What is Tongue and Groove Boarding? A Comprehensive Guide

What is Tongue and Groove Boarding? A Comprehensive Guide

Tongue and Groove Boarding: What is it?

Tongue and groove boarding is a traditional building method that has been used for centuries in the UK construction industry. This system creates a secure and seamless connection between wooden boards, making it a popular choice for both interior and exterior applications. One of its most notable uses is in cladding or panelling.

The process of tongue and groove cladding involves cutting a tongue into one piece of wood and a groove into another, allowing the two pieces to interlock. This technique, also known as "match-profiling” or match boarding, and results in a strong and durable connection.

It not quite as simple as this, though, there are a few things to consider. The joint is not only designed to make an affective and secure connection but is also to allow for the movement of the wood.

Wood moves due to is hygroscopic nature, it will take on moisture and release it based on the environment that it is in, this results in shrinkage (dry with little moisture) and expansion (wet, moist).

This changes the dimensions of the boards, the joint, allows for this movement to a) prevent bowing, as the boards force against each other when expanding and b) to avoid visible gaps between when the shrink.

Correctly made the joint, the tongue and groove, will handle this movement as long as the groove is not too tight or loose, there is a gap between the end of the tongue and the back of the groove. The tolerances are dependant on; the wood species, some move more than others. The moisture content at the time of machining, this is often over looked and can lead to major issues. The intended use or application, inside, outside, wet/dry environment. The size of the boards, wider boards will need more tolerance for movement.

Tongue and groove joint wood

We cove the effects of moisture in wood in a separate article. Click here for more.

Alternative Joints to Tongue and Groove With Panelling or Cladding

There are other ways to join boards together but they are not as affective for a number of reasons. If you simply butt joint two boards you must leave a gap between this can be unsightly and the gap size will change based on the movement described above. You can lap joint, so not a full groove but overlap the boards, this is ok but not as stable.

You can join the boards together and glue them – not a good idea! The boards will move and the panel that you have joined will split, twist and bow. There are ways of joining full panels but this is complex and there are lots to consider, direction of grain, board widths, thickness, overall size, moisture and more.

What is a Tongue and Groove Joint used for?

A tongue and groove joint is a mechanical joint that connects two wooden boards together. The joint is created by a tongue on one board that fits into a groove on the other board. This joint is commonly used in the construction of walls, cladding, panelling, floors, and ceilings, but it can also be used for other applications, such as furniture pieces and cabinets.

What is the Difference between Shiplap and Tongue and Groove?

Shiplap and tongue and groove are both types of joints used to connect two wooden boards together. The main difference between shiplap and tongue and groove is that shiplap joints are created by overlapping the edges of the boards, while tongue and groove joints are created by interlocking the tongue and groove of the boards. Shiplap is typically splayed to disperse and water and avoid this running into the groove, it also provides a decorative finish.


Exploring the Different Types and Variations of Tongue-and-Groove

The tongue-and-groove joint is a versatile type of joinery that can be used in a variety of applications. From flooring to doors. Often used in the restoration of historic buildings, this joint can be found in many different types and variations.

It can be seen or search for in different ways some examples include: Tongue-and-Groove, Tongue and Groove, Tongue & Groove, Tongue in Groove, T&G V Groove, T&G V Groove Cladding, V Groove Door, V Groove Board, V Groove Boards, V Groove Cladding, V Joint Tongue and Groove, V Tongue and Groove, V-Groove Board, V-Groove Boards, V-Groove Cladding, V-Groove Tongue and Groove, Tooth and Groove, Tongue and Groove, Tung and Groove.

When you see the “V” this indicated the this there is a ‘v’ affect between the boards. Affectively breaking the joint.


There are other decorative ways to mould and create a feature to the boarding. All create a unique and interesting feature to any façade.

Flooring is often TG, tongue and groove, but nearly always flush.


The Benefits of Tongue-and-Groove Non-Wood Derivatives

Tongue-and-groove non-wood derivatives offer a range of benefits when used in construction, restoration, and home improvement projects. From cladding to panelling, these materials offer a range of advantages over traditional wood-based products.

Exterior Cladding

Exterior cladding provides a durable, weather-resistant layer that adds an extra layer of protection to your home. Cladding is available in a range of materials such as metal and fibre cement, which are all resistant to rot, insects, and fire. They are also minimal maintenance and easy to install, making them a popular choice for homeowners and contractors.

Interior Panelling

Interior panelling is a great way to add warmth and character to a room. Non-wood derivatives such as MDF and PVC are popular choices for interior panelling, as they are easy to install and maintain.

Durability and Longevity

Non-wood derivatives are known for their durability and longevity, making them a great choice for high-traffic areas or areas exposed to the elements. They are also resistant to rot, insects, and fire, and require less maintenance than traditional wood-based products.

That said they are less stainable, adaptable and not as natural, warm and attractive as wood.

How Custom Mouldings and Match Profiles Help Restore Heritage Buildings

Custom mouldings and match profiles are essential for restoring heritage buildings. By creating a perfect match between the original woodwork and the replacement pieces, custom mouldings and match profiles ensure that the restoration is as authentic as possible.

They also ensure that the restoration is as strong and durable as possible, as the custom-made pieces are designed to fit seamlessly with the original woodwork.

At Wooduchoose, we specialize in creating custom mouldings and match profiles for heritage buildings, ensuring that the restoration is as authentic as possible.

We work closely with architects, builders, and homeowners to create the perfect match for any project, and our expertise in sourcing the perfect wood species ensures that the finished product is both authentic and durable.

Offering the unique ability to obtain instant guide pricing for any made-to-measure, tongue and groove or cladding profile.

We help you to match, copy or replicate any TG board and we connect you to the best manufacturers, millworkers and moulding suppliers to ensure your floor board, planning profile or T&G boarding is made to match exactly. Plus we have hundreds of standard profiles that are completely customisable. Click here for more.

So, if you are planning a restoration project for a heritage or listed building, and you have wooden elements to match, we can help. With our custom mouldings and match profiles, we can help you bring your heritage building back to life, while preserving its historical integrity.


In conclusion, tongue-and-groove cladding is a traditional, effective, and versatile method of joining wood that has been used for centuries. With the help of custom mouldings and match profiles, restoring heritage buildings has never been easier. Non-wood derivatives offer some benefits in terms of stability and cost but wood is the only choice if we want to be environmentally responsible.

At Wooduchoose, we specialise in providing custom mouldings and match-profiles for all types of tongue and groove cladding projects. For inspiration or to match your tongue and groove, wood cladding or panelling profile we have loads of options.





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Posted on Sunday 26 February 2023 at 11:21

Tags: Bespoke Quotes Made to Match Mouldings Wood Products    Share: twitter facebook linkedin
Paul Hayman Author: Paul Hayman

Paul’s background is from the construction and timber industries. Owning and running, innovative companies in those sectors helped him to hone his passion for IT.

Read more blogs by Paul Hayman


Paul Hayman

Paul Hayman
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