Hardwood Floor Nails:
Flooring Nails designed with barbs and
resin for holding power
Hardwood Floor Nails serve only one purpose.. to hold the floor
in place without squeaks! They do this via a couple of special
design features. This is why when installing hardwood flooring,
floor nails designed specifically for that purpose are so important.
- Resin Coating: Most of the better quality hardwood floor nails
are resin coated.. kind of like a "sticky" coating
applied to the nails to add greater grabbing power when it is
installed into the subfloor
- Sawtooth Edges: Seasonal changes in humidity causes the planks
of your hardwood floor to move and this in turn, pulls at the
nails.Thus the holding power of your nails is especially important
for a wood floor. Nails with a serrated edges, similar to the
resin coating prevent the wood movement from pulling the floor
nail out of the subfloor.
- The EDGE: die cut floor nails are sharper, thus less likely
to break the tongue of your hardwood floor on entry. This is
particularly important on very brittle hardwoods, like the exotic
species (ie. Brazilian Cherry or IPE)
Every hardwood floor nailer uses a specific nail. You can't even
in most nailers change between a "L" Shaped to a "T"
shaped without an adapter kit. Thus be cautious, particularly
if you are renting, to get the floor nail suited to the specific
nailer. If you buy the nails from the same company that you rent
the manual or Pneumatic floor nailer from you are usually covered.
Shaped (typically 16 gauge & 2" long for 3/4"
- "T" Shaped (similar to "L" shaped)
- Floor Cleats, or "floor staples",
Floor Cleats are definitely NOT in my books recommended for the
very dense wood species. They have a habit of bending under the
wood, instead of going straight into the subfloor. Also because
they grab a wider piece of the tongue they are more likely to
crack the edge, (again with the brittle woods).
The "other side of the fence" here is that some installers
do believe that because staples do grab more wood they will hold
the floor down more efficiently. I'd agree with that in the softer
woods where I'm not afraid it will break and leave loose pieces
of the tongue in place to squeak... best to experiment.
CAUTION: some rental places will charge you extra if you damage
the driver head, particularly if you didn't buy floor nails from
them and they are suspicious that you jammed-in something that
Thus get the right nails! Flooring is expensive and it is not
worth saving a few bucks to either end up with a floor that squeaks
or having to pay a big floor nailer rental bill if you get it
all jammed up.