What is Common Board

What is Common Board? (Pros & Cons)

When browsing the lumber section at your local home improvement store, there are tons of types of wood. From plywood, to treated lumber, to common board – there are tons of options.

In this guide, I’ll explain what common board is and if it’s a good option for your next project!


Common board is a cheaper wood that is typically a pine board that’s great for a variety of DIY projects. While it’s not the most durable wood out there, it’s great for basic projects.

What is Common Board?

Common board is a type of wood ideal for beginners who want to take on woodworking projects without breaking the bank.

Most big box stores carry common boards as their most affordable wood that’s perfect for beginners. They’re typically pine boards and are softwood, which is ideal for many projects both inside and outside.

If you want dimensional lumber in 1×2 or 1×3, you often can’t get it with common board, so keep that in mind.

But overall, the rustic character and malleable construction can make them the ideal wood for your next project.

Wondering how much weight a 2×4 can hold? Check out this guide to learn more!

What Are Common Boards Used For?

Common board can be used for a variety of projects big or small. I’ve used it for plenty of DIY projects over the years and it works great and doesn’t cost a fortune. Here are a few ideas of what you can use common board for.

  • Tables: You can build side tables for the entryway or picnic tables outside.
  • Chairs: You might construct tiny chairs for kids to sit in or picnic chairs for an outside table.
  • Boxes: You can create little wooden boxes for decorative purposes in your home.
  • Desks: You can make desks to display small decorations or serve as learning spaces.
  • Shelving: You can create shelving to hold decoration, for example, a vase of flowers.
  • Cabinets: You can construct cabinets and cabinet doors for your dishes and spices.

It’s critical to note that common board is not as strong as more expensive, treated pieces. You shouldn’t try to make something that needs to hold a ton of weight. They’re not as durable as hardwoods like walnut, birch, or oak.

What Kind of Wood is Common Board?

In most cases, common board is a type of pine board. However, it can vary and I’ve seen some spruce or fir woods used as common board as well.

How Much is Common Board?

Common boards are often cheaper than other hardwood and softwood options.

Of course, this affordability can mean you are stuck with more defects. However, it’s possible to paint or stain over the faults without spending too much time or money.

Here are a few examples of Home Depot common board prices you can find. It’s important to note that prices of common board can change daily depending on the current cost of lumber.

  • $7.58 a piece for 1 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. Premium Kiln-Dried Square Edge Whitewood Common Board
  • $11.42 a piece for 1 in. x 6 in. x 8 ft. Square Edge Spruce Common Board
  • $11.87 a piece for 1 in. x 6 in. x 12 ft. Premium Tongue and Groove Pattern Whitewood Board

I love using common board on my experimental projects that I’m not too sure about yet because of how affordable they are.

Where Can You Get Common Board?

Common board is simple to find at almost any home improvement store including Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards, and your local lumber yard.

They often make common boards out of materials in the area. For most stores, that ends up being pine. However, common wood can be a variety of materials.

What Does Common Board Look Like?

Common wood comes in many sizes, shapes, and colors. It’s often made of pine, but it can vary depending on availability.


Here are a few characteristics often noticeable in common board:

  • Size: Common wood only comes in the 1×4 size. Typically you can’t purchase anything smaller than that.
  • Shape: Although not all are flawed, some types of common wood are warped. This fact makes them even cheaper to put your money into a project.
  • Texture: Many common planks of wood have flaws, such as knots or scratches on the surface. Again, not every piece of wood is the same, so do some searching when buying lumber.

Pros and Cons of Common Board


Common board has a few advantages over other types of wood. Here are a few of the biggest pros that come with common wood:

  • It’s affordable: Common wood is more affordable than premium wood products without a lack of quality.
  • It’s decent quality: Most common wood you find might not be pretty, but it will work well for the project you want to try out. A low price with decent material is the ideal combination.
  • It’s workable: It’s simple to work with common wood, even for beginners with no experience.


If you want to weigh your options, it’s critical to look at both sides. Here are a few of the cons that come with common wood:

  • There can be more defects: With common wood, you can find pieces riddled with issues.
  • You get what you get: The material common wood is is whatever is in the area at the time. There’s nothing specific.
  • It doesn’t come small: If you need a 1×2 board, you won’t find it in common wood. You will have to cut down the piece to your liking, as they come in 1×4 as a minimum size.

Of course, the type of wood you invest in depends on what you want to make and how much experience you have under your belt. Are you an experienced woodworker or just starting? It’s up to you to determine your comfort level.

Final Thoughts

Common board is a type of wood that is typically made of pine and readily available at most home improvement stores.

It’s very affordable and a great choice for beginner woodworkers or for simple projects that don’t require extreme strength.