Overlap cladding is easy to construct and a cost-effective way of creating a durable shed. And, whilst overlap cladding allows for good run-off, it is prone to warping. You’ll also find it hard to install things like shelves hard up on the wall of your shed’s interior.



  • Good rainwater runoff 
  • Affordable
  • Rustic look
  • Still strong



  • Worse quality construction than shiplap and tongue-and-groove
  • Not as durable 
  • Prone to warping
  • Not watertight
  • More easily broken into
  • Difficult to install shelving

Tongue-and-groove cladding is made from wooden boards that fit together (either vertically or horizontally) with the extended notch on one board locking into the rabbet (recess) on the other. Tongue and groove cladding offers durable, watertight construction with a sleek finish.


Tongue and groove boards, unlike waney edge, get planed and cut. Their profile hides the join between boards and offers a watertight face. T&G refers to the joining of the notch (tongue) into the groove (rabbet) to create a single flat surface. 


opened-doored Windowless pent tongue and groove timber shed on gravel against a fence boundary backed by trees

Tongue and Groove Cladding

Now, we should all be familiar with the basics of cladding. All set with shiplap, overlap, and tongue-and-groove?

Then, as this is an ultimate guide to tongue and groove cladding, let’s more on to why it’s so popular. Then we can look at how to build your own T&G shed and what you need to bear in mind.

Are you after the perfect combination of quality, weather resistance, durability and price? It’s a tongue and groove shed.

Tongue and groove is also great for people who store expensive tools and machinery in their sheds. The interlocking panels make it much harder to break into than, say, overlap panelling. 

This also means your shed is more protected against water ingress. And it’ll be better insulated. This is one of the first major steps in looking at how to damp proof your shed. 

Tongue and groove also offers the aesthetics of exposed timber. But, it comes in a clean, modern design. If you’re looking for a more rustic exterior to your garden buildings; think overlap.

Like shiplap, though, tongue and groove boards also contract with the climate. This makes them less prone to rot and warping. T&G’s robust nature is why it’s also so popular as a flooring material. It can withstand heavy, prolonged footfall.

And if you’re worried about a DIY project - don’t be. Tongue and groove cladding is easy to put together. It’ll only need you, a friend, and a bit of time to construct a T&G shed. Plus, you won’t need many tools.

shiplap vs. tongue and groove two boards or each type of timber on white background highlighting different joins
Credit: Bob Vila


The question is - which is better?

The main differences between shiplap and tongue-and-groove cladding are water runoff and resistance. But even these are minimal.


Shiplap’s longer ‘lip’ means that the area of the seal is extended. This, in turn, might offer better protection against moisture and water ingress. Shiplap also deals slightly better with runoff.


Yet, with this comes a higher price tag. And all for quite minor improvements on tongue and groove cladding. So, ask yourself this - are you building a shed right next to your lighthouse?


If not, then tongue and groove offers more than adequate protection. 

Depending on what you use - timber. corner of a shiplap tongue and groove timber shed with nails near corner join

Credit: EZT Mouldings

Installing Tongue and Groove Cladding

Whether you’re buying or building your own shed, you’ll want to consider corners and trim. Check out our guide for treatment and trim ideas before you buy.

Once you’ve got that figured, you can look at building your tongue-and-groove shed.

The great thing about tongue and groove cladding is that it can be used for:

  • Outdoor garden buildings
  • Ceilings
  • Flooring
  • Decking

Installing it in your ceiling can be easier than using plaster sheets. You can then stain the boards whatever colour you want. With two people: measure your ceilings and cut T&G boards. Then, affix to your ceiling joints through the tongue joins and fit the panels together.

A similar process applies to tongue and groove flooring. But boards will still need to be nailed into your subfloor. 

Tongue and groove cladding can be laid horizontally or vertically, depending on where in your house you’re decorating. The good thing about T&G is that there’s no way to get it wrong. This is especially true if all your boards are the same length and size.

Does my shed need a vapour barrier Garden Buildings Direct infographic with three tiles for different sheds and climates with icons and arrows regarding air flow, insulation, and vapour barriers

Use this infographic to decide if your wooden shed needs a vapour barrier.

Tongue and groove cladding is designed to offer a watertight, weather-resistant finish. Although, it also has enough wiggle room to expand and contract in hot weather. This means that it’s unlikely to crack or rot.

Because of this, you should tongue and groove timber shed with window frame

Credit: Flickr

Tongue and groove cladding is not just for looks. It’s also adept at protecting your garden shed from water ingress and damage.


The interlocking system of T&G panels means that water can’t penetrate wood or the inside of your shed and contents. This also makes tongue and groove cladding less susceptible to rot.

If you’re buying a T&G shed from Garden Buildings Direct, you can opt to have it pressure treated. This is where timber is locked in a vacuum in a vat. It’s then treated with preservatives and chemicals.


Barring that, you should:


  • Remove any old paints and treatments with a solvent-free oil remover
  •  Clean your wood with a neutraliser
  • Use a water-based, saturated, or opaque finish


For tongue-and-groove sheds, we recommend spirit-based treatments. Water-based treatments may need to be applied yearly.

Garden Buildings Direct Tongue & Groove Sheds

1. BillyOh Expert Tongue and Groove Apex Workshop

BillyOh Bella Tongue and Groove Pent Summerhouse
BillyOh Bella Tongue and Groove Pent Summerhouse

Built using tongue & groove panels, the Bella has a secure and stable structure that’s built to last. The panels interlock, creating a smooth finish that enhances the style of the summer house. The interlocking tongue and groove panels form a strong connection which creates a high degree of structural strength.

3. BillyOh Mini Master Tongue and Groove Pent Store Shed

BillyOh Renna Tongue and Groove Corner Summerhouse

The Renna Summerhouse is also constructed using an interlocking tongue and groove method. The T&G boards provide a smooth engineered finish, which complements the modern style of the building. Each panel is 11mm thick and provides the summerhouse with excellent strength.

Pressure Treated Options

And for ultimate protection and longevity, we recommend opting for a pressure treated garden building. Pressure treatment is an extra step in the construction process, where the wood is treated in a pressurised tank, and chemical preservatives are forced deep into the wood’s fibres to resist rot, weathering, and pests.

This protects the wood inside and out and is better than regular dip treatment, as this only coats the surface of the wood. By pressure treating the wood, you’re left with a building that is low maintenance and cost-effective. You may even save money in the long run thanks to freeing yourself of maintenance worries.

To find the garden building that will suit your needs, head over to our website and shop for your dream outdoor structure!

Tongue and Groove Cladding for Sheds

And we’re done! Well done for making it this far. Now you should be an expert on tongue and groove cladding. That goes for whether it’s sheds, flooring, or decking.

We hope you’ve found the answers you need so you can make the best choice about shed cladding. But we’ll recap just in case – tongue and groove cladding:

  • Is waterproof and weather-resistant
  • Offers a tight seal
  • Is harder to break into
  • Is low maintenance
  • Can be ordered pressure-treated
  • Is reasonably priced

And if you’re looking to add a shed to your garden, check out the steps you need to follow to prepare your garden for a shed.

Shop Tongue and Groove Sheds


We think that tongue and groove sheds offer all the benefits of shiplap at a more accessible price point.


If you’re working on a large scale construction where water run-off is a necessity, though, shiplap may be a slightly better option. For the average garden shed, summerhouse, or log cabin, tongue and groove construction is a perfect choice.

Tongue and groove cladding offers a price compromise between overlap and shiplap. For example, our sentry box storage sheds start from as low as £199.