How to Install a Tongue & Groove Pine

Tongue and groove pine is a popular wall, floor and ceiling covering.
It is durable and long-lasting and can be installed by the average do-it-yourself homeowner in one to two days, depending on the size of the project. If you are planning on installing your own tongue and groove pine, then you should know about the tools, materials and techniques available for a successful project. .

Step 1

Calculate the amount of material needed for the project. Measure the length and the width of the ceiling, floor or walls. Multiply the length times the width, and you will have the square footage of the area to be covered. Divide that number by the number of square feet in the container holding the pine tongue and groove. For example, if you have 300 square feet to cover and the package container holds 100 square feet, then you will need three packages of the tongue and groove flooring.

Step 2

Make sure that the wall, ceiling or floor has a plywood base onto which to attach the tongue and groove pine; the plywood should be at least 5/8" or 3/4". Attach plywood using three-inch wood screws and a drill or screw gun.

Step 3

Cover the plywood with resin paper or felt paper. This will prevent moisture from accumulating beneath the tongue and groove pine. Use a heavy-duty stapler to attach the paper.

Step 4

Snap a chalk line for the first row of tongue and groove pine. Measure the width of the pine, and transfer that measurement to the wall, ceiling or floor. Predrill the face of the beginning row of pine and attach with 10-penny nails and a hammer. Use a nail set to set the nails into the pine. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap the next row--tongue onto groove--into place, and predrill, at an angle, into the front side--tongue--of the pine. Nail the front side and set the nail with a nail set. Continue until you have completed the project. Face nail the last row of tongue and groove pine, and trim out the edges with pine trim.

Step 5

Sand the pine with an orbital sander. Use 60-, 80-, 120- and 220-grit sandpaper to prepare and smooth the surface of the pine. Fill nail holes and imperfections with clear wood filler and resand with 220-grit paper. Use a fine-bristled brush to apply a clear coat of polyurethane sealer.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Three-inch wood screws
  • Plywood
  • Drill or screw gun
  • Felt/resin paper
  • Heavy-duty stapler
  • Chalk line
  • 10-penny nails
  • Hammer
  • Rubber mallet
  • Nail set
  • Sandpaper
  • Orbital sander
  • Wood filler
  • Paint brush
  • Sealer


  • Always wear eye protection and a dust mask when sanding and finishing.

About the Author

Billy McCarley has been freelancing online since April 2009. He has published poetry for Dead Mule, an online literary publication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Of Alabama where he is also a first-year graduate student in history.