We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Groove Joint?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A groove joint is a type of joint most commonly seen in woodworking, although it can be used to join other materials as well. Groove joints are designed to be used in a tongue and groove system, with the grooves complementing the tongues to create a snug joint where two pieces snap together. Historically, tongue and groove joints were used for a wide variety of applications; today, the development of new building materials has made them a bit obsolete, but they still turn up in some applications, especially handcrafted materials.

As one might imagine, a groove joint consists of a deep groove cut into a piece of wood, typically along the side, although it can also be cut across for specialty applications. A complementary tongue is cut into another piece of wood. The tongue is a bit shorter than the groove, ensuring that it has some room to swell and subside once it has been inserted into the groove to create a tongue and groove joint.

One classic use of this type of joint is in flooring. In this case, each piece of flooring will have a tongue on one side and a groove on the other. The flooring pieces can be snapped together to cover a whole floor. Glue is usually not used to avoid tearing at the tongue and groove joint when the wood expands and contracts, as it will do in response to water. Instead, the network of flooring boards fitted together will hold the floor stable and in place.

Tongue and groove can also be seen in some cladding materials and wall materials such as wainscoting. In addition, it is sometimes used in woodwork to create a hidden joint. Flat pack furniture sometimes comes with tongue and groove joints because they are easy to assemble and require no special tools or skills, ensuring that consumers can put the furniture together properly.

People can obtain wood which has already been cut with a tongue and groove joint from home supply and lumber stores. This wood tends to be more expensive than plain planks, but can be useful if people don't have the tools or the skills to cut even tongues and grooves. People can also use tools like saws, routers, and planes to create their own tongue and groove joints for specific projects. Tongues and grooves can also be used for things like creating a track for drawers to slide on, in addition to being seen in use as fixed joints.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By geekish — On Aug 18, 2011

@Tomislav - I am not a furniture expert but what I have learned just from shopping around is to check for tongue in groove *or* doweled, mortise and tenon, bolted, or screwed joints as opposed to stapled or glued.

Stapled is not supposed to be the best quality, as the staples have a habit of apparently rusting or falling out.

I love the look of tongue and groove, but especially dovetailed joints that look to me like little v's on top of each other (hence I guess the name dove-tailed). With this groove the two pieces of wood lying next to each other, I think, looks beautiful.

By Tomislav — On Aug 17, 2011

My husband loved this ottoman that one of his multi-talented friends just made him for fun. But the thing that always blew my husband away about the ottoman was that his friend had used the tongue and groove method to construct it.

My husband thought that it was a particularly difficult way to construct a piece of furniture since you have to cut out the grooves to specificity as opposed to attaching two pieces of wood together with nails or screws.

I had never heard of this type of groove before this but I started to notice this type of construction when we were looking for furniture, and we were told this makes for sturdier construction of furniture. Is this true?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.