for structural purposes. Timber can be used in anything and everything from the construction and design to the maintenance of buildings, bridges, roads and water and energy systems which is what makes it so important in civil engineering.

Here, we will talk about the main uses of timber in civil engineering. Additionally, we will also take a look at the benefits of using engineered timber flooring versus solid wood flooring.

Main Uses of Timber in Civil Works

Timber has unlimited uses when it comes to the construction of structures and strengthening them.

It’s interesting that the importance of timber hasn’t decreased despite the excessive use of steel and concrete in the construction industry. Timber is not just used in constructing houses or furniture but also in shipbuilding and other related fields.

Timber used in heavy-duty construction is called swan-wood and comes from coniferous trees. Swan-wood is commonly used as planks, beams, and boards. In heavy-duty construction, timber is also used for the construction of trusses, piles and columns.

Timber is heavily relied on in construction because it is generally free of abrasion and defects, is durable, has a fine finished appearance and has long-lasting strength. When talking about the construction of houses, there are several benefits of engineered timber flooring compared to solid wood flooring.

1. Natural Look

Engineered timber flooring increases the aesthetic appeal of your house by adding a luxurious vibe. It is better than hardwood flooring because it has greater strength, is less costly and has a sleek look.

Engineered flooring has such a comprehensive finish that it is difficult to differentiate it from hard flooring. Moreover, engineered wood is available in a wide variety of types, colours, plank widths, and different finishes. The flooring also allows you to refinish with a sanding tool, if necessary.

2. Stability and Resistance

Engineered flooring makes the timber strong and stable for long-term use. The plywood base underneath is placed perpendicular to the top hardwood layer, which gives it strength. The more the timber is strengthened, the more resistant it will be to any moisture, humidity, and variation in temperatures. Engineered flooring comes in fixed lengths but different material has a different thickness depending on the purpose that it has been engineered for. It’s this quality of engineering flooring that allows it to also be resistant to underfloor heating.

3. Convenience of Installation

Engineered flooring can be installed in a number of ways depending on your property and preferences. You can choose to glue, nail or screw down the flooring. The flooring usually comes with a click fitting system for convenient installation. The success of the installation also depends on the location of the flooring. Engineering wood may not be more durable than the solid wood but it can be installed anywhere in the house. However, it is mandatory to use precautions such as cleaning to ensure that engineered flooring survives longer.

Comparing Glue Laminated Timber with CLT

Both glue laminated timber and cross-laminated timber (CLT) fall under the category of engineered flooring. While comparing glue laminated timber with CLT is difficult due to the similarities in the materials, let’s have a look at some features and qualities of both of them.

As its name suggests, laminated timber constitutes two or more layers of timber combined using permanent adhesives. CLT has considerable strength, is fire-resistant, can be installed easily, is known for sound absorption, is sustainable, has good insulating properties and uniform properties, and is even lighter than concrete.

Glue laminated timber, on the other hand, is better for customized designing, has large-sized sections and long length, and has even more strength than solid timber. It also has substantial dimensional stability and good structural capabilities. This structure is also fire-resistant, can absorb sounds, is sustainable, and can help save more on overall building costs. What is even more special about this material is that it has a better life cycle than most building materials.

Which Is Better?

Both glue laminated timber and CLT have their own advantages in terms of use, durability, and sustainability. The qualities and features of glue timber make it more feasible for office spaces and commercial buildings. Glue timber also allows for the construction and removal of partition walls as and when required. On the contrary, CLT is more suitable for the construction of load-bearing walls. In other words, CLT is more feasible for a closed-plan design.

Regardless of their distinguishing features, both materials could be used for mass timber construction. Glue laminated timber allows flexibility of shapes and has the ability to change space, whereas CLT is static.

Final Word

Timber is one of the most demanded materials in civil engineering and its importance is undeniable, especially in the heavy construction sector. Engineered timber flooring has more benefits than solid flooring. When it comes to laminated timber, the decision of whether you should use glue laminated timber or CLT depends on the design and specific structure of the building. At the end of the day, the options are endless.

About Author:-

Simon is an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed jack of all trades. Simon has experience in the building and home renovation industry and he knows what it takes to knock out a successful project whether it be commercial or residential. Currently, he works as a marketing consultant with ASH – one of the prominent suppliers of various types of premium hardwood in Australia. Another niche for Simon is travel and outdoors leisure, including sporting equipment and bikes. A big kid at heart if it goes fast, bounces, slides or you can climb it Simon has put it to the test.

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