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Old 09-11-2006, 09:05 PM
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Hardwood Floors

Hay guy's, any of you installed hardwood flooring before? I'm just about ready to start installing the hardwood in my house addition/remodel, it should be around 1500+sq ft of 3/4" natural oak. All the bedrooms and the dining room will be hard wood.

I have done a few of the "Pergo" or the laminate type floors before, but not a true hardwood floor. I just looked at a pneumatic nail-er for the HW flooring tonight, almost $500.00 with the staples. Ouch But I have to have one.

My real question is this. Are the staples better, or are the nails better? Seems like the pneumatic type shoots staples while the manual hammer in type shoots nails . Also any other tips that you think would help, I'm all ears...

Steve

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Old 09-11-2006, 10:06 PM
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the staples will be fine just make sure you use the right length grab a scrap piece and shoot it into the floor at the groove and make sure it goes in all the way but not all the way through.

and make sure you leave about a half inch gap at the walls so the floor can breath with the house and not bind and buckle. good luck.
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:08 AM
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I always thought that the staples held a little better. They act more like 2 little nails instead of 1 bigger one. Also a staple has a tendancy to deflect on it's travel into the subfloor, so it will actually curl up and hold better.
When I did carpet and linoleum for a living, I found myself pulling up alot of things that had been stapled or nailed down.

Getting stapled wood pulled off the floor was always harder than nailed wood. Nails seemed to pull right out. Ringed nails are not much better than straight ones.

I have one of the old Duo-Fast manual staplers designed for hardwood. I got it when I was 16. You hit it with a mallet. Do a whole house with that thing and your arm will look like Popeye's.

Hope this helps, mikey.
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 09-12-2006 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:03 AM
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Mike is right..the staples are much better but dont go with the cheap ones..make sure they are coated for restistance from moisture

Ive brought hardwood pallets home from jobsites at times to use for home projects,those are the same staples as the ones you will use,almost impossible to get out without busting up the wood

If you are just going to use the pnuematic staple gun just for this project & dont think you will ever use it again,you can rent one by the day or week very cheap from a tool rental establishment instead spending all the money to own one
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
Mike is right..the staples are much better but dont go with the cheap ones..make sure they are coated for restistance from moisture

you can rent one by the day or week very cheap from a tool rental establishment instead spending all the money to own one

What brand of staples are you talking about?

I could rent one, but I have a lot of flooring to put down and I only work at one pace, that's slow So I think in the long run I would be better off just buying one.

Steve
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:54 PM
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Depending were you buy it and their guarantee you can always return it after you are done and it doesn't do the job you thought it would. Or you could sell it for half the price you paid for it and still be ahead of renting one.
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:49 AM
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A couple of tips,

Make sure you screw in your sub floor wherever it squeeks before installing the hardwoods.

Install the hardwoods perpendicular to the joists.

Undercut your door casings using a reciprocating saw by placing the blade flat on a short piece of hardwood. This way, the wood will slide snug underneath them. My cousin negleted this step with his laminate. Looks like hell.

Install the off-color boards in the closet, by the wall, or under where your bed will be.

Don't install your wood right snug to the wall. Leave room for expansion, but tight enough for the gap to be covered by the baseboards. (usually 7/16 or 3/8. check your baseboard)

When racking, leave a minimum of 5 inches between the joints. It looks better.

**Save a load of aggravation...number your baseboards on the wall and on the boards themselves as you remove them. Or else just buy a bottle and cry........

Paul

Last edited by pigjamelectric; 09-13-2006 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Depending were you buy it and their guarantee you can always return it after you are done and it doesn't do the job you thought it would.
Good idea

Quote:
**Save a load of aggravation...number your baseboards on the wall and on the boards themselves as you remove them. Or else just buy a bottle and cry........

This will be all new construction, I went from a ranch style to a two story.

Quote:
When racking, leave a minimum of 5 inches between the joints. It looks better.

I'm unsure what you are talking about, what is racking?


Thanks for all the suggestion,

Steve
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Old 09-13-2006, 07:07 AM
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Also do I want to use some sort of felt paper between the sub floor and the hardwood? My old hardwood had a tar paper type between the two.

Thanks for all the help guy's

Steve
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Old 09-13-2006, 07:56 AM
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Racking= Laying out the pieces in the entire room first.

Or you can do one row at a time. Just still watch where the joints meet up.

In areas with higher moisture, such as a cabin at a lake or in a basement, tar paper should be laid out underneath. In a regular climate, wax paper (the kind the butcher wraps his meat in) can be used for main floor or second floor. It acts somewhat as a moisture barrier, but more effectively, allows your wood to slide in nice and easy.

For me, seeing a newly laid hardwood floor is as satisfying as seeing a car fresh out of a paint booth. Good luck with your project. It going to look great.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Racking= Laying out the pieces in the entire room first.
Thanks have already started that step.

Do I need to have anything between the hardwood and the sub floor? Will the wax paper cause any problems over the long term? You are talking about regular wax paper, that is only approximately 15" wide, if so can I buy it in larger sizes? It would take many rolls to cover that much floor.

Thanks again for the help

Steve
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:58 AM
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We had our last two homes built by reputable builders(if there are such and we had lots of hardwood installed in each. Some was glued on concrete floors and the rest were stapled on 3/4 subflooring by a professional installer(we requested the same guy for the second home because he was a craftsman that took pride in his work). We (he) used no underlay for the main and upper levels. He also used staples and his nailer was the type you hit with a big hammer(really helps "draw" the joints tight vice the straight neumatic nailer).

Don't be macho. Invest in a good set of knee pads and always work in old jeans. Always wear safety glasses!!!! Remember the last run will be nailed straight down so have a gun and nails for this. A good rubber mallet to tap the groove into the tongue will save a lot of aggravation over the course of the job.

Trees
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trees
Don't be macho. Invest in a good set of knee pads and always work in old jeans. Always wear safety glasses!!!! Remember the last run will be nailed straight down so have a gun and nails for this. A good rubber mallet to tap the groove into the tongue will save a lot of aggravation over the course of the job.

Trees
To old to feel macho!!!

Already have the knee pads (no smart comments) I just got done installing ceramic tile in both master and kids bathrooms. Plus the tile on the master bedroom walls and shower. I will post some pictures in the morning if you are interested in seeing my tile jobs. I am very proud of my tile work (and very happy its done). I will start a new Tile thread

Do you think the older non pneumatic staplers are better at getting a tighter fit?

Steve
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:19 PM
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Change of plans on the wax paper, Steve. My friend the hardwood guy told me you can only get the wax paper through a hardwood flooring store. BTW the roll is three feet wide, brown and tougher than the kitchen stuff.

Instead you can use Vaporex which is sold at Home Depot. It covers about 400 square feet, so you'd need four rolls.

quote: Do you think the older non pneumatic staplers are better at getting a tighter fit?


Pneumatic will work just as well as a manual, and you will strain yourself less. I will say it would work even better because it will sink your nail every time, as opposed to a manual wherer you must strike it with force every time and just right. I've had to stop too many times to hammer/punch a non-buried nail. I use the pneumatic almost all the time when I'm helping my friend.

Paul.

Last edited by pigjamelectric; 09-13-2006 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:39 PM
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Thanks Paul,

I will buy a new Bostitch MIIIFS pneumatic nailer from Home depot, I have been watching this nailer on Ebay. Its half of the cost of new. It looks like its in great shape.

So do you suggest using some sort of barrier between the sub and hardwood?

I just want to do it right the first time with little creaking sounds like my hardwood has now.

Steve
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