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-   -   what type of nail gun for bamboo flooring? (

matchley 12-26-2007 02:07 PM

what type of nail gun for bamboo flooring?

I recently installed bamboo flooring in my office. I bought the recommended flooring nailer (Porta-Nailer) to do the job, but every time i used it, it would split the tongue of the flooring. And I mean EVERY time.

I was pretty desperate to get the room done and get my office back in business. So i tried using my finishing nailer and it seemed to work pretty well. Every once in a while i would line it up badly and have to scrap a piece, but I am happy with the outcome visually. I laid the entire floor with the finishing nailer. The room is approx 10x20.

My question is this: I am planning on putting the same flooring in the entire rest of my upstairs and want to know if there are any repercussions to this installation method that I am unaware of..and/or won't notice until 2-3 yrs down the road and i have to rip it all out...???


ron schenker 12-26-2007 02:50 PM

The finishing nails have very little holding power compared to a 2" barbed flooring nail. I hope your bamboo floor stays together! Did you try turning down the p.s.i. on your compressor?

matchley 12-26-2007 02:56 PM

the nail gun was manual.
i suppose the "staying power" answers my question.

would a pneumatic gun be better?

ron schenker 12-26-2007 03:37 PM

A flooring nailer is the only way to go. You need to get the nails into the tongue at the right angle. Any gun will not hold well plus it will kill your back and knees. Rent one at a rental shop or a big box store and use 2" nails. I've done bamboo floors very successfully with this method and around 100 p.s.i. I know of a couple of flooring guys that used staples instead of nails and kept breaking tongues.

ratherbefishin' 12-26-2007 03:47 PM

You may have the wrong shoe on your Porta-nailer. Neither of the shoes that come with the gun will work with "5/8" (actually 15-18mm) bamboo. It sounds to me like you're using the thinner of the stock shoes, which would cause the gun to rock back and fire the cleat almost vertically, directly through the tongue, instead of angled back into the "meat" of the plank.
Btw, I installed 3000+ sq ft of bamboo last year with a manual Porta-nailer and had no problems. The only thing I would change next time is use the pneumatic version....think my right arm was about 2" bigger than the left by the time I was!

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