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Posted on June 19, 2023
Hardwood flooring remains a popular choice for homeowners due to its timeless appeal and durability. However, to ensure the longevity and aesthetics of the wood, correct installation is essential. Two common methods for installing hardwood flooring are nailing and stapling. This guide will walk you through these methods, explaining their advantages, disadvantages, and steps involved in each process.
Before delving into the specifics of nailing and stapling, let’s briefly discuss the importance of proper hardwood floor installation. It impacts not only the appearance and performance of your floors but also their lifespan. Incorrect installation can lead to problems such as creaking, warping, and gapping.
Nailing involves using specially designed flooring nails, often referred to as “cleats,” to secure the hardwood planks to the subfloor. The nails are typically driven through the tongue of each plank, allowing the subsequent plank to hide the nail.
Nailing is the most traditional method of hardwood floor installation and is particularly suitable for solid wood floors. It provides a tight fit and is known for its long-term reliability. However, it can be a more labour-intensive and time-consuming process compared to stapling. It may also not be suitable for thinner planks or engineered wood floors, as the nails can potentially split the wood.
Measure the room to determine the quantity of wood needed. Acclimatise the wood to the room’s humidity levels for a few days before installation. Prepare the subfloor by ensuring it’s clean, flat, and dry.
Start by choosing the direction of the wood planks. Typically, planks are installed perpendicular to the floor joists. Mark a starting line where the first row of planks will be laid.
Begin installing the wood on the longest wall. Place the first plank with its tongue facing the room and secure it using a nail gun, driving nails through the plank’s face into the subfloor and joist. Fill the rest of the row with planks, cutting the last one to fit if necessary.
For the next rows, use the nail gun to drive nails through the tongues of the planks at an angle. Stagger the end joints from row to row for a natural appearance.
Once all planks have been installed, fill any gaps with wood putty. You can now finish your floor with a sealant, stain, or paint of your choice.
Stapling involves using a pneumatic stapler to secure the planks to the subfloor. Staples are driven through the tongue of the planks, similar to nailing.
Stapling is often faster and easier than nailing, making it a popular choice for DIYers and professionals alike. It’s also less likely to split thinner or engineered wood planks. However, it may not hold as securely as nails over time, particularly in regions with significant humidity and temperature fluctuations.
The steps for stapling hardwood floors are very similar to nailing, with the primary difference being the tool and fastener used. Rather than a nail gun, you’ll use a pneumatic stapler and staples.
Your choice between nailing and stapling will depend on several factors, including the type of wood you’re installing, the condition and type of your subfloor, your geographic location, and your comfort level with the tools.
Whether you choose to nail or staple your hardwood floors, the key to a successful installation lies in careful preparation, accurate measurements, and patience. If you’re uncertain about which method is best for your flooring project or if you’re uncomfortable using power tools, it may be worth hiring a professional. A well-installed hardwood floor can enhance the beauty of your home for many years, making it a worthwhile investment of time and effort.
We provide virtually dust-free sanding with our continuous belt machinery with mobile extraction units, giving you a safer environment for your family.
This organic finish not only adds beauty to your home but also has exceptional water-repellent characteristics, making it easier to clean and maintain.
This natural floor finish offers the softest and most mellow appearance – and leaves your floor able to breath.
Using soft buffing machines (and hand-polishing where required) will bring a wonderful sheen to your newly-finished floor.
We offer a full assessment of your wooden floors to determine what repairs are needed to provide the perfect working surface for the later stages of sanding, staining and sealing.
We offer a comprehensive restoration process designed to address floors that are improperly fitted or damaged over time through wear and tear.
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