Should I Use Engineered Lumber For My Stair Stringers?
Yes and no, again this is another
question that's difficult to answer, because I haven't thoroughly tested
However, I've heard plenty of experienced carpenters, contractors and construction workers rave about this new product or should I say fairly new.
I've probably installed over 1,000 stairways before this product was used for stair stringers. I'm not entirely convinced that this is the best product for stair stringers and believe it should be tested a few more years, but remember this is only my personal opinion. I've been in the business for over 30 years and seen numerous products fail, so that's why I'm a little wary about this one.
Now for the good news, here are a few claims from one of the manufacturers of Timberstrand, which is often referred to as laminated strand lumber and engineered lumber.
1. Consistently Straight, in other words since this product has been engineered by man, they can produce consistently Straight and accurate pieces of lumber, where mother nature seems to have a difficult time.
2. Since this lumber is man-made, there's a good chance it isn't going to shrink like regular construction standard lumber will. I've seen 2 x 12 shrink down to almost 11 inches, often creating problems for any of the building structures, it was used in.
I'm not going to continue with the manufacturers claims, because the rest of them seem a little overrated. You should also check with the manufacturers of these products, before using them, because they have product usage specifications that you should familiarize yourself with.
For example, some of these products will need some type of structural reinforcement under them, if they're going to be used for longer stairways and cannot be freestanding.
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