• The Wave - Siberian Larch

Tongue and Groove Cladding – Tips, Advice, and How to Install

The “profile” of timber cladding describes how the panels fit together. Selecting the right cladding profile for your project can make all the difference. Both aesthetically and functionally, different profiles have unique benefits and charm.

Continuing our series on different timber cladding profiles, this article delves into some tips and advice when using tongue and groove cladding.

To gauge a comparison, check out our recent guides on shiplap, feather edge, and waney edge cladding and discover which profile best suits your requirements.

For help choosing the right profile, do not hesitate to get in touch with our expert team here at NORclad. With a wealth of experience designing and installing timber cladding on buildings of all shapes and sizes, we are perfectly positioned to help you get the most out of cladding.

What is Tongue and Groove Cladding?

A tongue and groove profile describes two panels that fit perfectly together. One side of a panel will have a “tongue” feature that slots into a complementary “groove” shape.

The result is a sleek, contemporary finish that creates a seamless connection between the panels.

As the panels physically connect to each other, installation is often easier and requires less expertise. As a result, tongue and groove profiles are often popular for self-build projects like sheds or garden offices.

The tongue and groove profile can create both striking interiors and exterior finishes and is suited to all sorts of timber species.

The Wave - Siberian Larch 2

Tips for Using Tongue and Groove Cladding

Below, we’ve outlined a few tips and ideas to help you get the most from your cladding.

Shiplap or V-Groove Profiles

We often get asked what is better, shiplap or tongue and groove cladding.

Technically, shiplap is a type of tongue and groove profile, with a curved top edge to support surface run off. When people think of tongue and groove, they often picture a more traditional V-groove profile, with a squarer finish compared to shiplap, creating a more uniform wall.

Shiplap and tongue and groove are similar in appearance, but the subtleties may dictate which profile is best suited to your project. Generally speaking, due to the additional surface run-off, shiplap is often preferred for certain exterior projects or where buildings will be exposed to the elements. In contrast, V-groove may be preferred for its aesthetic charm.  


The tongue and groove profile is well suited to a range of timber species. View our range of timber cladding online to find a species that best reflects your requirements. From Siberian Larch, Canadian Western Red Cedar, or European Redwood, through to the Engineered Abodo range.

The timber species selected for a project is also likely to have the biggest impact on overall price, compared to something like cladding profile. For understanding how the profile would impact price, it is best to request a quote based on your overall requirements to understand how different aspects compare. This will ensure you find the best solution within your budget. Our team here at NORclad can also work with you to help you get the most for your money when it comes to timber cladding and help provide you with a cost breakdown so you understand where your money goes.


As well as the timber species selected, any finishing stains or paints can also have a defining impact on the overall appearance of your tongue and groove cladding.

Our NORclad Brunnea treatment involves a process that impregnates wood cladding with a blend of preservative and Brunnea pigment. The result is cladding that holds its original colour for longer, as well as protecting against fungus and rot.

Our Lite treatment offers wood protection without any pigmentation so allows wood to naturally weather to a silvery grey.

Vertical and Horizonal

The beauty of a profile like tongue and groove is that because the panels fit seamlessly together, there is no top or bottom. As a result, tongue and groove lends itself perfectly for both vertical and horizonal cladding.

Particularly for use indoor, vertical cladding is often desired and can contribute to stunning feature walls. Similarly, this ability to use vertically makes tongue and groove a great option for ceiling cladding too. This is worth noting, especially for commercial buildings, in which it is often desired to have a connection between the exterior and interior. Having cladding that seamlessly wraps around a building and then continues inside can create a truly remarkable building.

For the adventurous type, there is no reason why tongue and groove couldn’t be used for diagonal cladding as well.


We would always recommend professional installation to maintain the highest standards for any profile. Features such as secret fixings and associated profiles can also be discussed.

Before any installation, you may also want to consider trims and corners, ensuring these are carefully designed to maximise their impact. On certain projects, this may require bespoke features to best complement the design and character of the chosen profile.

NORclad’s Tongue and Groove Cladding

If you are looking to get the most out of timber cladding, get in touch with NORclad, the South West’s premier supplier of quality timber cladding.

With over 40 years’ experience sourcing, supplying and advising on timber cladding, our specialist team work with architects, project managers, contractors and more to create truly remarkable buildings.

From tongue and groove, to waney edge, to completely bespoke profiles, our team are here to help. All our cladding products can also be supplied with either FSC or PEFC Chain of Custody Certification. Sustainability lies at the heart of our company’s values and we ensure quality, ethically sourced timber for all our customers, helping support the movement for building projects with lower carbon emissions.

Get inspired by our case studies or request a quote today to get started.

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If you’re stuck for inspiration and want to see working examples of our expertise, feel free to browse through our case studies.

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2020-12-24T09:38:40+00:00December 8th, 2020|

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