Wood flooring is one of the best ways to cover your homes floors. It’s cost effective, it’s green and it’s easy to install on your own. But without the right tools, materials and knowledge, your DIY flooring job can go wrong in a hurry. Use this guide to flooring nailers and find out which flooring nailer is best for you and your DIY wood floor.
Hardwood Vs. Engineered
Whether or not you use hardwood flooring or you use engineered wood flooring, you’ll need to know what type of attachment system your materials use. Some use glue, some use staples or flooring nails while others don’t use any attachment other than themselves.
Wood flooring installed on raised floors or second story homes already have a wood substrate and are ready to go. No prep is needed other than sweeping and repairing any damaged plywood. Concrete flooring on the other hand needs plywood attached to the concrete. A Ramset gun (powder charged nail gun) is used to attach plywood to a concrete floor for good.
Used primarily to nail tongue and groove flooring boards to the flooring substrate, flooring nailers have a large elongated handle, while the base of the gun rests flat on the floor. This prevents the need for bending over to insert a nail into the tongue of the flooring board.
Manual Flooring Nailers- These easy to use flooring nailers use the power of your own arm to drive the flooring nailer into the tongue of the board. A rubber mallet strikes the trigger that drives a nail on a 45 degree angle into the board. It typically takes 2-4 strikes to set each nail.
Pneumatic Floor Nailers- A compression trigger is located at the top of the gun and is engaged using a rubber or nylon mallet. Flooring nailers typically use a stick loaded 1 ½” T-nail, J-nail or flooring staple. These nailers need a compressor with a minimal pressure of 45-90 psi.
Buying Considerations: When purchasing a flooring nailer, look for an oil-free flooring nail gun to prevent leaving any oil residue on your finished wood floor. Don’t forget the mallet!
When buying a floor nailer that’s manual, you may want to buy a floor nailer that uses a sturdy driving pin made from a strong material like magnesium or steel. Plastic mallets should also be avoided.
You may want to consider renting a flooring nailer for smaller projects as these one of a kind nail guns only work for wood flooring.
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