Coastal Products - Product Directory

Types and Grades of Coast Lumber

Construction Grades

Coast mills produce a wide range of products in Construction grades. It is not uncommon to manufacture to client’s in-house standards. There are some specialty products such as siding and decking produced from the knotty fiber. However, the greatest volume of construction lumber is manufactured to one of the three grading rules (NLGA, Coast Forest or PLIB) described previously. The choice of rule normally will depend on the intended end use of the product. Specifically, whether a structural product with known engineering properties is required or whether the wood is intended for remanufacture or general construction where strength is not critical. The type of construction lumber graded under each of the rules is described below. The grades are summarized in Table 4 and illustrated on pages 18 to 25.

NLGA – For rough or dressed lumber, unseasoned or kiln dried, all species and all sizes from nominal 2″x2″ to 12″x12″. All structural lumber is stress graded and intended for use in the size shipped (except for cross cutting for length). NLGA stock can be remanufactured into smaller cross sections but not without invalidating the grade and strength ratings. It is the most common grading rule used. The stress grades are those developed for the North American housing and construction markets.

Coast Forest-JPS 1 – Only for the metric sizes of Hem-Fir (N) used in post and beam housing. There is one grade (E 120). All lumber manufactured to this standard is stress graded with known engineering properties. Not normally available in thickness greater than 120mm.

PLIB R-List – For rough or dressed lumber, unseasoned or kiln dried, all species and all sizes up to 12″x12″. Often specified if lumber is to be remanufactured into smaller sizes or used as is for non-structural applications.

Table 4. Construction Grades

Grade Rule Grade Description and Recommended Use
NLGA Light Framing General framing lumber in size up to 4″x4″.
Standard and Better Studs, plates and rafters in wood frame construction. Also used for general construction.
Utility Studs, blacking, bracing in wood frame construction. Also used for general and/or temporary construction plus packaging, pallets and other industrial uses.
Structural Light Framing and Joists and Planks Stress graded lumber intended for structurally designed applications. Up to 4″ in thickness and 12″ in width.
No2 and Better Structural members in wood frame or general construction where high strength properties are required such as joists, rafters, trusses and beams.
No.3 General construction where appearance and high strength are not critical as well as industrial/remanufacturing uses such as packaging and pallets.
Coast Forest JPS1 E-120 Stress graded metric-sized structural lumber intended for post and beam residential house construction. Also suited for a wide range of industrial applications.
PLIB R-List Merchantable Lumber Construction type lumber intended for use as is where structural design stresses are not required and/or where it is to be remanufactured and re-graded to other grading rules.
Select Merchantable and No.1 Merchantable Intended for remanufacturing and/or general construction where a sound, strong, good quality of knotty wood fiber is desired.
No.2 Merchantable Similar to Select and No.1 grades except allowing slightly larger knots and other growth characteristics.
No.3 Merchantable A Utility type grade suitable for temporary construction and industrial remanufacturing.

Table 5. Standard North American Sizes of Surfaced Lumber

Thickness Width
Nominal(in.) Actual Metric Equivalent(mm)* Nominal(in.) Actual Metric Equivalent(mm)*
Dry(in.) Unsea-soned(in.) Dry(in.) Unsea-soned(in.)
1 1-1/2 3/4 20 3 2-1/2 2-9/16 64
2 2-1/2 1-9/16 38 4 3-1/2 3-9/16 89
3 3-1/2 1-9/16 64 5 4-1/2 4-5/8 114
4   1-9/16 89 6 5-1/2 5-5/8 140
        7 6-1/2 6-5/8 165
        8 7-1/4 7-1/2 184
        10 9-1/4 9-1/2 235
        12 11-1/4 11-1/2 286

*Metric Equivalent Relates to Dry Dimensions

Table 6. Standard North American Sizes of Unseasoned Lumber

Thickness x Width(mm) Metric Equivalent(mm)* Width Metric Equivalent(mm)*
7/8 22 4 102
1 25 5 127
1-3/4 44 6 152
1-7/8 48 7 178
2 51 8 203
2-1/2 64 9 229
3 76 10 254
4 102 11 279
5 127 12 305
6 152 14 356
8 203    
9 229    
10 254    
11 279    
12 305    
14 356    

Table 7. Standard Metric Sizes of Unseasoned and Kiln Dried Lumber for Post and Beam Housing

Sawn Surfaced Four Sides (S4S)
Thickness x Width(mm) Metric Equivalent(mm)
20×120, 150 30×90, 105
25×75 and wider 45×45, 60,75,90,105
33×115 90×90
38×95 and wider 105×105
50×75,95,100,108,114 120×120
95×95
100×100
114×114
125×125

Table 8. Large Size Timbers

Grades Recommended Uses
Beams and Stringers(Rectangular Timbers)
No.1 and Better Bridges, desk, warehouses and all heavy construction where superior strength is required. Exposed framing where fine appearance is demanded. Graded primarily for members stressed in bending but also used as tension and compression members.
No.2 Structural Ranks only slightly below Select Structural in strength and appearance. Similar uses where high strength is required but appearance is less important.
Standard General construction and mine timbering.
Utility Temporary heavy construction and shoring.
Posts and Timbers(Square Timbers)
No.1 and Better Columns, Posts and struts in heavy construction such as warehouses, docks and other large structures where superior strength is required. Exposed framing where fine appearance is demanded. Graded for structural members in compression parallel to grain but may also be used in tension or bending.
No.2 Structural Ranks only slightly below Select Structural. Similar uses where high strength is required but appearance is less important. Graded primarily for structural members parallel to grain but may also be used in tension or bending.
Standard General construction and mine timbering.
Utility Temporary heavy construction and shoring.

Big news! Coast Forest and COFI have come together as one
organization for a stronger, unified voice for BC's forest industry.
This website is no longer being updated.

Please visit BC Council of Forest Industries for more information on BC forestry.

Close window