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Old 11-21-2016, 10:34 AM   #1
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Regular Finish Nailer


I am installing 2-1/4 oak on my stair landing. The landing measures 3' x 3'-6. I was going to rent a flooring nailer, but for such a small area is it really worth it? The rental fee is not that high, but it does cost money. Plus I have to go get it, return it, and if for some reason I want to stop the process for a day or two, the rental fees go up.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:52 AM   #2
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


Did you have a question?

What did installers do before the invention of pneumatic nailers?

That's right a hammer and a nailset.

As you said this is a small area, and if you get tired of hammering, you can rest and return.

Why rent for something this trivial?


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Old 11-21-2016, 02:11 PM   #3
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


Oops. Yes, my question was can I use my 16 ga finish nailer?
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:13 PM   #4
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


Nope, that's just not the nail that is needed for the job.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:33 PM   #5
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


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Nope, that's just not the nail that is needed for the job.
The why do flooring installer use 16 ga nailers to face nail and/or toe nail the first 2-3 rows.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:31 PM   #6
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


Because the real nailer won't fit until you have those rows in place.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:33 PM   #7
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


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The why do flooring installer use 16 ga nailers to face nail and/or toe nail the first 2-3 rows.
I too wonder why not.

Aside from needing to use a nailset to seat the ones in the t & g area, I don't know why not.


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Old 11-21-2016, 03:48 PM   #8
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


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Because the real nailer won't fit until you have those rows in place.
I realize that, but does that mean that the first couple rows are improperly nailed or are nailed good enough and the next row, when properly nailed, will hold the finish-nailed rows in place?
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:59 PM   #9
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


I think I've found the answer to my question. Flooring nails are shaped like a walking cane or they are staples. So now my question is which one to use? It's 3/4 x 2-1/4 solid hardwood going on OSB with joist somewhere underneath. Since the area is small, I don't see there being a big difference one way or the other. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


As you say it's only 9.5 sq. ft. So I would not worry too much about it.

I would try very hard to nail only through the tongues on these, so as to not have any nail head holes in the faces to fill with filler.

And I personally would not use any pneumatic nailer, I can hammer nails well, and still would use the nailset to allow the groove to slip over the tongue unrestricted.

I am figuring that you have a good edge on the rest of the field already, you are not going to need to make a starter strip?


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Old 11-22-2016, 05:56 AM   #11
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


I'd use a few dobs of PL on each board as OSB doesn't grab nails too good.
Drill the tongue at an angle and use spiral nails, 2-1/2" long. Try to hit the joists.
Nail set as mentioned.

I did this at the ends of every 45 board that I installed as the machine was hitting the wall...
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:27 AM   #12
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


The first 2 or 3 starter rows are usually near the walls and don't get as much traffic as the rest of the floor so less potential squeaking. 15 gauge finish nails would be better than 16 gauge. The finish nails won't have the same holding power as a flooring nail (cleat) which is barbed. Flooring staples have a glue on them which is activated during the installation process and get glued in. If your flooring has any movement (expansion/contraction) during seasonal humidity changes the finish nails will lose their grip more easily than a flooring nail or cleat. If you are determined to do this with your finish nailer then use more nails. Flooring nails for a 3/4" thick t&g floor board are typically 2". This length will be fine for your finish nailer or a hand driven nail as it will be penetrating a 3/4" subfloor.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:11 AM   #13
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


I'll go with the flooring nailer.

Pugsy, you think PL is necessary even if I hit the joists as you suggested? I'm worried that I will realize at some point that I made a mistake and need to pull up some of the planks.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:29 AM   #14
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


Joist penetration is minimal and you wouldn't hit enough of them anyway to make a big difference. 2 1/4" hardwood does not need construction adhesive in addition to flooring cleats. If you feel that the rental cost may get excessive if you can't get the floor down quickly consider buying one and then reselling on Craig's list. You can also buy one from Harbor Freight for $99 on sale and it's a HF tool that works.....don't buy the extended warranty you should have a 1 year warranty as a DIYer.
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:25 PM   #15
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Re: Regular Finish Nailer


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I'll go with the flooring nailer.

Pugsy, you think PL is necessary even if I hit the joists as you suggested? I'm worried that I will realize at some point that I made a mistake and need to pull up some of the planks.
If you can hit the joists, you will be fine. OSB is junk and I would never trust it to grip a nail.
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