How much does a tongue and groove ceiling cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a tongue and groove ceiling cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a tongue and groove ceiling cost?

$4 – $10average cost per square foot
$400 – $2,000average total installation cost (100 to 200 SF)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$4 – $10 average cost per square foot

$400 – $2,000 average total installation cost (100 to 200 SF)


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Are you a pro? Get new customers
Jennifer Carlson
Written by
Jennifer Carlson
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Tongue and groove ceiling cost

A tongue and groove ceiling costs $4 to $10 per square foot installed, depending on the wood type. Plank material prices are $2 to $6 per square foot, while labor costs $2 to $4 per square foot. Pine is an affordable, popular choice for home, patio, or outdoor porch ceilings.

Tongue and groove ceiling cost
Project Average cost
Office / bedroom (10'x10') $400 – $1,000
Porch / patio (10'x16') $650 – $1,600
Dining room (12'x12') $600 – $1,400
Kitchen (12’x16’) $800 – $1,900
Master bedroom (15'x15') $900 – $2,300
Living room (16'x20') $1,300 – $3,200

Cost to install a tongue and groove ceiling

Installing a tongue and groove ceiling costs $4 to $10 per square foot, including labor and materials. In comparison, other types of ceiling installation cost $2 to $20 per square foot on average.

Tongue and groove ceiling installation costs
Factor Average cost per square foot
Materials $2 – $6
Installation labor $2 – $4
Total cost $4 – $10

The following factors affect the cost to install a tongue and groove ceiling:

  • Ceiling size and location / design – Tongue and groove installation costs are typically higher for ceilings that are taller than eight feet, vaulted, sloped, suspended, or tray ceilings.

  • Labor cost – Labor costs to install a tongue and groove ceiling are $2 to $4 per square foot on average.

  • Materials – Tongue and groove materials cost $1.00 to $10.50 per square foot on average. Hardwoods typically cost more than softwoods.

  • Finish level – Unfinished planks cost less than pre-stained or painted wood. Painting a ceiling costs $1 to $2 per square foot. Wood stain costs $30 to $45 per gallon on average. Professionals recommend staining or painting wood before installation if possible.

  • Sealing and coating – Wood varnish costs $40 to $80 per gallon, while sealant costs $15 to $20 per gallon. Sealing helps to protect against mold, dirt, and aging.

  • Remove old ceilingPopcorn ceiling removal costs $1 to $2 per square foot and may be necessary before installing tongue and groove boards.

  • Ceiling repairCeiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot on average or $200 to $500 total for minor repairs such as drywall repair.

  • Enhancements – Additional ceiling enhancement options include:

  • Fire resistance – Installing wood ceilings over drywall produces a better fire rating than wood alone.

  • Vaulted ceiling / raise ceiling – A vaulted ceiling costs $40 to $70 per square foot installed. Installing tongue and groove planks on a vaulted ceiling costs more than on a conventional ceiling.

Labor cost to install tongue and groove ceiling

A carpenter or handyman charges $2 to $4 per square foot in labor fees to install a tongue and groove ceiling. Labor costs typically increase if the ceiling is a complex shape or higher than average.

A living room with a tongue-and-groove ceiling.
A living room with a tongue-and-groove ceiling.

Cost of wood planks for ceiling

Wood ceiling planks cost $1.00 to $10.50 per square foot for materials alone, depending on the wood type. Hardwoods like cherry, mahogany, oak, poplar, or walnut cost more than softwoods like cedar, cypress, pine, redwood, or spruce.

Wood plank cost by type
Wood type Price per square foot*
Cedar $2.00 – $8.00
Cherry $4.00 – $7.50
Cypress $1.00 – $9.00
Clear pine $1.50 – $7.50
Knotty pine $1.50 – $3.00
Mahogany $4.50 – $7.00
Oak $3.00 – $7.50
Walnut $3.50 – $10.50

*Not including installation.

Wood plank and shiplap ceiling costs

A shiplap ceiling costs $3 to $11 per square foot installed, depending on the wood type and job complexity. Shiplap boards overlap instead of interlocking and are easier to install than tongue and groove.

Tongue and groove vs. drywall ceiling

A conventional drywall ceiling costs $2 to $4 per square foot installed, depending on the texture, quality, and ceiling size. Drywall is easier, cheaper, and faster to install than a tongue and groove ceiling.

DIY tongue and groove ceiling cost

Consider installing a tongue and groove ceiling yourself to save on labor costs. In addition to wood planks, the equipment needed for this DIY project includes a finishing nail gun, 2-inch nails, a miter saw, and a ladder tall enough to comfortably reach the ceiling.

DIY tongue and groove costs
Equipment Cost
Stud finder $10 – $40
Nail gun $100 – $200
Ladder $100 – $200
Miter saw $150 – $300
Nails $10 – $15 per box

Frequently asked questions

What is tongue and groove?

Tongue and groove, also called V-joint, is a style of long wooden planks with interlocking grooves and ridges. The protruding "tongue" on each board fits into the groove joint on the next board. This ceiling design allows for easy installation with a more decorative result than traditional drywall.

How long does it take to install a tongue and groove ceiling?

Installing a tongue and groove ceiling takes 1 to 2 days on average. A large or complex room may take longer.

Can you install tongue and groove over drywall?

Yes, installing tongue and groove ceilings over drywall is safe and produces a better fire rating than wood or drywall alone.

Can you install tongue and groove in a tray ceiling?

Yes, you can install tongue and groove planks in a tray ceiling. A recessed or tray ceiling costs $3 to $7 per square foot installed on average.

Getting quotes from tongue and groove ceiling installers

Before hiring a handyman or carpenter near you to install a tongue and groove ceiling, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.

  • Read reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Choose licensed, bonded, insured companies with 5+ years of experience.

  • Ask for references from recent jobs.

  • Avoid selecting the lowest estimate as quality may suffer.

  • Get a detailed written estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before paying a deposit.

  • Never pay in full up front. Follow a payment plan instead.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Have you worked on similar ceiling projects?

  • Are you licensed and insured?

  • Can you provide references from recent projects?

  • How should I prepare the space for the project?

  • Do you charge extra to move furniture?

  • Does the estimate include prepping and cleanup?

  • How long will the job take?