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Old 08-08-2012, 08:29 AM   #1
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Installing Brazilian Ebony?

I have about 450 square feet of Brazilian Ebony, 3/4" thick x 5" wide planks to install in one room, stair treads and the upstairs hallway to replace the 10+ year old builder's grade carpet in those areas. I was initially contemplating using Elastilon underlayment to make it a floating floor and to not need to nail, but I would then need to have a significant amount of transition T-moldings or thresholds which would be annoying due to the tripping hazard in the high traffic areas.

in the main room where it's being installed, It will be transitioning to tile on both entrances and would prefer a smooth/relatively seamless transition.

I spoke to a few installers and not many have even attempted installing wood so hard so couldn't comment. However one managed to install over 800 sq ft of it using PowerNail's Flex nailer. Apparently they used 18 gauge nails/staples and did not have an issue with nails bending, penetration or wood splitting.

Has anyone else had success with nailing without predrilling and hand-nailing finishing nails? As that was the only other option given at this point.

If you used a nailer, what brand worked for you and were there any tips on it's usage (what PSI range, etc)



Last edited by dengle; 08-08-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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Those flooring nails will work just fine. No way would I suggest using finish nails to install a whole floor.
For one thing there smooth shanked and will come loose.


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Old 08-15-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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FYI, the 18 gauge cleats and the Powernailer flex 50p have worked like a charm on the ebony.

The hardest part was getting the first two rows started as the nailer wouldn't fit. I broke 4 1/16" and 2 5/64" drill bits (carbide, diamond coated, titanium coated, it didn't matter) drilling pilot holes for the nails. If I didn't drill the holes, the nail would either get stuck halfway in or the wood would split. I tried using two different brad/finish nailers on a piece of test wood and no matter what the PSI, brad length or gun (I have two), either the wood would split or the nail would bend.

With the nailer, only sporadic tongue splits would occur and not enough to ruin the board.

For end cuts a 24 tooth 10" chop saw worked fine without damaging the surface.

For rips, I used a 40T 10" portable table saw, again, without splits or chips to the finish.

I'm going to pick up the Powernailer power palm as I have to do a lot of close-quarter work (stair treads and long hallway) and pre-drilling all of those holes will drive me nuts. Hopefully it works as well as it's bigger cousin!
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