How to Install Tongue and Groove Siding
Better protect your home from the elements with this durable siding. We'll show you how to install tongue-and-groove siding yourself.
Tongue-and-groove or lapped sidings generally have a rustic, cabinlike appearance. A variety of siding types fit together by means of tongues and grooves or over- and underlapping edges. Because the overlap is less than on other types of siding, these provide somewhat less protection from the elements. The wider the tongues or lapped sections, the better they will keep water out. Check to make sure the siding you choose has a successful track record in your region.
Depending on how the pieces fit together, some jointed sidings can be fully attached by blind-nailing through a tongue or underlap that will be covered by the course above. Other types require face-nailing as well. The area where you will blind-drive the fasteners is thin, so there is a danger of cracking the wood when you drive a nail. Preempt any splits by drilling pilot holes. The extra step is worth the effort: A cracked board is seriously compromised and may allow water to seep behind. Some installers choose to drive small-head stainless-steel screws instead of nails. Or you can use a power stapler, which is less likely than a nailer to split boards.
When working with a helper, you'll need a day to install 600 square feet of siding. Before you begin, cover the sheathing with building wrap, and install trim boards and flashings as needed.