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Thread: Not exactly fine woodworking but.....

  1. #1

    Not exactly fine woodworking but.....

    Hello everyone,

    I am currently installing hardwood flooring in our master bedroom and need some advice as I am concerned that I will not be pleased with the final installation if I continue on.

    We are putting down 3/4" Brazillian Redwood (prefinished) which unfortunately is proving very difficult. I am please with the color of the floor. Contrary to what the salesman told us, we can not use a pnuematic nailer and each piece has to be drilled and hand nailed as it is too hard and the tongue splits off with a nailer.

    I am noticing some noise as I walk across the floor that has been installed. I do some slight uneveness in the subfloor but nothing over 1/8". The subflooring is a layer of 3/4" OSB and a layer of 1/2" OSB over top of that. The house is 10 years old.

    Is some noise normal in a newly installed floor? Could it be just settling in? The wood was in the room for over a week before we began installation so it should be acclimated.

    Is it possible to use a glue as well as nail to secure the floor. Should I use a different nail type? I am using 8d finish nails every 6-8 inches predrilled with a 7/64" drill bit.

    It is taking me over an hour to install two courses of this stuff which is around 7.5 square feet. I do not want to take almost 50-60 hours in this job and not want to be happy with the final outcome.I don't want the squeaks to get worse.

    Thanks for any advice,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Herndon VA
    I'm sure Marty would love to come over and do this free of charge. He sooo dearly misses wood floor installation.

    Did you put felt paper over the subfloor. That should help with the noise. For nails a possible solution might be ring shanked. You might want to see what McFeely's has.

  3. #3

    I did put down 15 lb. felt paper first. I will check McFeeley's. Thanks for the suggestion.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Southern Georgia

    You say the tongues split with a pnuematic nailer. I had the same problem, but turning down the pressure into the nailer (from 140psi down to 85psi) solved the problem 100%! I can't even imagine having to pre-drill and hand nail ANY amount of flooring...

    As for the squeak noise, I suspect it's most likely the nails you're using. Are you going in at an angle with them...akin to what the pnuematic tool would?

    Again, I'd re-check using the air nailer with lower air pressure. Oh, and for what it's worth, I used an air STAPLER, not a nailer. My research showed that they hold significantly better. No squeaks in almost 3,000 square feet

    Good luck...
    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  5. #5

    Thanks for the reply.

    I did lower the air pressure some but the wood still breaks cleanly along the plane of the nails that were driven in. As a matter of fact, the impression of the nail is clearly visible on each piece.

    The company that makes my nailer (PNI - Porta Nail) told me that a stapler would actually be worse in the splitting regard that the cleated nail that I was trying to use. Evidently the nail is designed to shear its' way into the flooring and cause less stress on the board.

    I am sure that your beautiful shop floor is much flatter and certainly less prone to flexing than the one in my bedroom. I am beginning to think that there is enough deflection in the floor that the squeak I am hearing is due to the boards moving slightly against each other. But then again, my floor is proabably every bit as solid as the ones in some of the old homes I have been in so maybe that is not the problem after all......

    I have been toe nailing the floor in the same fashion as the pneumatic nailer would.


  6. #6
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I've used a stapler also, which a friend lent me. I had an occassional tongue split, but not too bad. I can't imagine drilling and using nails, that would truely push one's patience on flooring.

    Marty's suggestion of using less pressure is good, I also found when I turned down the pressure that there was less tongue breakage.

    I also found that you need to pop the stapler with the hammer solidly, as I also found that if you don't get a solid hit, it will not shoot the staple in to full depth, and those staples are not fun to pull out of hardwood. Funny, since I have acquired a set of farrier nippers, and I wish I had them when I was doing flooring. For the occasional mis-fire of the staple where it didn't go in, the nippers would be ideal to pull them out.

    Flooring is rewarding, as the results are shown so quickly, the stapler would make your job much easier. You can rent them if you don't want to spend the $$$s to buy one or of if you don't know someone who already owns one.

    When I build my log home I'm planning to buy one as I'll be putting wood floors in most of the home.

  7. #7

    I own a brand new Porta Nail 421 Hammerhead nailer. The company that makes it also makes staplers.

    I called them to ask advice with this problem and was told that the stapler would cause more damage than the nailer due to the design of the nail vs. the stapler.

    Good luck with your hardwood floors. I don't ever want to buy carpet again. But that being said I will never again buy or recommend that someone else buy 3/4" Brazillian redwood flooring either.


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