Hardwood Floor Installation: Nailing and Stapling
When it comes to hardwood floor installation, consumers have several options. Solid hardwood floors can be attached to the sub-floor by means of nailing, stapling and gluing.
There are some situations in which nails are preferred over staples, and some in which nails are not practical. If, for example, the flooring material consists of a thin sheet of wood, it is best to use staples as there is really not enough wood to fasten a nail properly into place.
Wood planks that are three-fourths of an inch thick, or thicker, are appropriate for nailing. Most installers use a special type of nail known as cleat nails. What distinguishes these nails is the presence of a cleat angled at the top of the unit so that the nail will not “vanish” into the flooring surface completely. Cleat nails also feature a shank that is barbed in order to help it grip the subfloor much more effectively.
Another choice is to use a technique known as face nailing. This matches the most traditional method for affixing wooden plank floors down. By using a face nailing technique, installers can mimic a more vintage look for a floor – a look that comes from the time when floorboards were wide boards milled to have completely square sides, with no hint of tongue-and-groove or locking down features.
The traditional look can be lovely in your home, but sanding a floor in the traditional way from centuries past is virtually never done these days. Instead, proper floor maintenance involves contracting with a professional floor sanding and finishing company.