Types of Tongue and Groove Joints [Explained for Beginners]

Tongue and groove joints are one of the most commonly used types of joints in woodworking. There are several different ways to create these joints, but they all require precise measurements that must be cut with an accurate saw.

Tongue and groove joint can be created on either edge of a board leaving both surfaces smooth, or on just one side which leaves a tongue sticking out for easier assembly. 

types of tongue and groove joint

This blog post will discuss the various types of tongue and groove joints as well as some tips on making them properly!

Types of Tongue and Groove

Tongue-and-groove is a woodworking technique that utilizes an interlocking joint between boards or planks. There are basically four types of tongue and groove joints, such are-

  1. Solid tongue and Groove
  2. Tongue in Grooves (aka Slip Tongue and Groove Joints)
  3. Shiplap tongue and groove
  4. V-Groove

1. Solid Tongue and Groove Joints

This type is the most common and people do love this technique due to its ability to create a strong joint. This method is also used for better stability and holding power, especially when the wood pieces are end-grain against end grain.

This type of tongue and groove joint requires that both edges be oriented in the same direction which makes it suitable only with boards having parallel grains. To work this way, you need two tools, a saw, and a chisel.

First, determine the width of the groove (interlocking part) by cutting with your router bit until you reach halfway through or near it. Then use either your router plane or special molding planes to cut along the wood grain at an exact depth; this can be done using either power tools like a table saw or hand tools.

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Once the groove is cut, use your chisel to remove any excess wood that might have been left behind by other methods. Now it’s time for gluing! Apply glue on both edges of the board and insert them in their grooves while ensuring they are seated properly before using either nails or screws to hold everything in place.

2. Tongue in Groove Joints

This is basically two groove cut wooden panels joined together with a slip-on tongue cut out of strong wood. This is again common for strong flat wood joints. While the first type doesn’t require any loose connecting part to join two wooden pieces together, this type requires a separate tongue piece that slips onto both the groove cut wooden panels.

There are slight variations in advantages and disadvantages of tongue-and-groove and a tongue-in-groove joint. The main difference that influences the decision between these two types is the availability of required tools. While some tools and blades do the first one efficiently, some do the second one.

3. Shiplap Tongue and Groove

The shiplap joint is another type of tongue and groove. It also has a separate piece called the lapping board, which fits on it to create an interlocking seam without any visible nails or screws.

4. V-Groove

V-groove is another type of tongue and groove joint which is very similar to the solid tongue and groove joints. The only difference between these two types is that v-groove has a much lower angle than standard T&G, typically around 30 degrees.

Tongue and Groove Joining Tips

When cutting a tongue and groove joint, there are three considerations to keep in mind: the strength of the boards being joined;

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i. Whether or not one side will have a visible end-grain after assembly; and which method you use for joining (slip-on vs solid).

The first consideration is important because different species of wood require different joinery.

ii. The technique used to cut the joint should also be taken into account – a router is a good choice for a flush cut but requires some skill and practice before it can produce accurate results.

iii. Also consider this: if one board has an end-grain on display after assembly, you will need to use different types of joints in order not to expose this grain to the elements.

These are just some of the considerations that should be made when building with tongue and groove woodworking joints. There are many more out there – consider your needs, skill level, and preferences before deciding which joint is best for you!


When it comes to woodworking, there are many joints that you can use. Take some time and research the types of joints so you can know which one is best for your project or what kind of joint will work with the materials.

It’s also important to understand how each type of joint works before using it on a project because this knowledge will help ensure everything goes smoothly during construction.

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