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Tag Archives: Flooring stapler
  • 6 Critical FAQs Before Installing Hardwood Flooring

    Nothing beats the ambiance and timelessness of wood floors. Hardwood flooring can last a hundred years or more, adding beauty and value to your home. Installing hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can be a daunting process if you aren't familiar with the following frequently asked questions.

    Installing Hardwood Flooring is a Perfectly Sound Investment

    Q. What’s the difference between hardwood and engineered wood flooring?

    Hardwood flooring is made of solid wood. Walnut, cherry, pine, birch, ash, are common varieties of hardwood flooring. Bamboo (actually a grass and not a wood) is another popular flooring choice these days. Engineered wood, often used interchangeably with hardwood flooring, is actually made of layers of wood with a veneer of real wood. It offers the look of solid wood, but with greater versatility.

    Solid hardwood flooring typically comes in 3/4” thick boards, while engineered wood boards are usually 3/8" or 1/2" thick. Hardwood boards are typically narrower than engineered wood planks to better adapt to moisture fluctuation.

    Deciding whether to invest in solid or engineered hardwood flooring depends upon your needs and environment. Solid hardwood flooring is known for its endurance and the fact that it can be refinished many times. It's also more expensive than engineered wood flooring, which is more stable and moisture resistant. If a section of engineered flooring gets damaged, however, it usually has to be replaced, as the engineered wood flooring cannot be re-sanded or refinished as many times (If at all) as solid hardwood.

    Q. Can I install hardwood flooring on concrete?

    Yes. But there are certain requirements to ensure that moisture doesn’t reach the hardwood. The concrete floor for solid hardwood should be at-grade or above-grade (at or above ground-level). For basements, most flooring manufacturers recommend using engineered wood. Furthermore, the concrete also has to be completely dry - even before installing a subfloor. Carpeting, paint and other materials must be removed as well, and you may need a concrete grinder to prep first.

    After new concrete is laid, it can take more than a month for the moisture to evaporate from concrete, and moisture levels must be tested prior to installation. Before laying hardwood flooring over concrete, you’ll need a moisture barrier between the two surfaces. For solid hardwood over concrete, it’s recommended to use a wood subfloor, which can raise the overall floor level. Something to consider, as clearance for doorways and other items may change.

    Hardwood flooring installation with the Bostitch BTFP12569 2 in 1 Flooring Tool

    Q. What Tools Do I Need When Installing Hardwood Flooring?

    If you are installing pre-finished hardwood flooring, you’ll need a flooring stapler or nailer. The choice depends on personal preference. See our article on the Difference between a Flooring Nailer and Flooring Stapler, for more info. Freeman, Bostitch and Powernail are reliable brands for flooring tools; our most popular tool is the Freeman PF18GLCN nailer.

    Decide whether you want a manual flooring nailer or pneumatic flooring tool. If you have a large installation project, choose the pneumatic tool. While more expensive, it will make the job faster and save you fatigue. You may also want to invest in a rolling flooring accessory that will also make the process easier, with less lifting each time you fasten.

    Other tools need you’ll also need: a hammer, miter or table saw, and a pry bar for removing molding. For installing unfinished wood, you’ll need a sander, vacuum, and other finishing tools.

    Q. What Hardwood Flooring Fasteners Will I Need?

    As for wood flooring fasteners, you'll use nails or staples. Staples are generally a cheaper choice of fastener, but 16-, 18-, or 20-gauge flooring nails or “cleats” are the choice of pros. They allow for wood flooring expansion and contraction, also providing great holding power. Whichever fastener you choose when installing hardwood flooring, you'll need to use that fastener throughout the entire installation.

    The fastener you choose may also depend the wood and subflooring material needed, and the recommendations of the flooring manufacturer. Per Flooring.org, the National Wood Flooring Association, states that for solid hardwood boards, nails or staples should be spaced between eight and ten inches apart, and for engineered wood boards, between four and eight inches. PowerNail has a handy Room Square Foot and Cleat Coverage Calculator.

