In one of the labs I worked in, the procedure was to file the negatives in a clear plastic page (Print File, I believe), and then to place the page in an 11x14 contact printer, the kind that looks like a picture frame. The contact sheet was made on 11x14 paper, and cut to 8 1/2 x 11 in the finishing room.

Yes, it used more paper, but none had to be redone because of misalignment of paper and negatives, when working under a very dim safelight, or in some of the darkrooms, in total darkness.

(We actually had a customer who demanded that we dodge and burn individual frames in a 35mm contact sheet...but that is a story for another time!)