Special glulam roof: here’s another in-depth study on this topic after our guide to glulam beams.
The wooden ceiling it is a structure that immediately makes you think of mountain resorts or houses furnished in a rustic style. Lately, however, it has also begun to appear in private homes in different styles: Nordic, modern, industrial…
It is in fact a very versatile structural element, able to combine elegance with warmer and more welcoming atmospheres.
In addition to aesthetics, a glulam roof it also brings important advantages linked to the physical characteristics of the material itself.
Contents of this Page
- 1 Glulam: what it is
- 2 Structure of a glulam roof
- 3.1 Single-pitch laminated wood roof
- 3.2 Double-pitched glulam roof
- 3.3 Four-pitched laminated wood roof
- 4 The benefits
- 5 Usage contexts
- 6 Glulam vs solid wood roof
- 7 Ventilated laminated wood roof
- 8 Roof in white laminated wood
- 9 Lining material
- 10 Prices
Glued laminated timber: what it is
Glulam is made up of dried, pressed and glued lamellas. It is therefore not found in nature, but is the result of a particular process by man.
The result is panels that can have different lengths and thicknesses, and that are aesthetically homogeneous, that is, without those cracks and twists that normally distinguish solid wood.
Before being glued together, the individual lamellas are classified according to their mechanical properties, in order to guarantee – through assembly – the final resistance class of the product.
The most used essences are: larch, spruce and silver fir.
Structure of a glulam roof
Let’s see what are the main elements that characterize the structure of this type of roof.
- Bearing structure: it rests directly on the perimeter walls and the columns of the house, and is made up of beams and strips
- Waterproof membrane e breathable: allows the passage of air in order to allow the material to transpire and isolate it from atmospheric agents
- Battens: a sort of cage on which the cover is placed
- Roof covering: it can be made with laminated panels or solid wood, and must form a unique and resistant surface
- Tiles for wooden roofs
- Gutter: useful for conveying rainwater
You can choose between different types of roof structures:
When choosing, keep in mind that the greater the inclination of a roof, the better its resistance to bad weather. Conversely, a flat roof can lead to problems such as snow accumulation or water stagnation.
The ideal would be an inclination of at least 20%.
Depending on the number of slopes, there will be different types of roofs.
Single pitch laminated wood roof
In the case of a single inclination of the constructed surface.
Gable laminated wood roof
Also called “gable roof”, it is composed of only two pitches, that is two inclined surfaces – symmetrical or asymmetrical – arranged to cross each other in the middle. The lines at the bottom that form the perimeter of the roof are the eaves.
The building will therefore have a flat profile on the side, and on the front and back, two portions of triangular masonry called “gables”
Four-pitched laminated wood roof
In this case we speak of “pavilions”. The four inclined surfaces, seen in plan, intersect each other forming diagonal lines that proceed from the vertices of the roof towards the inside of the same.
There are no longer gables, only horizontal lines on all four sides.
Glulam is a very solid and resistant material, produced by gluing wooden boards which are in turn already classified for structural use. Made of natural wood, it maintains the characteristics of the latter but, thanks to the pressure gluing process, does not absorb certain defects.
Let’s see the properties and advantages of a glulam roof.
- Durability over time
- Excellent sound insulation
- High fire resistance
- Maximum customization, in terms of shapes and sizes
- High seismic resistance
- Thermal insulation
- Natural element
- Energy saving, as it allows to control thermal inertia by limiting energy dispersion to a minimum
- Uniqueness: each grain is unique and gives personality to the rooms
Context of use
Wooden roofs are very versatile. If once they were in fact the prerogative of mountain resorts, it is not uncommon today to find them in many houses and many newly built condominiums.
The choice of a glulam roof, on the other hand, in addition to the undoubted charm of the aesthetic result, which gives elegance and a sense of warmth, has all the characteristics described above.
And not only that, the wooden roofs go well with materials such as stone and exposed bricks.
We must not limit ourselves to thinking of this type of coverage only for housing units. The lightness that is typical of a glulam roof is also suitable for building structures such as:
- sports hall
- swimming pools
- public accommodation facilities of various intended uses
Glulam vs solid wood roof
Glulam roofs and solid wood roofs have substantially the same characteristics. We point out some important differences:
- absence of aesthetic defects, such as knots, cracks and splits that can also cause structural problems
- greater mechanical resistance
- higher fire resistance
Ventilated laminated wood roof
The ventilated glulam roof maximizes the insulating properties of the material. It is therefore the best solution for a home.
It is a roof with a cavity between the external part of the roof and the internal one, through which the air passes naturally, escaping through special vents. The constant ventilation that is created means that neither is created condensation nor humidity. As a result, the house stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Thus guaranteeing, in addition to living comfort, also a not significant energy saving.
Roof in white laminated wood
It is a trend that is very fashionable. It involves the use of a special dye for wood which gives it a white color, without however depriving it of the typical effect of the wood of which the veins remain visible. This shade lends itself well to rooms furnished in Nordic style but also shabby-chic.
The most used materials for the coating are:
- spruce: elegant and light, it resists well to insect attacks and fungi formations
- chestnut: a wood that combines economy and durability over time
- larch: very resistant but with a softer core, it requires careful maintenance to prevent attacks by fungi and parasites
- oak: with an unmistakable color, it is one of the hardest woods
Building a glulam roof is, in principle, an operation accessible to most people and suitable for any budget. Obviously the final price depends on factors such as:
- total square footage of the surface
- type of timber
- any waterproofing and thermo-acoustic insulation works
- essence used for covering the final layer
Below is a table with indicative prices (expressed per square meter) for various types of roof.
- Glulam roof: 100.00-150.00 euros
- Prefabricated laminated wood roof: 100.00 euros
- Custom-made laminated wood roof: 150.00 euros
- Ventilated laminated wood roof: 200.00 euros