IN DEPTH Problem solvers Along with direct product innovations, manufacturers are educating builders on the best ways to utilize their prod-ucts to improve the home. For example, LP educates dealers and end users on how to incorporate LSL into wall systems to accommo-date problem-prone areas. LSL can be used in place of a traditional stick of lumber throughout the frame, from stud walls and sill plates to headers, rafters, and stair stringers, notes Kelly Harmon, EWP business development for LP. You can plug in LSL in certain diffi-cult zones, particularly those that need to stay straight, such as long hallways or kitchen walls, where movement can throw off the look of the cabinetry or countertops. The swap raises the price, but, as Harmon points out, it’s small in t he sense of ensuring a $40,000 kitchen looks and performs its best. “Part of the value-add that EWP floor systems give the builder is an opportunity to work with their dealer to plan ahead and de-sign in quality,” says Williams. “With engineered wood there are opportuni-ABOVE: LP SolidStart LSL installs like traditional dimension lumber, but offers more strength for use on longer spans and more design flexibility. It also offers better consistency, along with low moisture content to reduce shrinkage. The LSL can be used for floor beams, headers, wall framing, sill plates, and more. RIGHT: onCENTER Engineered Lumber from BlueLinx offers a full line of BLI joists, LVL, rim board, and Advanced Framing Lumber (AFL) backed by a full-service team of field experts, technicians, and engineers. 58 LBM JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2017 ties where the builder is able to ID a key need and then address that need. … For example, behind the cabinets, they can say, ‘I want high-quality product there.’” Using LSL can help avoid callbacks or time-consuming shimming of cab-inets or caulking of countertops due to wavy walls. Harmon cautions dealers that LSL is a more complicated sale to builders used to using all dimension lumber, so the onus is on the dealer to demonstrate and educate them on how it will speed up time and eliminate waste. In the floor, LSL can be used in ar-eas such as the island to help isolate vibration and increase comfort. “Those things are hard to quanti-fy the value of until you start talking about callbacks,” notes Williams. “All of those callbacks have a cause, and much of the time it has to do with the framing lumber.” Harmon also points to door and window headers, where an LSL header can replace a site-built header com-posed of 2x10s or 2x12s, OSB, and 2x4s. That switch can save time, reduce the amount of wood needed, and allow for increased cavity insulation. Boise is also tackling floor systems with the introduction of BC FloorValue, a system for helping designers under-stand how the floor will feel before in-stallation and how that feel is impacted by things like kitchen islands. Accessi-ble through its BC Calc and BC Framer software programs, the system pro-vides a deflection heat map that helps the designer identify problem spots. “We’re bringing new capabilities to the problem of how you design floor systems,” says Debelius. Weyerhaeuser targets floor feel through its TJ-Pro Rating program, a system that helps dealers and their customers select floor system com-ponents and assemblies that ensure a certain level of performance. Labor savers Eng i neered lu mber’s posit ion i n t he current market is particularly strong in the sense of the tight labor market. Builders are strapped for talent, and engineered lumber products offer effi-❯ cient installation opportunities.