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Old 10-10-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
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Tools for hardwood install


I have never installed a hardwood floor before. This floor will be prefinished hickory, 3-1/4 & 4-1/4 mixed. All above grade, using AquaBar "B" underlayment on top of 23/32 T&G plywood.

Specifically, what tools would I need to acquire to do this correctly and economically? I have a total of 1100 sq ft that will get installed over a period of several months, room by room, and will probably never do this again.

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Old 10-10-2012, 08:31 PM   #2
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Tools for hardwood install


A pneumatic flooring nailer or stapler, an air compressor and hose, a multi-tool for cutting door jambs and casings. A tape measure, a square, a set of scribes, a circular saw. It would be nice to have a table saw for any long rip cuts, but you can do those with your circular saw if you're good. And a jig jaw comes in handy for odd cuts. And a bunch of assorted hand tools. Hammer, screw driver, knee pads, chalk line...............
You can rent the nailer and compressor, but it wouldn't make much sense if it's going to take you months.


Last edited by Davejss; 10-10-2012 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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Tools for hardwood install


Maul to drive them together and a 2 X 4 to use as a tapping block.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:14 AM   #4
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Tools for hardwood install


I would imagine with hickory that I would use cleat nails rather than staples, correct? If so, any particular recommendations? For someone doing a house, is there any functional difference between a $150 nailer and a $500 one?

Speaking of compressor, I have a small pancake compressor that is fine for running a brad nailer or filling car tires. Am I correct in assuming that it would not be suitable for running a nailer, or am I wrong and that it will just go slower with a smaller compressor?

I figure that I'd need a pull block, knee pads, tapping block, and rubber mallet for fitting the boards together. Would a short piece of flooring make a good tapping block, to protect the tongue from damage?

For cross cuts, I have a power miter saw. I am borrowing a flooring saw for rips. My first room is just a sunk rectangle, so I don't have door casings to deal with yet, but when I do I was figuring on using a pull saw with a scrap flooring piece for spacing.

For face nailing my first couple rows, am I better off pre-drilling and using a regular hammer and set, or should I use a brad nailer? I will practice both on scrap, but I was wondering if someone had experience to share. Oh, and of course I plan to use eye protection (should use hearing protection when using saws, too, but in truth I often forget).
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:29 AM   #5
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Tools for hardwood install


I will add an item to the list. A floor jack will come in very handy for pulling the boards together. Harbor Freight sells a cheap yet decent one. Also, your compressor should work just fine. Their is a difference in a cheap nailer vs a good one, but if you are just doing this one job one of the cheap ones will make it through it. Another option might be to look for a used one on craigslist. We have actually bought a few of ours from homeowners who bough one just to do their floor. So they were very gently used, yet much cheaper than new.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:33 AM   #6
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Tools for hardwood install


Home Depot also rents them.

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