Types of Lumber Glossary

Lumber:  Logs which have been sawn, planed, and cut to length; a manufacture product derived from a log in a saw mill, or in a sawmill and planing mill. Which when rough shall have been sawed, edged and trimmed at least to the extent of showing saw marks in the wood on the four longitudinal surfaces of each piece for its overall length, and which has not been further manufactured other than by cross-cutting, ripping, resawing, joining crosswise and/or endwise in a flat plane, surfacing with or without end matching and working.


Factory and Shop Lumber Lumber –  intended to be cut up for use in further manufacture. It is graded on the percentage of the area that will produce a limited number of cuttings of a specified minimum size and quality.

Matched Lumber Lumber –  that is edge dressed and shaped to make a close tongued-and-grooved joint at the edges or ends when laid edge to edge or end to end.

Nominal Size –  As applied to lumber, the size by which it is known and sold in the market, often differs from the actual size.

Patterned Lumber Lumber  that is shaped to a pattern or to a molded form in addition to being dressed, matched, or shiplapped, or any combination of these workings.

Rough Lumber –  Lumber that has not been surfaced but has been sawed, edged, and trimmed.

Shiplapped Lumber –  Lumber that is edge dressed to make a lapped joint.

Side Lumber –  A board from the outer portion of the log; originally one produced when squaring off a log for a tie or timber.

Structural Lumber –  Lumber that is intended for use where allowable properties are required. The grading of structural lumber is based on the strength or stiffness of the piece as related to anticipated uses.

Surfaced Lumber –  Lumber that is dressed by running it through a planer.

Yard Lumber –  Lumber of all sizes and patterns that is intended for general building purposes having no design property requirements.

Lumber for Dimension –  The National Dimension Manufacturers Associated defines both hardwood and softwood dimension components as being cut to a specific size from kiln-dried rough lumber, cants, or logs.