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2×4 Actual Size

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Dont be confused by nominal board dimensions when you buy lumber or read plans. For example a 2×4 is actually 1 12 by 3 12 in size while a 1×6 board when measured.

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If you can stop someone in the store to help explain the inconsistency theyll start throwing around a few words like nominal sizes and actual sizes and softwood lumber and hardwood lumber.

2×4 actual size. Because a nominal 2×4 board is really 1 12 inches by 3 12 inches. Usually there is 12 inch difference in measurements over 2 inches and 14 inch in measurements less than 2 inches. It doesnt take too much experience before you learn that the actual sizes of dimension lumber are quite different than the nominal sizes by which they are classified.

This measurement refers to the thickness and width of the lumber and the length varies. In reality these measurements are not a true measurement of the lumber thickness or width. Where the exact length matters one must specify the length explicitly.

We recognize such sizes as 2×4 2×6 4×4 1×2 etc. The term stud is used inconsistently to specify length. Something doesnt quite match up.

Lumber depth and width are typically given in nominal dimensions but those arent the true sizes. We show you the quick translation to actual numbers including 2×4. For an eight nine or ten foot ceiling height studs are available in 92 58 inches 235 cm 104 58 inches 266 cm and 116 58 inches 296 cm.

2x4s are not actually 2 inches by 4 inches. When the inch symbol is used is lumber measurements it indicates that you are referring to the actual size. This chart shows the nominal in name only and corresponding actual real dimensions of common wood sizes like 24 dimensions and 14 lumber.

When the board is first rough sawn from the log it is a true 2×4 but the drying process and planing of the board reduce it to the finished 15×35 size. The true measurement of a 2×4 is actually about 15×35. Measure the actual width and thickness of a pine board like a 2×4 and then look at the sign above the rack.

This high quality lumber is ideal for a wide range of structural and nonstructural applications including framing of houses barns shed and commercial construction. Which means for example three 2×4 boards laid side by side will not measure a foot across. Here are the common sizes of lumber and their actual sizes.

Kiln dried heat treated dimensional lumber meets the highest grading standards for strength and appearance. Every piece of 2 in. Thus the nominal size of the lumber you purchase is different from the actual size.

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Dont be confused by nominal board dimensions
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