Asked by: Manole Mosegui
style and fashion nail care

What kind of nail gun do I need for hardwood flooring?

Last Updated: 27th February, 2020

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Pneumatic flooring nailer or stapler is the best nailer to install hardwood floor. It is made specifically to fit over the top edge of plank and tongue. The flooring nailer shoots a headless nail through the tongue and into the subfloor. The accuracy of the flooring nailer is high while compared to other nailer.

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Hereof, what kind of nails should I use for hardwood flooring?

Use 1-1/2" long cleat nails when installing thinner 1/2" thick wood flooring. Use 1-3/4" long cleat nails when installing 3/4" solid wood flooring, when 3/4" thick plywood is applied directly over a concrete slab—so the cleat nail does not go through the 3/4" thick plywood, hitting the concrete.

Beside above, can you use a framing nailer for flooring? You can use three types of nailers on a hardwood floor: a flooring nailer, a finish nailer or a flooring and mallet nailer. Framing nail guns are not suitable due to nail size and configuration.

Keeping this in consideration, are staples or nails better for hardwood floors?

Staples. Because each staple grips the wood with two prongs, staples provide a tighter initial grip than cleat nails. However, flooring staples are more likely to back out as wood expands and contracts, loosening the hold and increasing the risk of squeaks.

Can you use a brad nailer for hardwood floors?

Like most of the newer floor products, you can install it floatin without glue or nails, glued down or nailed into place on plywood and other wood product subfloors. A flooring nailer is the preferred method for attaching flooring, but a brad nailer, used correctly, runs a close second.

Related Question Answers

Dimitris Oppacher

Professional

How do you nail a tongue and groove floor?

The traditional method of nailing hardwood tongue and groove flooring is to drive nails at an angle through the tongue of a plank and into the subfloor below, but this is time-consuming and can result in poorly inserted nails.

Goar Marinov

Explainer

How does a pneumatic floor nailer work?

When the user strikes the nailer with a mallet, it drives a nail into the flooring. A pneumatic nailer is used in the same general manner as a manual nailer; however, a pneumatic nailer uses air pressure to help force the nail through the board, which means that a pneumatic nailer requires less exertion from the user.

Robledo Stampke

Explainer

What is the best floor nailer?

9 Best Flooring Nailers of 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide
Product Name PSI Rating
1. NuMax SFL618 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer / Stapler 70-115 4.6
2. Freeman PFL618BR 3-in-1 Pneumatic Flooring Nailer 70-110 4.6
3. Bostitch EHF1838K Hardwood Flooring Nailer 70-120 4.3
4. Freeman PDC50C 3-in-1 Flooring Nailer/Stapler 70-115 4.3

Uyi Casermeiro

Pundit

How do I choose a floor nailer?

Here's the summary: Choose a cleat nailer for very hard and brittle woods, like Brazilian cherry, Brazilian walnut, or bamboo. Choose a floor stapler for any wood that is not very brittle. Both tools are great for American hardwoods.

Riana Tahri

Pundit

Do you nail through the tongue or groove?

For tongue-and-groove flooring, drive a nail at a 45-degree angle through the tongue, then conceal it by engaging the groove of the next board. Be sure to countersink the nail – drive it slightly below the surface of the wood – to prevent interference in the joint.

Ipar Yoldi

Pundit

How many staples do I need for hardwood floor?

That amounts to 1 1/2 nails per foot. If you're installing wider planks, you'll need to reduce the spacing to 6 inches, which is two nails per foot, and if installing narrower planks, you can increase the spacing to 10 inches, or 1 1/5 nails per foot.

Julio Csanadi

Teacher

How often do you nail hardwood flooring?

Place at least two nails in every board — the rule of thumb is to nail every 10 to 12 inches. Flooring is typically bundled in random lengths. Vary board lengths as you install so you will have staggered end-joints in a random pattern (image 6).

Leydi Stockhofe

Teacher

What tools are needed to install hardwood floors?

Hardwood Floor Installation Tools Checklist:
  • If nailing: Nail Gun and cleats or staples.
  • If gluing: the proper adhesive (if over concrete, make sure it has a moisture barrier built into it), and a trowel that pairs with that adhesive.
  • Rubber Hammer to tighten planks up.
  • Tape Measure.
  • Pry Bar.
  • Chop/mitre Saw.
  • Table Saw.

Arezki Hofscheuer

Teacher

What I should use cleats or staples for hardwood floor?

Most experts agree that cleats allow for greater movement in areas with high humidity, meaning your hardwood flooring will look better longer. Cleats are around the same price as flooring staples but have less availability.

Michele Duclos

Reviewer

How do you nail the first row of hardwood floors?

Begin by selecting a long board to start the first row. Pick one that is straight. Align the edge of the board with the chalk line and drill pilot holes down through the hardwood plank and into the sub-floor and joist. Face-nail each board at the point of every joist and set the nail with a nail-set.

Laszlone Kell

Reviewer

What kind of nails do you use for tongue and groove?

Common gauges for nails used in tongue and groove installation include 15, 16, 17 and 18. The gauge of a nail has nothing to do with its length. As such, it's possible to use 15-gauge nails with lengths of 1 inch, 1.5 inches or 2 inches.

Gerry Terrado

Reviewer

What nails should I use for hardwood flooring?

A good rule of thumb for nail length is 1 1/2-inch nails for 1/2-inch-thick flooring, and 1 3/4-inch nails for 3/4-inch-thick flooring -- but always follow the flooring manufacturer's recommendation.

Jugatx Alaoui

Reviewer

What gauge nails to use for hardwood flooring?

The two gauges of nails typically used for hardwood floors are 16- and 18-gauge. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the nail. Use the specific gauge of nail recommended by the manufacturer for your floor. This will depend on the hardness of the wood, its thickness and whether it is solid or engineered.

Dario Scharfchen

Supporter

Do you need underlay for hardwood flooring?

Is underlayment necessary for hardwood floors. The short answer: usually. If you already have a plywood subfloor, and the subfloor is smooth and level, then you may not need an underlayment beneath the hardwood floor.

Ludmilla Nickerl

Supporter

What is a cleat nailer?

This Hardwood Flooring Cleat Nailer Kit is used for floor nailing. Pneumatic power drives nails and cleats into the wood surface quickly and efficiently. Depend on this Hardwood Flooring Cleat Nailer Kit for stability and a compfortable grip.

Gottfried Gortz

Beginner

Can you hand nail hardwood flooring?

While it is possible to hand-nail hardwood boards, it isn't advisable for three reasons. The first is that it is much more time-consuming. The second is that the boards won't wedge together as tightly as they do if you use a nailer or air gun, and the finished floor may show gaps between the boards.

Khlifa Slavinsk

Beginner

What size nails should be used for 3/4 inch hardwood flooring?

Use 2" long cleat nails when installing 3/4" solid wood flooring over a wood subfloor with floor joists. Or when installing 3/4" flooring over two layers of 1/2" plywood over a concrete slab.

Wynell Plymakers

Beginner

Can you use brad nails for hardwood flooring?

Like most of the newer floor products, you can install it floatin without glue or nails, glued down or nailed into place on plywood and other wood product subfloors. A flooring nailer is the preferred method for attaching flooring, but a brad nailer, used correctly, runs a close second.

Belkassem Vockmann

Beginner

Can I use nail gun for subfloor?

Not to mention that most builders use a nail gun to install subfloors. Together, it's the perfect recipe for squeaky floors. If you don't want your floors and stairs to squeak, use plywood — the real kind — for the subfloor. There's a lot of debate around plywood, OSB and other types of sheathing for subfloors.