SmartLVL Basics

Approx read time: 3 minutes

LVL is one of the fastest growing products in building, replacing hardwood beams. It’s important to utilise good building practices to get the best out of this product.

Here’s some tips to help you get the most out of your LVL’s, from Tilling Timber.

Storage and Handling of SmartLVL

Like all timber, SmartLVL “grows” when allowed to get wet. Material with a high moisture content has short term reduction in characteristic strengths.

KEEP IT DRY! No SmartFrame product should be left in contact with the ground.

Installation Tips 

One of the unique properties of SmartLVL is that it can be ripped through the depth to give a smaller section without affecting the usual strength properties obtained from that smaller section size. If you are at the maximum span advised in the Design Guide, make sure that new members are not cut undersized.

Example: 300×42 smartframe LVL15 can be cut to a 90×42 SmartFrame LVL15 , and is identical to any other LVL SmartFrame LVL15 90×42.

What you can’t do is take a 300x42mm SmartFrame and rip to a 300x35mm SmartFrame .

NEVER saw through the thickness to produce sections of a lesser thickness. This will compromise the SmartLVL’s strength and is not recommended under any circumstances.

Laminating LVL beams

Beams of 70, 84 and 116 mm thickness can be formed by nail laminating two sections of SmartLVL together. Please feel free to seek advice from the techsupport Helpline on 1300 668 690.


It is important to prevent moisture penetration between the laminates. Place a bead of elastomeric adhesive top and bottom, and use a temporary waterproof membrane during construction. 

Using the minimum nail diameter and length specified in the SmartLVL Design Guide, drive in 2 rows of nails (3 rows for D>300mm) on both sides at 300mm spacings as shown below.

Durability and Exposure to Moisture

SmartLVL is manufactured from on-durable veneers. H2 SmartLVL is suitable for internal, fully protected, ventilated or in external above ground, protected.

Use H3 Treated SmartLVL for humid conditions, or for external above ground, exposed applications using the detailing provisions in the SmartLVL Design Guide.

Experience is showing that post production treated LVL in the external above ground, exposed (H3 Hazard Class) may experience some leaching of the active ingredients of the treatment. To minimise the possibility of timber degradation in these situations, it is recommended that H3 treated SmartLVL NOT be used where the surface is horizontally exposed AND unprotected from water entrapment OR where post-treatment protection cannot be maintained.

Post treatment protection may include:

  • Protectadeck high density water proof joist/ bearer cover or malthoid capping and 
  • An impervious membrane such as regularly maintained painting or staining.
  • Construction detailing to prevent water entrapment.

H3 treated SmartLVL is NOT recommended for fascia’s, pergolas or other similar external above ground, exposed applications due to mechanical degradation of the wood fibre causing checking and cracking which is both aesthetically unacceptable and allows ingress of water to inner veneers.

If you have any more questions regarding LVL’s, feel free to get in contact with us.