Learn How to Easily Finish Installing Tongue and Groove Paneling, Step by Step – Part 3


The joy of seeing your tongue and groove paneling complete, with the ambience of a warm wooden feel radiating from within your room, is nearly palpable. It’s the finish line of an installation job that can seem a bit daunting–until you are proficient in following the basic steps and are familiar with the process.

These instructions were provided to help guide you through the process of installing tongue and groove paneling. Now, these later steps involve taking your paneling, now cut to the proper length, and stacking the panels up, one-by-one, against the wall. This step, too, requires some accuracy and a patient hand so that all of the planks, when complete, will look neat and uniform.

The last step in this practical paneling journey involves the necessity of a “pull bar”, which is a great tool to have when the final board is a bit gnarly or difficult to pull tight and flush against the other boards. The pull bar helps to eradicate any unsightly gaps or spaces between the panels that are unavoidable due to the shrinking and expanding nature of wood.

Learn How to Easily Finish Installing Tongue and Groove Paneling, Step by Step - Part 3

To begin, and also to ensure accuracy, you should begin at the top, center of the wall you are paneling and align your board’s finished side facing outward. Once you have done this, use a nail gun, or a combination of a hammer and finishing nails (of small enough diameter to be easily filled and covered later), to attach the panel to the wall. Using a nail gun is recommended; it should firing the nails so that they ‘blindly’ penetrate the finished face of the board and the wall, not exposing any of them.

Learn How to Easily Finish Installing Tongue and Groove Paneling, Step by Step - Part 3

You will repeat this process with the remaining boards, being careful to align their tongues and groove connectors accurately with each board’s respective neighbors, as well as carefully ensuring that each of the boards is level with the one before it.

After you have gotten each of the boards to the wall, filling its space accurately, you should leave a quarter-inch space on top and bottom of the boards. This space is aptly named “wanes” and it gives the wood the room it needs to expand and contract during temperature fluctuations throughout the year.

Learn How to Easily Finish Installing Tongue and Groove Paneling, Step by Step - Part 3

The final board will require an extra bit of muscle to snap it in place. To ensure that it is fitted properly and flush against its counterparts, use a pull bar to help you bend the board upward and into place. This pull bar is a great asset in situations like this as it prevents any potential gaps or crevices from appearing near the base of your paneling. At this point you should be finished stacking the planks against the wall.

Once your paneling is in place, use trim pieces, such as base boards and crowning moldings, to hide any unsightly nails or rough edges the installation process may create. Trimmings also add a nice decorative flair to the final look of the paneling.

You have now made it through the installation process of your tongue and groove paneling. You should enjoy the unique beauty of the wooden paneled walls, basking in the special atmosphere they will create within the room. Follow these steps closely and you are sure to have a successful installation.

  • September 13, 2020