Building Tips

What is Tongue and Groove Ceiling and How Much Does it Cost?

One of the most asked questions we continuously get is about our covered porch ceilings. We currently have tongue and groove porch ceilings and will be using the same on our new house. We love the look of adding natural wood elements where we can, and porch ceilings are the perfect place for it. It adds a warm authentic look that contrasts well creating great visual appeal.

Tongue and groove sometimes referred to as t&g are flat boards that have one protruding tongue side and one receiving groove side. The tongue and groove each run the entire perimeter of the piece, on all four sides. One board will fit into another adjoining each other. This process is actually pretty easy to DIY with little amount of gluing or nailing.

Finish Options

Tongue and Groove ceiling can be left natural, stained, or even painted. Each application will give a different look. It will depend on what look and feel you are trying to achieve. We had anticipated staining our current porch ceilings with a darker stain to somewhat match the flooring. But once it was all installed, we loved the unfinished look and decided to leave it. I had to get used to the fact that wood tones do not have to match or be the same color. In fact, I love the contrast!

Staining a darker color probably gives off more of an elegant, classy vibe, while a lighter stain keeps it more rustic and natural. Painting is another option that looks great. I have noticed many Southern homes with light blue painted ceilings that look amazing and definitely fit that coastal cottage look.


So, we know the tongue and groove ceiling looks awesome, but the big question is it affordable? According to the material you choose it can run anywhere from $2.00-$3.50 per square foot. It comes in many different wood species like knotty pine, clear pine, cedar, and redwood.

We have always used knotty pine because it seems to be a little cheaper but still looks great. Knotty Pine ran us around $2.60 per square foot on the material. For a porch about the size of ours (300 sq ft), it would run you about $780 for the material. We did the labor ourselves, but if you were to get it installed it would be anywhere from $600-$800 dollars for installation. It shouldn’t take over a couple of full days.

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