# What are the actual dimensions of a 4x4?

• Nominal vs. Actual Measurements of Dimension Lumber

``````Nominal **Size** **Actual Size**   2 x 12 1 1/2 x 11 1/4 inches (38 x 286 mm)   4 x 4 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (89 x 89 mm)   4 x 6 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches (89 x 140 mm)   6 x 6 5 1/2 x 5 12 inches (140 x 140 mm)
``````

• The lumber industry defines standard wood post sizes as 4x4 or 6x6. The outside dimensions of the standard 4x4 measure 3-1/2 x 3-1/2, and the outside dimensions of the standard 6x6 measure 5-1/2 x 5-1/2.

Subsequently, question is, how wide is a 2 by 4? A piece of surfaced (sanded smooth) 2x4 lumber actually measures 1½ inches thick and 3½ inches wide. In rough-cut condition, a 2x4 is slightly less than 2 inches thick and approximately 4 inches wide. When wood is milled from a rough to a smooth surface, it loses about ¼-inch from each of its four sides.

Similarly one may ask, what size is 4/4 lumber?

Also in North America, hardwood lumber is commonly sold in a quarter system, when referring to thickness; 4/4 (four quarter) refers to a 1-inch-thick (25 mm) board, 8/4 (eight quarter) is a 2-inch-thick (51 mm) board, etc.

Why is a 2x4 not 2 inches by 4 inches?

Dimensional lumber is the general name for framing lumber. Now, most timber is milled and planed to give it a little more of a finished look, and a little more of a consistent size and profile. Because of this extra milling, a 2x4 no longer measures a full 2 inches by four inches.

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