Nominal Vs Actual Lumber Sizes Chart [Lumber Sizes 2022]

Nominal lumber sizes are the dimensions of a board as specified by the manufacturer. They are different from actual lumber sizes because nominal lumber dimensions may be slightly off from the actual dimensions of a board due to many factors, such as manufacturing tolerances and scrap.

Nominal lumber sizes allow for easy comparison between boards, but they don’t give you an accurate measurement of the size of a board or its thickness.

This chart depicts the difference between nominal and actual lumber sizes. It is a guide to help you identify the dimensions of lumber, plan your lumber cuts and construction needs.

Dimensional Lumber Sizes: Nominal vs. Actual

Nominal Vs Actual Lumber Sizes Chart

1X Board Lumber Sizes Chart

NOMINAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (MM)
1×23/4 X 1 1/219 X 38
1×3 3/4 X 2 1/2 19 X 64
1×4 3/4 X 3 1/2 19 X 89
1×6 3/4 X 5 1/2 19 X 140
1×8 3/4 X 7 1/4 19 X 184
1×10 3/4 X 9 1/4 19 X 235
1×12 3/4 X 11 1/4 19 X 286

2X Board Lumber Sizes Chart

NOMINAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (MM)
2×21 1/2 x 1 1/238 X 38
2×3 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 38 X 64
2×41 1/2 x 3 1/2 38 X 89
2×61 1/2 x 5 1/2 38 X 140
2×81 1/2 x 7 1/4 38 X 184
2×101 1/2 x 9 1/4 38 X 235
2×121 1/2 x 11 1/4 38 X 286

3X Board Lumber Sizes Chart

NOMINAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (MM)
3×32 1/2 x 2 1/2 64 X 64
3×42 1/2 x 3 1/2 64 X 89
3×62 1/2 x 5 1/2 64 X 140
3×82 1/2 x 7 1/4 64 X 184
3×102 1/2 x 9 1/4 64 X 235
3×122 1/2 x 11 1/4 64 X 286

4X Board Lumber Sizes Chart

NOMINAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (MM)
4×43 1/2 x 3 1/2 89 X 89
4×63 1/2 x 5 1/2 89 X 140
4×83 1/2 x 7 1/4 89 X 184
4×103 1/2 x 9 1/4 89 X 235
4×123 1/2 x 11 1/4 89 X 286

6X Board Lumber Sizes Chart

NOMINAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (MM)
6×65 1/2 x 5 1/2140 x 140

8X Board Lumber Sizes Chart

NOMINAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (INCHES)ACTUAL SIZE (MM)
8×87 1/4 x 7 1/4184 x 184

Softwood Lumber Lengths Chart

LENGTH IN FEETLENGTH IN INCHESLENGTH IN METERS
6 feet72 inches1.829 meters
8 feet96 inches2.438 meters
10 feet120 inches3.048 meters
12 feet144 inches3.658 meters
14 feet168 inches4.267 meters
16 feet192 inches4.877 meters
18 feet216 inches5.486  meters
20 feet240 inches6.096 meters
22 feet264 inches6.706 meters
24 feet288 inches7.315 meters

Hardwood Lumber Dimensions Chart

NOMINAL SIZEROUGH SIZEACTUAL SIZE: SURFACED 1 SIDEACTUAL SIZE: SURFACED 2 SIDES
1/2 inch3/8 inch (9.5 mm)5/16 inch (7.9 mm)
5/8 inch1/2 inch (13 mm)7/16 inch (11 mm)
3/4 inch5/8 inch (16 mm)9/16 inch (14 mm)
4/4 inch1 inch7/8 inch (22 mm)13/16 inch (21 mm)
5/4 inch1 1/4 inch1 1/8 inch (29 mm)1 1/16 inch (27 mm)
6/4 inch1 1/2 inch1 3/8 inch (35 mm)1 5/16 inch (33 mm)
8/4 inch2 inches1 13/16 inch (46 mm)1 3/4 inch (44 mm)
12/4 inch3 inches2 13/16 inch (71 mm)2 3/4 inch (70 mm)
16/4 inch4 inches3 13/16 inch (97 mm)3 3/4 inch (95 mm)

Glue Laminated Lumber Dimensions Chart

NOMINAL WIDTHACTUAL FINISHED WIDTH
3″2 1/2″
4″3 1/8″ or 3 1/2″
6″5 1/8″ or 5 1/2″
8″6 3/4″
10″8 3/4″
12″10 3/4″
14″12 1/4″
16″14 1/4″

Which lumber size chart is better: nominal or actual?

The nominal size chart is used when determining lumber dimensions in millimeters and inches. The actual size chart, on the other hand, is a measurement that takes into account the thickness of the lumber, so it will be more accurate than nominal measurements.

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If you are looking for something that is in between these two charts, then go with the inch equivalent of nominal dimensions or a combination of both.

What is the difference between nominal and actual lumber sizes?

The nominal size is the actual size of a piece of lumber. It is also known as standard or trade sizes.

The actual size is the actual width, height, and thickness of a piece of lumber.

Why do I need to know which one to use when purchasing lumber?

The type of lumber you purchase will depend on what you want to use it for.

You should always consider the end-use and the quality that is needed for your project before purchasing lumber. If you are unsure, contact a local lumber dealer or woodworker to help you decide which type of lumber would be best for your project.

Why is a 2×4 not actually 2×4?

A 2×4 is actually 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches, so it’s a half-inch thick.

A 2×4 is not actually 2×4 because a “2” and a “4” are next to each other on the board (1+1=2).

How much smaller is nominal size lumber than actual size lumber?

Nominal size lumber is the size of a piece of lumber that is measured in inches. Actual size lumber is the actual measurements of a piece of lumber, not including any thickness or width.

Nominal Size Lumber: nominal size lumber is usually 2×4 or 2×6 and has an actual measurement of 3/4 inch by 4 1/2 inches (the height does not include the thickness).

Actual Size Lumber: actual size lumber has an actual measurement of 1-1/2 inch by 6 inches.

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What does 1×4 wood mean?

1X Board Lumber Sizes:

Two boards size 1×4 and 1×6 lose their thickness and width consequently 1/4 and 1/2 inch.

It means the 1×4 actual lumber size is 3/4 inches thickness and 3-1/2 inches width.

2X Board Lumber Sizes:

Two boards size 2×4 and 2×6 lose their thickness and width consequently 1/2 inch and 1/2 inch.

It means the 2×4 actual lumber size is 1-1/2 inches thickness and 3-1/2 inches width.

How much smaller is nominal size lumber than actual size lumber?

Nominal size lumber is the size of a piece of lumber that has been cut and branded for sale which is 1/4 inches smaller than the actual size lumber.

Actual size lumber is the actual width, height, and thickness of a piece of lumber.

What are the actual dimensions of a 2×6 piece of lumber?

It means a 2 x 6 board is actually 1-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches.

Conclusion

This chart provides a clear picture of the differences between nominal and actual lumber sizes.

The chart shows the difference between nominal and actual lumber sizes for dimensioned lumber, rough sawn lumber, dimensioned rough sawn lumber, rough sawn dimensions, square stock dimensions, round stock dimensions, quarter-sawn dimensions, and kiln-dried.

It is very important to know the actual size of the lumber. If you are a DIY enthusiast, then you must have known about the nominal vs actual lumber sizes chart.

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