At Countryside, many of our china hutches come with options for the back of the upper cabinet. A mirror back option is self-explanatory as a mirror is placed as the back of the hutch to reflect light and make the display area appear larger. Likewise, our "plain" back option is a standard plywood back stained to match the cabinet. Tongue and groove, however, is a back about which we frequently get questions we will attempt to answer briefly here. For a detailed guide to hutches, click here.
What is tongue and groove?
Tongue and groove is a joint that is sometimes called shiplap. Depending on the woodworker with whom you are speaking, you may also here the terms bead board and wainscotting intermingled as well. The tongue and groove to which we are referring is pictured below where boards, or planks, are affixed using a sturdy joint we call tongue and groove.
When multiple boards are held together using this method, the back of your china cabinet looks like this:
When should I order a tongue and groove back?
This back is often ordered on pieces that are period correct or period perfect. It is also appropriate to order this back when utilizing two tones or two wood species to highlight the cabinet interior with a brighter wood tone instead of a mirror. Also, a more rustic look may call for a tongue and groove back. This is simply a style preference for you when the choice is offered.
Is only the visible hutch back tongue and groove?
Yes. The interior of the enclosed portion of the buffet base would have a standard back, not tongue and groove.
Why order a tongue and groove back?
Structurally, the tongue and groove back may be slightly more durable than a standard back. Our standard at Countryside, however, is such that either option will last for generations. Be aware that the tongue and groove boards will add to the weight of your hutch, but in most cases not substantially.
Whatever you choose, we are glad you have chosen Countryside for your Amish handcrafted solid wood furniture. Feel free to contact us with any questions.