Section Contents

Essential Characteristics for LVL in Loadbearing Applications

LVL is governed by two different EU standards, including for loadbearing applications. This depends on its classification as either a material used for manufacturing structural components (in a similar way to glued laminated timber) or as a product for use in both non structural and structural situations.

APA’s advice here refers to buildings and bridges, and the structural, loadbearing requirements of EN 14374.  Refer also to its definition as a product, covered by the performance chacteristics under EN 14279.



EN 14374

Clause No.

Levels and/or Classes

Modulus of elasticity



Bending strength



Compression strength



Tension strength



Shear strength



Bonding strength


Reaction to fire


A1 – F ( as given in EN13986)

Release of formaldehyde




Note: Not all characteristics are required in every member state. Where there are no regulatory requirements on that characteristic for the intended end use, manufacturers are not required to determine or declare the performance of their product with regard to a specific characteristic. They can use the option ‘No performance determined’ (NPD) in the information accompanying the CE marking. The NPD option may not be used where the characteristic is subject to a threshold level.

APA in Europe Wizard

All Questions OSBPlywood

What is a ‘life cycle stage’ and how do these link to the environmental assessment of whole buildings?

How do core category rules link with environmental product declarations?

Whose responsibility is it to check that wood products being imported into the EU do not originate from illegally sourced timber supplies?

Does the EUTR require mills to provide any extra documentation for customs entry into the European Union?

Must all plywood and OSB panels carry a CE marking?

What is the definition of a construction product under the CPR?

What is a Declaration of Performance referred to under the Construction Products Regulation?

What is the difference between Structural 1 and Exposure 1?

Does structural panel siding have shear values?

What are mould and mildew, and do they compromise the integrity of engineered wood?

The CE-mark on an APA plywood panel means it conforms to European Standards – but which ones?

I want to use a Rated Sheathing panel for flooring/ roofing application, what info do I need to know?

Plywood: Span rating
OSB: Span rating

What extra strength benefits do Structural 1 OSB panels provide over standard Rated Sheathing panels?

Do APA panels give off formaldehyde?

Plywood: Formaldehyde
OSB: Formaldehyde

What is the difference between a touch-sanded panel and sanded panel?

I’d like to know how APA veneer grades match those given in the European standards

How do I correctly gauge the face appearance a plywood Siding panel?

I want to specify an APA panel for concrete formwork – what do I need to know?

Are APA panels tongue and grooved on all four edges?

I am not familiar with the term ‘Sized for Spacing’ – what is its significance?

How are Performance Category and thickness related?

I’d like to know more about a panel’s Span Rating and how it links to thickness.

Plywood: Span rating
OSB: Span rating

What is Span Rating on the APA trademark and why is it important?

Plywood: Span rating
OSB: Span rating

What is the difference between Exposure 1 and Exterior plywood panels? What are their appropriate uses?

What are the main OSB panels likely to be available in Europe?

What are the main plywood panels likely to be available in Europe?

What are the main European standards that I would need to be aware of for OSB panels?

The main standards are: EN 13986 and EN 300

What are the main European standards that I would need to be aware of for plywood panels?

The main standards are: EN 13986, EN 636, EN 314, EN 635-3