Lumber is a term widely used in the United States, while timber is typically utilized in the rest of the world. It is a type of processed wood that has been transformed into planks and beams, which is a stage in the wood production process.

Lumber is either supplied as rough-sawn or surfaced on one or multiple faces. Lumber is widely used for furniture making, as well as for some other items that may require some added reshaping and cutting of the lumber. Lumber is found in several species, mostly in the form of hardwoods. However, it is found in softwoods as well, such as in white and red pine, due to their affordability. The finished product is available in various lumber types and is supplied in standard sizes, most of it for use in the construction industry. Softwood, pine, spruce and fir (which is also known as the spruce-pine-fir hemlock) and cedar are the most common,  but some hardwood is also used in high-quality flooring.

Dimensional lumber, one of the most popular forms of lumbers used in various industries, is widely available in predetermined sizes. If you are planning to buy dimensional lumber, you need to first decide which project you are planning to use it for. As it is usually available in specific sizes, you should buy the most suitable dimensional lumber for your project. Let’s look further into the most common lumber sizes and their respective uses. 

1. Outdoor Stools and Canopies

4 X 4 and 6 X 6 size boards are used as studs in remodelling or nailing work. In addition, they are also applied to form the surfaces and tops of small tables or stools. Such items are often used to put up outdoor canopies, or they can also be used to reach particularly high locations. Some other applications of this type of lumber are construction mounts for mailboxes and structures to hold latticework.

2. Framing of Walls

For creating the framework of a room or house, 2 X 4 dimension lumber is widely used, especially in construction or remodeling projects. It can be used for framing cabinets, doors, walls or even for ceiling installation. In creating the frame, 1 X 2 dimension lumber is also a popular choice. When it comes to nailing the wall boards, lumber in sizes of 4 X 4 and 6 X 6 are widely in use.

3. Flooring and Ceiling

For floors and ceilings, boards measuring 6 x 12 or 8 X 12 are used. These can make sturdy surfaces when the flooring joists are already in place. For heavy-duty areas, you may have to use smaller 4 X 4s or 6 X 6s pieces to make the frames and brackets. You can also use metal brackets in the corners to help hold the ceiling. Since metal frames do not rot, they give adequate support to the ceiling.  

4. Hardwood Floors

In addition to common flooring, dimensional lumber is also used in the installation of hardwood flooring. However, if you are planning to use dimensional lumber for hardwood floors, you will have to place a special order for it, as it is not easily available in the open market. Many people opt for rough lumber in place of treated lumber for their hardwood flooring needs, as it offers a more natural elegance.

5. Furniture and Cabinets

Dimensional lumber can be used to make different kinds of furniture and cabinets. Most of the large cabinets and dressers use the larger planks of dimensional lumber. You can order the dimensional lumber based on the size of furniture you want to build. Decorative mouldings or mirrors and glasses can be added to the cabinet to give it a more finished look. The furniture can also be polished or painted to further enhance the appearance.

6. Wall Panelling

Dimensional lumber is popularly used for wood panelling. You can use both wide and narrow plank sizes for these, depending on the kind of panelling you want to install. Similar to floors, planks of 6 X 12 or 8 X 12 are used to make wall panelling. The wider the planks, the better the finish they give to the walls.

There are many ways that dimensional lumber makes your life better and comfortable. You just need to understand in which ways and in which places it can be used. Therefore, be prudent in selecting the right lumber for your project and you will be amazed at its appeal and durability.