How to Size Wood Beams

Wood beams and faux wood beams are versatile materials for home renovation and construction projects. Sturdy, solid and available in a variety of sizes, wood beams can be used for fireplace mantles, archways and ceilings. Wood beams are commonly used to strengthen ceilings while offering a natural or rustic look. You can purchase wood beams in standard sizes, which vary widely, or order custom wood beams cut in extra-long and extra-wide sizes to suit your project. The shape of the wood beam makes it easy to handle, cut and measure. Using three quick steps, you can size a wood beam for your next DIY project.

  1. Measure the inside dimension of the wood beam. Using a measuring stick, measure the width of the wood beam. Lay the wood beam on a table, if necessary. For example, a 2-by-4 inch wood beam would measure 2 inches in width.

  2. Measure the length of the wood beam. Using a measuring stick, measure from the top far edge (lengthwise) of the wood beam to the bottom far edge. For example, a 2-by-14 inch wood beam would measure 14 inches in length.

  3. Determine the exact size. A wood beam that measure 2 inches in width and 12 inches in length has a measurement of 2-by-12.


  • Custom wood beams can extend beyond traditional sizes.