    Q. How much wood do I need to install a floor?

    Hardwood flooring is sold in cartons. To determine how much wood is needed, first find out the square footage of space for your project. Before installing hardwood flooring, measure the room’s length and width, then multiply the two to get the total square footage. For an unusually shaped room, measure odd areas separately. It’s helpful to divide the areas into rectangles, add the measurements together and then multiply to get square footage. Don’t forget to include closet space.

    It’s advisable to add 5-10% to cover the “waste factor,” wood that will end up being unusable. If you’re completing more than one room, total the total square footage and then add 5-10% for waste cost.

    Installing hardwood flooring is a solid investment in any home

    Q. How much does installing hardwood flooring cost?

    This depends on a lot of factors—starting with the type of wood for your floor. For a rough idea on the cost to install hardwood flooring, Home Advisor states that the average homeowner will spend $4,396 to install a wood floor. On the lower end of the spectrum, softer woods such as pine can range from $3 to $6 per square foot, while more resilient and exotic wood varieties can cost $8 to $10 per square foot. In the middle lies common wood species, such as oak.

    Unless you’re planning a DIY project, add into that estimate the cost of labor, which will run from $3 to $8 per square foot. If you need to have furniture moved or carpeting removed, this will cost extra, so budget that into your costs.

    (For more on installation, see our article How to Install Hardwood Floors.)


     

    Shop Nail Gun Depot:

    Flooring Fasteners

    Pneumatic Flooring Nailers

    Manual Flooring Nailers

    Flooring Staplers

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  • How To Install Radiant Floor Heating

    Homeowners ask, why upgrade to radiant floor heating? Picture this, it's a chilly morning and you take that first barefoot step onto a cold tile floor. The touch sends a chill straight through your body.

    Radiant Floor Heating

    If you're fed-up with frigid floors, there's an alternative - radiant floor heating. Not only a benefit to your feet, heated flooring is a popular selling feature among prospective home buyers. And, installation is easier than you think.

    PROJECT NOTE: You will have to remove your existing outer flooring when installing above the sub-floor. If you aren't prepared to re-tile or replace existing floors, don't start without the proper budget, materials and professional guidance. When installing above sub-floor, you will also have to cover the radiant heating grid with a layer of gypsum - or concrete - once the heating unit has been properly secured to the sub-floor. Any flooring material installed above the layer of gypsum can be installed as you would install flooring over a concrete surface.

    Spotnails Radiant Floor App

    Compared to other methods, such as hot water heating or forced air, radiant floor systems disperse warmth evenly, as they are designed to cover a maximum square footage for any given space. Typically used in tile bathrooms, radiant heat can be used in other areas of the home that present the proper conditions for installation.

    PROJECT TIP: Before installation, confirm all electrical and structural specifications for the space you are working meet code. We recommend contacting a licensed electrician and general contractor to ensure your project is being completed both safely and legally. Confirm that the addition of radiant heating will not overload your existing circuits or create another hazard. Be sure to follow the installation instructions and consult professional expertise as required. Never work with live wires.

    When ready to start, installation can be done two ways, either above the sub-floor or below it. In either instance, you'll need to make sure the radiant mat is stapled into place and secured to the sub-floor before proceeding. Spotnails offers two tools designed specifically for radiant flooring installation, the X1S1640RFH and the X1S3640RFH. Both of these wide crown construction staplers are designed specifically for the installation of radiant flooring.

    Spotnails Radiant Floor Stapler

    Installing your radiant heating system above the sub-floor? Spotnails offers an attachable pogo stick (AS-99090), which eliminates the need to bend over for stapling. Simply place the tool's nose on your desired point of fastening, and pull the walking stick's trigger to activate.

    As we mentioned earlier, once the wiring has been harnessed, connected and tested per your radiant flooring mat manufacturer's instruction, you will need to protect the radiant heating system by either installing insulation (for under sub-floor radiant flooring), or by adding a layer of gypsum (over sub-floor radiant floor installation).

    Ready to heat your feet? Share your experience with radiant flooring below.

