Tongue & Groove vs. Click System Installation Flooring

Tongue & Groove vs. Click System Installation Flooring

When it comes to installing modern timber flooring, you have two main options: tongue and groove and click system. While both methods are effective, they each come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. By understanding the differences between the two choices, you will be better equipped to make a decision about which one is most suitable for your needs. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of tongue and groove vs. click system installation flooring.

Tongue & Groove Flooring

Tongue and groove (commonly known as T&G) flooring has been around for centuries and is still one of the most popular installation methods in the flooring industry. This installation method involves fitting the boards together and allowing them to interlock to create a strong and stable floor. One side of the floorboard has a strip that protrudes out, the tongue, and the other side has a corresponding groove that allows the boards to be fitted together. The ends of the plank are designed in the same manner, with one a tongue and one a groove. Solid wood flooring is only found with a tongue and groove fitting system.

The most significant advantage of tongue and groove installation is its durability. This type of flooring can withstand heavy foot traffic, making it ideal for high-traffic areas in your home. Additionally, tongue and groove flooring is highly versatile and can be customised to fit any style or decor. The tongue and groove flooring system offers a perfect final result with a smooth and durable finish. Tongue and groove flooring can also be found in wider and thicker planks than click system options.

Tongue and groove installation requires some type of adhesive during the installation process to ensure the planks stay firmly together. When fitting the floor, you can use three primary installation methods: gluing down to a suitable sub-floor, secret nailing or a floating installation.

Tongue and Groove Flooring Diagram

Tongue and Groove Flooring Pros and Cons

Tongue & Groove Flooring Pros:

  • It is an appealing and traditional design.
  • Often cheaper to buy than click system flooring as it’s easier to manufacture.
  • Great for small spaces.
  • Over time, the tongue and groove may loosen slightly to allow for necessary movement, resulting in reduced noise and minimal squeaking.
  • Increased protection against moisture and spills thanks to the glue that keeps it in place, which acts as a barrier to any accidental spills.
  • Can be installed over any subfloor, including joists.
  • Tongue and groove is available in wider planks of flooring.

Tongue & Groove Flooring Cons:

  • Installation may take longer than click flooring due to glue and nailing requirements.
  • Repairing damaged planks can be tricky since they are glued in place.
  • Increased installation costs due to more work required.

Click System Flooring

Click system (sometimes called lock system) installation flooring is a newer method of installation that has gained popularity in recent years.  Manufacturers often use their own names for click systems they have patented, for example, Uniclic or Clic.

In its simplest form, a click system uses two hooked shapes that can click together. The edges of click system planks have a specially designed interlocking system. It is designed to snap together like puzzle pieces, eliminating the need for glue or nails. The design of the join varies, and some brands fit together more tightly than others.

The biggest advantage of click system installation is its ease of installation. This type of flooring can be installed quickly and easily because it doesn’t need any additional adhesives. It’s also easy to repair, as damaged planks can be replaced without removing the entire floor.

One disadvantage of click system timber flooring is that it cannot be installed over joists as it needs a solid base. Click system flooring is most commonly fitted using a floating installation over underlay.

Click System Flooring Diagram

Click System Flooring Pros and Cons

Click System Flooring Pros:

  • On a prepared subfloor, click system flooring installs quickly with little difficulty and does not need additional materials.
  • Click system timber floors do not require the use of messy adhesives.
  • Easy to replace a damaged board by simply clicking the board out and replacing it with a new one.
  • Installation is cheaper due to reduced labour and adhesive costs.
  • Click system flooring requires less skill and equipment to install.

Click System Flooring Cons:

  • Click system flooring typically costs more than traditional tongue and groove floors.
  • Click system flooring can’t be fitted over joists – it requires a solid subfloor underneath to provide sufficient support.
  • As it needs to be used in a floating installation, click flooring requires a high-quality underlay to reduce noise and maximise comfort.

Tongue & Groove or Click System?

When comparing tongue and groove vs. click system installation flooring, it’s essential to consider the cost. Due to its labour-intensive installation process, tongue and groove flooring can be more expensive than click system installation flooring. However, it is worth noting that tongue and groove flooring can last for years without needing to be replaced, making it a wise investment for homeowners who want a durable and long-lasting floor.

Another vital factor to consider when comparing these two installation methods is their sound-dampening qualities. Tongue and groove flooring tends to be quieter underfoot than click system installation flooring, which can produce a louder, more hollow sound. If you’re looking for a floor with better sound insulation, tongue and groove is the better option.

Tongue & Groove or Click System?

In conclusion, both tongue and groove and click system are effective methods for installing timber flooring. Tongue and groove flooring is durable and versatile, making it ideal for high-traffic areas or homes with an active family. Click system installation flooring is easy to install and repair, making it an excellent choice for DIYers or anyone looking for a quick and easy installation process. Ultimately, the choice between these two methods comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and lifestyle needs. By weighing the pros and cons of each technique, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your home.

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