Can Tongue and Groove Be Used for Decking?  

While tongue and groove (T&G) is a versatile product, it isn’t the ideal decking material (unless used on a covered porch). 

The main reason we don’t recommend using T&G decking outside is because once installed, there are no gaps between boards. Without proper spacing between deck boards, water will collect and lead to moisture damage. T&G decking can be used in covered porches because it’s protected from the elements. 

Did you know that T&G cedar decking is a popular indoor product? The v-joint on the underside of the 2×6 cedar pieces makes it a good option for ceilings on loft flooring.   
If you want to explore more of the options of our 2×6 cedar T&G decking pieces, visit us in our showroom, and one of our sales associates will be happy to help you. 

There are two main reasons people want to use T&G for decking. The first is for the fastener-free look, the second is for the extra thickness of a 2×6 board. You can achieve both using decking products that allow for proper drainage. 

Hidden Fastening Systems 

There are a few different hidden fastening systems that can be used on 5/4×6 deck boards. One of the most popular is the CAMO Hidden Deck Fastening System. Using the special jig, the fasteners are installed at an angle so that they’re virtually invisible. The CAMO system can be used on various deck boards, including western red cedar.  

If you decide to go with a composite or PVC deck product, there are a variety of hidden fastener systems that work with the specific composite or PVC brand/collection you choose.  

Thicker Deck Boards 

Another reason people are drawn to the 2×6 cedar T&G as a decking product is because it’s thicker than the standard 5/4 board. While 5/4 cedar is the most popular deck board size, many people choose to use 2×6 cedar boards as decking. The thicker board allows for longer spans, increased durability, and a longer projected deck life.  

2×6 cedar boards can also be used with hidden fastening systems. CAMO’s 2 3/8” screw is specifically designed for thicker boards, or you could mill a groove on both sides and use another fastening system. 

Why We Recommend Western Red Cedar 

The WoodSource sells a variety of decking products including PVC and composite brands, and exotic woods like ipe, but our go-to recommendation for most decks is western red cedar. It’s naturally rot-resistant rot, will take any finish very well, and is beautiful, and sustainable.

To learn more about why we recommend this particular wood species, read our article: 5 Benefits of a Cedar Deck.  

If you need advice on which decking material is the best option for your Ontario or Quebec project, visit us in our Ottawa showroom where a member of our sales team would be happy to help you and put together a quote.