I am installing strand-woven bamboo flooring. One end is grooved, the other has a tongue.

Typically, I cut the tongue side to width and use that at the start of my row. Then I add a full-length board, and then finally the groove side of the board I cut.

My problem is: I've got a few boards where I mistakenly cut off the wrong end, leaving me a board with no tongue or groove on either end.

My question: what is the risk of using these tongueless or grooveless boards to start a row? (meaning I have two boards that abut and are not connected with tongue and groove).


  • Is this engineered 'snap together' flooring, or actual nail/glue-down tongue and groove? In both cases, I don't think there's a huge risk here, but less so with the latter (as you can use extra glue/nails on the tongueless end.)
    – DA01
    Nov 5, 2014 at 22:54
  • It is snap-together flooring. But I am nailing it down. Here's a link: ambientbp.com/products/strand-woven-cinnamon. PS: thanks, I think I will face-nail those joins and hope that does the trick.
    – Paul O
    Nov 7, 2014 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


The risk is that the boards will become unflush during seasonal expansion and contraction. Even if they look fine going in; tripping hazards will appear at these seams once everything settles (and then unsettles... and back again).

I use a table saw with three blades sandwiched together to cut grooves back into my useless cut-offs. Tongues aren't fun to make, so just use tongueless ones against the wall, cut again to fit.

You can start each row from either side, so long as the cut end goes (spaced, for expansion) against the wall, and you have at least one tongue or one grove.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. So I made a dado set to width of the groove (3/16") and also bought a 3/16" board that I am using to make tongues. It won't help me with the couple boards I put down already. I hope they survive without buckling.
    – Paul O
    Nov 7, 2014 at 4:00

Making tongues is fine but depending on where you live you can buy tongues as well. Most wood floor companies stock them or can order some. They may need to be sanded to size then just glue them into the groove. Good luck.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.