Do Tires Get Taller When Inflated?

Picture of inflated tire. Do Tires Get Taller When Inflated?

Have you ever wondered do tires get taller when inflated? It’s a valid question – after all, it seems like common sense that they would. However, the answer is a little more complicated than you might think.

Flat tires and tires without air will get taller when they are inflated, but they will only get as tall as the tire was intended and manufactured to be.

In this article, we will explore the science behind tire inflation and whether or not tires actually get taller when you pump them up!

Do Tires Get Taller When Inflated?

Tire Composition

To understand the asnwer to do tires get taller when inflated, we first need to understand a bit about how they are made.

Tires are composed of two main parts – the carcass and the tread. The carcass is the innermost layer of the tire and is responsible for supporting the weight of the vehicle. The tread is the outermost layer of the tire and provides traction on various surfaces.

Now that we know a bit about the anatomy of a tire, let’s take a closer look at how they are inflated. When you add air to a tire, it goes into the carcass – not the tread.

Tire Tread

The tread of a tire is designed so that when the tire is properly inflated to its designed pressure, the tread makes the maximum amount of contact with the ground. This allows the tire to perform at its best in terms of providing the maximum amount of traction and wear.

When inflating a tire, the tire will raise in height proportionally to the size it has been made into. The sidewall is what gives a tire its height, and its size is measured as a proportion of the width of the tire.

This means that each tire has a defined height and width.

Tire Inflation

Properly inflating the tire is very important to ensure its safety and that it performs optimally and as intended. Make sure to always check your tire pressure and inflate to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

Overinflation of the tire is never recommended as it can cause the tire to wear prematurely and may even lead to blowouts. Luckily a tire blowout is very unlikely as most tire inflators aren’t able to inflate a tire enough for it to blowout, which happens at around 200psi!

If a tire is overinflated, it will begin to deform and the tire will begin to ride along the centre of the tread. This means that over inflating a tire will make the tire ever so slightly taller than it should be, leading to a smaller contact patch with the ground, and a decrease in performance.

Under inflation of the tire is also not recommended as it can cause the tire to overheat, which can lead to tread separation and blowouts.

So, what does this all mean? Well, it means that while tires without air will get taller while they are being inflated, they will only get as tall as the tire was intended and manufactured to be.

The only time this is not true is when they are overinflated, which causes the centre of the tread to bulge ever so slightly due to the extra pressure. Inflation of a flat tire will also lead to the expansion of the carcass causing the tire to bulge outwards, making it wider but not necessarily taller.


So, there you have it! Now you know a bit more about how tires are made and the answer to do tires get taller when inflated, which is that they are all made to be a specific height when inflated. This height is determined as a ratio and percentage of the tires width, which is found on the sidewall.

Next time someone asks you if tires get taller when inflated, you can confidently tell them the answer and how it comes down to the tires specific size when constructed and its air pressure.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!

How do I work out a tires height?

To work out the height of the tire, simply multiply the sidewall ratio by the tires width and add the size of the wheel rim.

How long does it take to inflate a tire?

To inflate a completely flat tire takes approximately 2-3 minutes. This will vary on the tire inflator that you are using.

To fill a tire that is low on air, takes approximately 20-30 seconds