2×6 Lumber Weight by Wood Type & Length (Chart & Calculator)

By Jack Gray, Roof Online Editor • Last updated November 18, 2023

Introduction

Knowledge of material weights is extremely important when you’re planning to add things to a roof. You have to avoid structural loads that exceed the design strength of the roof.

I thought it would be helpful to have an easy way to look up the weight of 2×6 lumber, so I made this chart.

I looked up the densities for the various types of wood used to make dimensional lumber and performed some simple math (I explain the math below after the table) to generate the values presented in the table.

Then I checked the weight values I got against actual product data sheets published by lumber producers and retail stores like Home Depot to make sure my figures were accurate.

The following table provides the approximate weight (dead load, self-weight) of 2×6’s produced from the various wood species and in the various lengths normally used in building construction in the US.

The values given in the table are meant to provide a general idea of typical 2×6 weights, and should not be used if precise values are needed for critical engineering calculations. The weights are for air-dried lumber; kiln-dried lumber will weigh a little less, and green lumber can weigh a lot more.

When precision is necessary, always refer to the specification sheet for the actual, specific product you intend to use, or contact the technical department of the lumber producer or lumberyard.

You can see 2×6’s at the Home Depot. The approximate weights of the actual pieces of lumber for sale are often given in the product descriptions, so this can be a pretty good resource.

2×6 Lumber Weight Calculator

This calculator uses the data from the table below. It accepts inputs in decimals, so for a 10′ 6″ board, use 10.5, for a 10′ 3″ board, use 10.25, and so on.

2×6 Lumber Weight Calculator

Table: 2×6 Board Weight by Wood Type and Length

2×6 Weight by Wood Type and Length
(Average Dry Weight, 12% Moisture Content)
Type of Wood Length of 2×6 in Feet (2×6 × number of feet)
These are the most common wood types used in construction in North America. Weight
Per Foot
(2x6x1)
in Pounds
2x6x6 2x6x8 2x6x10 2x6x12 2x6x14 2x6x16
Pressure Treated Wood Pressure-Treated (Freshly Treated) 4.16 lb 24.96 lb 33.28 lb 41.60 lb 49.92 lb 58.24 lb 66.56 lb
Pressure-Treated (After Air Drying) 2.36 lb 14.16 lb 18.88 lb 23.60 lb 28.32 lb 33.04 lb 37.76 lb
Cedar Western Red Cedar 1.32 lb 7.92 lb 10.56 lb 13.20 lb 15.84 lb 18.48 lb 21.12 lb
Douglas Fir Douglas Fir (Coast Type) 1.95 lb 11.70 lb 15.60 lb 19.50 lb 23.40 lb 27.30 lb 31.20 lb
Douglas Fir (Mountain Type) 1.71 lb 10.26 lb 13.68 lb 17.10 lb 20.52 lb 23.94 lb 27.36 lb
Fir Noble Fir 1.49 lb 8.94 lb 11.92 lb 14.90 lb 17.88 lb 20.86 lb 23.84 lb
Subalpine Fir 1.32 lb 7.92 lb 10.56 lb 13.20 lb 15.84 lb 18.48 lb 21.12 lb
White Fir 1.49 lb 8.94 lb 11.92 lb 14.90 lb 17.88 lb 20.86 lb 23.84 lb
Hemlock Mountain Hemlock 1.89 lb 11.34 lb 15.12 lb 18.90 lb 22.68 lb 26.46 lb 30.24 lb
Western Hemlock 1.66 lb 9.96 lb 13.28 lb 16.60 lb 19.92 lb 23.24 lb 26.56 lb
Larch Western Larch 2.06 lb 12.36 lb 16.48 lb 20.60 lb 24.72 lb 28.84 lb 32.96 lb
Pine Lodgepole Pine 1.67 lb 10.02 lb 13.36 lb 16.70 lb 20.04 lb 23.38 lb 26.72 lb
Ponderosa Pine 1.60 lb 9.60 lb 12.80 lb 16 lb 19.20 lb 22.40 lb 25.60 lb
Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly) 2.18 lb 13.08 lb 17.44 lb 21.80 lb 26.16 lb 30.52 lb 34.88 lb
Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf) 2.34 lb 14.04 lb 18.72 lb 23.40 lb 28.08 lb 32.76 lb 37.44 lb
Southern Yellow Pine (Shortleaf) 2.18 lb 13.08 lb 17.44 lb 21.80 lb 26.16 lb 30.52 lb 34.88 lb
Southern Yellow Pine (Slash) 2.47 lb 14.82 lb 19.76 lb 24.70 lb 29.64 lb 34.58 lb 39.52 lb
Spruce Engelmann Spruce 1.32 lb 7.92 lb 10.56 lb 13.20 lb 15.84 lb 18.48 lb 21.12 lb
Sitka Spruce 1.60 lb 9.60 lb 12.80 lb 16 lb 19.20 lb 22.40 lb 25.60 lb
White Spruce 1.60 lb 9.60 lb 12.80 lb 16 lb 19.20 lb 22.40 lb 25.60 lb

2×6 Weight Factors

The weight of any board depends on the length and cross-sectional dimensions of the board, the moisture content of the wood, and which tree species the lumber was made from. Pressure-treating the wood with preservative will also result in a small amount of additional weight after the board has had time to dry out after the treatment process.

