Merely speaking, tongue and groove is simply a way to connect planks of hardwood flooring. More technically speaking, on one side of a plank, a groove is routed out. This provides a gap in one side of the board where a "tongue" is inserted. The tongue is made with a router that trims off what is needed to correspond to the groove's size and alignment. Then, when two boards are brought together, essentially, it is a case of "tab a fits into slot b."
What does that mean for hardwood installation?
In practical terms, what that means is that the planks are connected into a single, interlocking floor. This makes it possible for the floor to remain stable, level, and even. If you did not have the floor connected in this fashion, then each plank would act independently of all of the others. And, since hardwood is a plant-based flooring, individual pieces would warp and swell at different rates if not tied together with the rest of the floor, potentially creating a floor prone to unevenness and splinters.
Sanding and micro-beveling your wood floors
If you have your hardwood flooring sanded and finished in your home, a sander is used to buff the assembled floor as a whole. This removes any small bumps that might come from variations where the board's tongue or groove was routed. If you purchase flooring that is factory finished, micro-bevels are routed into the top corners to ensure that no little lips are present to catch your feet or cause splinters.
In the end, be assured that a tongue and groove floor will provide you with many years of faithful service. At Masters Flooring, we take great pride in the transformative power of flooring — especially of a permanent floor like hardwood. If you want wood flooring for your home, give us a call or stop by our showroom; one of our knowledgeable sales representatives will walk you through all of the possibilities in this permanent flooring. We serve the area around Keller, TX, including North Ridgeland Hills, Colleyville, Fort Worth, and Southlake; we would love to help you with wood flooring.