What to know about tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring

What to know about tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring

First, you need to know the distinction. Traditional tongue and groove is the installation technique for solid hardwood flooring.

Sometimes you'll hear that phrase when it refers to the click-lock mechanisms of floating floor installations.

Unfortunately, while it is similar to a tongue and groove, it's not correct in the traditional sense.

What's tongue and groove?

Every plank has a protrusion (tongue) and a slat (groove). The installer slides them together to form a mat with very tight seams, then attaches it directly to the subfloor.

This technique enhances both appearance and safety. Before tongue-and-groove was officially introduced over a century ago, planks were nailed directly to the joists. Today, our hardwood flooring company installs beautiful, level surfaces.

That gave the surface exposed nail heads with a rough, uneven surface; as you can imagine, it was pretty unsightly. It was also a safety issue, especially for those walking with bare feet.

The tight seams also help with water resistance. As you know, excess liquid can damage wood floors; the rigid joints may make it more difficult for water to seep.

To learn more, be sure to come into our showroom. Our experts are always there to answer your questions.

Why are some floors also referred to as “tongue and groove?”

Engineered wood flooring or wood-look-like laminate or luxury vinyl often comes with a click-and-lock mechanism. Then, again, the pieces snap together, mat, and then hover over the subfloor–but this time, without nails or adhesives.
This is called a floating floor installation.

Premier Flooring Company on the East Coast

At Floor Coverings International, we take the guesswork out of flooring! We provide quality products and superior service and stay with you from the project's start to finish. We do this whether it's hardwood flooring or some other installation.

We have showrooms in both Cherry Hill, NJ & Shelburne, VT. Visit us to see our wood flooring brands such as Dream Weaver, US Floors, Bruce, Cali Bamboo, and more. Additionally, we service Burlington, VT and Laurel, Voorhees, Marlton, Mt. Laurel, and Haddonfield, NJ.