Green lumber has a higher moisture content than air-dried lumber, and air-dried lumber has a higher moisture content than oven-dried lumber.

A 10-foot-long air-dried 2×6 made out of Douglas Fir will weigh about 19 and a half pounds. A 10-foot-long air-dried 2×6 made out of Sitka Spruce only weighs around 16 pounds.

Pressure-treated 2×6’s are notoriously heavy when you find them at the store or lumber yard. This is because when you buy them, they have usually just been treated, or have only been drying out for a couple of weeks. The water weight added to the wood during the pressure-treating process can often cause freshly-treated boards to weigh around 75% more than the same, but untreated, boards.

This weight is temporary. The board will return (almost) to its original weight as it air-dries during the weeks or months after treatment.

In the end, the weight for treated wood will be approximately 0.4% to 1.5% more than the weight for untreated wood from the same tree species after drying.

Actual Dimensions of a 2×6

A 2×6 is not actually two inches by six inches, despite what it’s called. 2 inches by 6 inches are the nominal cross-sectional dimensions of the board.

The actual cross-sectional dimensions of a two-by-six are 1.5″ x 5.5″. And here’s why that is:

When a dimensional lumber board is first milled, it actually does have the approximate width and depth (the nominal dimensions) that the final piece of lumber will be called by.

After the first rough cut, a two-by-six is, in fact, about two inches by six inches.

The next step in the milling process is to either air-dry or, more commonly, kiln-dry the green lumber, in order to reduce the moisture content of the wood. This causes the boards to shrink, reducing the actual dimensions.

One reason this is done is to ensure that when the lumber is finished and sold its dimensions will be reasonably stable, and the board won’t continue to shrink significantly after the end user uses it (while framing a house, for instance).

After drying, the boards are finished by being planed and smoothed, and having their corners slightly rounded.

This reduces the actual dimensions even further; it also lets the lumber producer be certain that the final product has the dimensions required by industry standards. In the case of a 2×6, the industry standard is 1.5″ x 5.5″.

How to Calculate the Weight of a 2×6 Board

Step 1Determine the wood type. To determine lumber weight, you need to know what kind of wood the lumber is made from.

Step 2Look up the density of the wood. Once you know what type of wood you’re dealing with, look up the density of the wood in pounds per cubic foot. Weights of Various Woods Grown in the United States has an extensive table of wood species you can refer to, or there are plenty of other resources on the internet with the same information.

Step 3Calculate the volume in cubic inches of a one-foot-long 2×6. This value will be used to figure out what percentage of a cubic foot a 1-foot-long 2×6 is. Since a 2×6 is 1.5 inches by 5.5 inches, a one-foot-long 2×6 will have a volume in cubic inches of 1.5 inches x 5.5 inches x 12 inches, or 99 cubic inches.

Step 4Find what percentage of a cubic foot the volume of a one-foot-long 2×6 is. A cubic foot is equal to 12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches, or 1,728 cubic inches. A 2×6 is 99 cubic inches per foot. 99 is 1/17.4545 of 1,728, or 5.7292% of a cubic foot (99/1728 x 100 = 5.7292).

Step 5Find 5.7292% of the density in pounds per cubic foot of the wood species your 2×6 is made from. Let’s say you’re trying to figure out the weight of a board made out of western hemlock. You look up the density of western hemlock and see that it’s 29 pounds per cubic foot. Multiply 29 pounds by 0.057292 to get 1.661458 pounds. This is the weight per foot of a 2×6 made from western hemlock.

Step 6Multiply by the length of the 2×6. If your board is 10 feet long, multiply 10 by 1.661458 to get 16.61458 pounds. We’d round this to 16.60 pounds to be practical.

And there you go, a 10-foot western hemlock 2×6 weighs 16.60 pounds.

References for 2×6 Weight

1. Weights of Various Woods Grown in the United States – Forest Products Laboratory, United States Forest Service, USDA
2. Wood Handbook, Wood as an Engineering Material – Forest Products Laboratory, United States Forest Service, USDA
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