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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I need advice on architectural grade glulam vs. parallam. The beam is inside but it will show, so I wanted to ask which one lends itself to better appearance after being stained? I have been told that the parallam is more expensive but it is stronger; if you would like to comment on these latter considerations, that would be fine, but my primary concern right now is which will look better after staining.

Along the same lines could someone tell me if "premium grade" glulam, which I think is a step up from "architectural grade," is made? I thought I saw it on the Boise Cascade website, but suppliers don't seem to know about it. Thanks!
 

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Glulam is made with actual dimensional lumber glued together. Paralam is made from a bunch small sticks glued together. I think the gluelam would probably look better exposed unless paint was the finish then it wouldn't matter.

Here is a link that describes the difference between industrial and architectural.

http://nordic.ca/en/products/nordic-lam-glued-laminated-timber-glulam
 

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Glulam will look a lot better when finished. A solid piece of milled lumber will look even better. But if your putting in a structural beam, there are also other important considerations than just appearance
 

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JOATMON
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I have several PSL (Paralam) beams in my addition. Personally, I prefer them over Gluelam. The are dimensionally more accurate and stable....and I believe..stronger.

If exposed, you could always cover with solid lumber for a finished look

This is what they look like

 
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