Engineered laminate beams (commonly called “Glu-lam”) are an excellent architectural solution to many structural issues; however, their appearance is often less than satisfactory. The GR Plume Company offers the best of both worlds; structural members with the strength of traditional glulam but with a much more aesthetically pleasing appearance: our Kalolam™ Custom Crafted Glulam.
One of the dead giveaways of glulam are the black seams caused by chemical reactions between the wood and the Resorcinol adhesive used in bonding a glulam together. Our glue is a chemically inert polymer that dries to a clear finish, rendering the glue lines all but undetectable after final sanding.
Another issue associated with standard engineered beams is the color variation between heartwood and sapwood; heartwood is dark, sapwood is light. When a glulam is assembled without an eye to this difference, the “candy stripe” pattern that results is often visually displeasing. Also, because glulam beams are graded for strength and not appearance, defects such as knots, splits, checking and small tears or dents are within grade but decidedly unattractive.
When we manufacture our Kalolam™ Glulams, we hand-sort the lamstock for each structural member, keeping all sapwood away from the edges and face. Even minor color differences are accounted for during this process, and knots are not allowed to cross over between sections of lamstock. Lamstock can be joined together with long scarf joints (in place of the traditional finger-joint), aiding in the color-matching process while retaining the necessary strength.
The resulting Kalolam™ beams have both the majestic beauty of heavy timber and the strength associated with engineered wood; all our crafted glulams meet APA/EWS standards for certification. Sustainable FSC certified lamstock can be employed upon request.