Basic setps for the installation of tongue and groove flooring

Basic setps for the installation of tongue and groove flooring

VIDEO: Basic Steps for the Installation of Tongue and Groove Flooring

There are many types of flooring available in today’s market place.

It’s important to choose both the correct Powernailer, and the correct cleat size for the type of flooring your are going to install.

These examples are ѕ” Solid.

ѕ” Solid may be a domestic wood species such as oak, maple, ash, birch, hickory or fir.

These solid woods at ѕ” thickness can be installed using a 16 gauge Powercleats.

Both the 445 nailer or a 445FS stapler would be the correct tool for the job.

If your flooring is between 3/8” up to ѕ”, the model 50P FLEX may be the right tool for the job.

The 50P FLEX installs both domestic solids (like oak and maple) as well as engineered and exotic flooring (such as bamboo, Brazilian cherry or cumeru).

The 50P FLEX uses a slightly thinner, 18 gauge Powercleat to eliminate splits and cracks during install.

The 50P FLEX has an adjustable foot so you can install from 3/8” to ѕ” flooring without the use of pads or shims.

Thinner flooring such as 5/16”, 3/8” or Ѕ” can be installed using either the 20FS stapler – or – the 50P FLEX.

Both the 50P FLEX and the model 20FS stapler can install Ѕ” or 3/8” flooring.

The 20FS can install the thinner 5/16” engineered flooring as well as 3/8” and Ѕ”.

The 20FS is a trigger-pull stapler with the Powernail FLEX foot. It adjusts to your wood profile and uses a thinner, 20 gauge, 1” staple.

After determining which nailer is right for your flooring, you need to determine the length of Powercleat appropriate for your installation.

The length of Powercleat you use depends of several factors.

    The thickness of your new flooring, The thickness of your plywood subfloor, and Whether you are installing over a basement or crawl with floor joists—or on a concrete slab.

When installing over floor joists, you want your nails to anchor solidly into the subfloor.

When installing over concrete slab, make sure the subfloor is at least ѕ” thick.

It is important not to nail into the concrete as this can damage the nailer and drive blade.

For best results, do not use fasteners over 1-1/2” inches long when over concrete.

As this depth chart shows, ѕ” & 5/8” flooring can be installed with either 2” or 1-3/4” Powercleats.

Here we see that both 5/8” and Ѕ” flooring can both be installed with the 1-1/2” size cleat.

And here we see that 1” staples would be the best fastener for installing thinner flooring like 3/8” or 5/16”.

Once you’ve decided on your Powernailer and cleat size, you are now ready to install your flooring.

First, examine your base floor to determine which direction your floor support joists are going.

In this example, the floor joists are the vertical dotted lines.

Therefore, in this example, your flooring will be installed perpendicular to the joists so that each board will be crossing one or more floor joists.

When installing on a wood subfloor over a slab, run the flooring in the same direction as

the longest wall.

When laying out your first run, be certain you leave a minimum of 1/2 for wood flooring expansion between the wall and the flooring edge.

If your gap is in excess of Ѕ”, make certain that whatever type of trim you are using will cover the gap.

Once you lay out your first run, pre-drill the boards for hand nailing into place.

You will want to alternate with both top nail and tongue nailing for your first 2 rows.

Before driving in nails, use a carpenter’s line to get the first row as straight as possible.

Using your pilot holes, alternate between top nail and tongue nail for the first two rows of flooring.

Use a nail set tool to counter sink the nails below the surface.

Using pilot holes for this row as well, nail in a full second row of flooring.

With your first 2 rows securely nailed down, you are now ready to rack out the rest of your floor.

Here are some guidelines for laying out your flooring.

Space the board ends at least 3 times the width of the board. In this example, your spacing for board ends should be at least 7 inches.

As you rack out your floor, avoid clustering of the end-joints.

A pattern of “stair steps” is also to be avoided.

Also, try to avoid “H-Joints” in your racking.

A good way to start the racking process is by organizing your board strips into stacks of different sizes.

Flooring manufacturers bundle short, medium and long sizes together so you have an even mix throughout your floor.

Once your strips are sorted by length, start laying out your strips one row at a time.

You can alternate different length boards as you rack to help avoid the “Clustering, Stair steps, and H-joints”.

Since some prefinished flooring may have a slightly different color tint from 1 box to the next, be sure to mix wood from several boxes so the flooring blends well across the entire area.

At the end of every row, you will need to trim the last board to the exact size needed.

First, find a board that will fill the gap.

Then line up the final board “tongue-to-tongue” with the gap.

Flip the board over and mark with pencil where you would like a straight cut.

Use a circular saw to cut the board straight across your mark.

The board completes the row and is ready for nailing.

Before you start nailing, make sure your nailer is adjusted to a sample of your flooring.

You should fire a test nail to ensure the nail sets correctly into the nail pocket.

Begin your nailing from the left side of the room and always do your nailing from left to right across the floor.

Use a rubber mallet to tap the boards tightly into place.

To nail your flooring, strike the plunger at the top of the nailer with the rubber mallet.

Do not hit any other parts of the nailer with the mallet as this may cause damage.

The nail spacing schedule varies by board type but you always nail down the ends of each board and space nails between 6, 8, or 10 inches apart.

Always read and follow the flooring manufacturers guide and recommendations.

We’ve now reached the final few rows that are too close to the wall for a Powernailer.

It’s now time to predrill pilot holes in the nail pocket of the flooring, and nail down with finishing nails.

Here, we use a Powerjack to tighten the boards and hold them tightly for nailing.

The final row should also be pre-drilled and top-nailed as well.

Make sure the final row is tight before top-nailing into place.

Use a nail-set to countersink all top-nailed areas.


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