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.

What is a tongue and groove ceiling?

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

A 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.

Cost of Tongue and Groove Ceiling

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.

Porch Sources: Rockers | Planters

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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  • Reply Jordyn

    So beautiful! We’re considering this… Any concerns with weathering outdoors?

    January 18, 2020 at 3:22 am
    • Reply Henry

      Hello Jordyn!
      Thank you so much! We haven’t had any issues with weathering, but I would recommend at least a clear coat of poly to protect it.

      January 20, 2020 at 3:17 pm
  • Reply Tammy

    Beautiful! Would it be the same type of information if I wanted to install this indoors? Do you have a diy for inside?

    February 22, 2020 at 9:28 pm
  • Reply Jenna

    Any chance you know the name of the white paint you used?

    February 24, 2020 at 7:55 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      It is Valspar Cream Delight.

      September 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm
    • Reply Nikki johnson

      Where did you purchase your tongue and groove? Do you have any recommendations for online stores?

      January 13, 2021 at 11:29 pm
  • Reply Robert

    Looks fantastic. We have a similar porch and will be looking to do the same. We have 3 recessed lights, a hanging light for the the door and a ceiling fan which needs to be replaced. Did you find it difficult creating the holes for the lights and fan? Also, the fan you selected looks like exactly what we need to replace the old one. Where did you purchase this?

    May 4, 2020 at 1:31 am
  • Reply james Johnson

    Do you use screws at all?

    May 4, 2020 at 9:35 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello James! No, just a nail gun.

      September 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm
  • Reply Jessica Dunn

    Its beautiful. I was wondering the white color as well.

    June 2, 2020 at 1:08 am
  • Reply Denise Belyavsky

    can you tell me where to source your ceiling fans (and name/model)? Thanks!

    August 22, 2020 at 3:27 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Denise! I think we actually purchased them from

      September 1, 2020 at 7:03 pm
  • Reply Justin Goss

    Hey Henry, looks great. Is this ceiling stained or just a few coats of oil based poly?


    August 30, 2020 at 2:07 pm
  • Reply Brooke

    Hello Justin! We appreciate the kind comment. We actually meant to put a clear coat on the ceiling, but never did, but it does need it.

    September 1, 2020 at 7:04 pm
  • Reply Jen

    How high is your porch ceiling? I love your fans and am wondering if mine is high enough.

    September 9, 2020 at 1:43 pm
    • Reply Henry

      It’s 10 ft.

      September 10, 2020 at 12:50 am
      • Reply Miguel

        Hi Henry, can you tell me what poly you used, is it the water base or oil base satin or semi gloss? Appreciate your response- Thanks

        March 20, 2021 at 2:55 pm
  • Reply Chuck Fowler

    Hello. Everything looks so great! Does the porch ceiling have any stain or is it just coated with urethane? Thanks in advance.

    September 25, 2020 at 10:46 am
  • Reply Julie Gugino

    Hi, what did you put on the ceiling? Thanks for replying.

    January 5, 2021 at 3:38 pm
  • Reply Blake

    Hello, wondering if this is white pine or yellow pine?

    August 26, 2021 at 12:18 am
  • Reply Heather Ptak

    Did you use 4inch boards?

    August 19, 2022 at 11:39 pm
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