Dimensional Lumber: A Cut Above The Rest

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When it comes to construction materials, there is a whole market of options to choose from. However, none can truly compare to the versatility and durability provided by dimensional lumber. Dimensional lumber is a type of wood product that is commonly used in construction due to its strength and ability to support even the heaviest of loads.

Dimensional Lumber FAQ

What Is Dimensional Lumber?

Dimensional lumber is a wood fiber that is cut to a specific thickness, width, and length based on predefined, standardized sizes. Common examples of dimensional lumber sizes include 2x4s and 4x4s.

Softwood dimensional lumber is derived from softwood trees, such as southern yellow pine, spruce-pine fir, Douglas fir, and hem fir. It is often used in wood-frame and platform-frame construction, including for walls, floors, and roofs.

What Is The Actual Size of Dimensional Lumber?

Dimensional lumber sizing can be somewhat confusing, as there is a difference between the nominal and actual dimensions of the lumber. The nominal dimensions exist in name only. The actual size of dimensional lumber is determined by using a tape measure or straight edge to measure the dimensions of the wood. A 2x4, for example, is an example of a nominal size. You can think of it as a nickname used to categorize lumber. The actual size of a 2x4 is 1 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches.

How To Determine the Actual Dimensions of Dimensional Lumber?

While measuring dimensional lumber or using a reference table is the best way to determine the actual dimensions of your lumber, there is a simple rule you can use to figure it out for yourself.

  • For lumber with a nominal size smaller than 1”: Subtract ¼”
  • For lumber with a nominal size larger than 2” but smaller than 8”: Subtract ½”
  • For lumber with a nominal size of 8” or larger: Subtract ¾”

What Are The Uses of Dimensional Lumber?

Dimensional lumber can be used for a wide range of construction, manufacturing, and industrial applications. Not only is it used in single-family and multi-family home construction, but it can also be used in crating and packaging, trusses, and concrete forms.

Where To Buy Dimensional Lumber?

It depends on the size of the project. If you’re an individual working on a DIY home renovation or woodworking project or a contractor looking for larger quantities of lumber for a big project, you can likely find dimensional lumber at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or a local lumber yard. If you’re a lumber supplier or manufacturer who needs a larger shipment of lumber, you can work with a lumber trader like AIFP who can leverage their relationship with mills to get you better prices and facilitate the delivery of the lumber.

Contact AIFP For Your Dimensional Lumber Needs!

If you’re ready to build, contact one of our experienced lumber representatives to get the ball on your build project rolling! However, if you still have some questions, check out our blog about AIFP’s specific dimensional lumber trading, or reach out and we can talk it through!

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