    ~The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Choosing A Staple Gun For Your Project

    Everything you need to know about staple guns. Learn the difference between gauge and crown, what makes one type stapler different from another, and most importantly, which stapler is the best one for you.
    BeA Upholstery Stapler
    What Type Of Staple Gun Do I Need?
    • Construction Stapler: When you think of a staple gun, the first thought that might come to mind is a construction stapler - in other words, not your average office stapler. Most construction staplers look very similar to a nail gun, and they typically aren't far off in operation - that is, until you load your fasteners into the magazine. Construction staplers vary in size, depending on the project you need them for. Finish staplers are great for trim work - while heavy-duty construction staplers can be used for sheathing, cabinet framing, furniture construction and more.
    • Upholstery Stapler: Upholstery staplers and fine wire construction staplers maintain similar characteristics - in fact, there's even a slight category overlap in some 20 gauge models - so it's important that you make sure the tool you purchase is intended for the correct application. Some upholstery staplers are intended specifically for upholstering applications, while others leave some room for versatility. To make upholstering easier, some models of upholstery stapler come with a long nose, for reaching into tight spaces.
    • Flooring Stapler: Flooring staplers, again, look very much like their flooring nailer counterpart. Flooring staplers are designed for the installation of hardwood and engineered wood flooring. Hardwood floor staplers come in two variations - either mallet actuated or trigger actuated. A mallet actuated flooring stapler requires the strike of a rubber mallet to drive the staple into place. Carpet staplers are more of a mixture between hammer staplers and upholstery staplers.
    • Packing Stapler: Carton closing staplers - also known as packaging staplers - are designed specifically for corrugated box closing applications, typically associated with packing and shipping. Carton closing staplers come in several variations, ranging from air-powered (pneumatic), to cordless battery - or even manual - operation. The size of corrugate you are intending to staple will determine the size of staple and stapler you require. For applications in manufacturing or assembly line production, packaging staplers are also available in bench-mounted and clinch stapling variations, designed for repetitive, high-volume use.
    • Hammer Stapler: Hammer staplers, also known as hammer tackers or slap staplers, are manually actuated tools that require the striking of a surface to operate - in the same manner as a hammer. Hammer staplers are generally used in carpet, insulation, housewrap and roofing felt installation.
    • Cap Stapler: Cap staplers are most commonly found in the roofing industry. These specialty staplers operate the same as a regular staple gun, but also drive a plastic cap in tandem with the staple. The cap provides greater holding power and offers added protection for the staple. Cap staplers are used for roofing felt, housewrap, foam board and other select applications.
    Stinger Cap Stapler
    What Crown Stapler Should I Choose?
    • Narrow Crown: Narrow crown staplers are generally used for finish and trim applications, such as molding, trim, cabinets, drawers, fascias and other fine-grained applications. The smaller crown allows the stapler to penetrate a surface without being overly noticeable.
    • Medium Crown: Medium crown staplers are preferred in subflooring, pallet building, vinyl siding, furniture assembly, sheathing and similar applications. A medium crown offers a wider range of clinch, but is not quite as rugged as a wide crown.
    • Wide Crown: Wide crown staplers and staples are intended for heavy-duty use - primarily in construction, for projects in truss building, housewrap, roofing, lathing and more. Look to use a wide crown stapler for many of the same applications as a medium crown, but where it doesn't matter if the staple affects the appearance of your project. Wide crown staples are bulkier, but offer greater holding capability.
    C-Wire Staples
    What's The Difference In Wire (Gauge) Type?
    • Fine Wire: Fine wire staples are the thinnest variation of staple, generally ranging from 20 - 22 gauge in thickness. It's important to note, that the gauge and crown of staple are two different things. The gauge is the thickness of the staple, whereas the crown is the width.
    • Medium Wire: Medium wire staples are generally measured in the 18 - 19 gauge range of thickness. Medium wire will provide more holding power than a fine wire staple, but is not the best option for heavy-duty applications in construction.
    • Heavy Wire: Heavy wire staples are the thickest variation of staple, mostly found in 15 - 16 gauge thickness. Heavy wire will provide the greatest holding power of the three, but will also take up the most area when fastened. Heavy wire staples are good for applications that require stapling to a thick surface.

     

    Other clamp fastening tools serve as extended family to the staple gun, such as hog ring pliers, corrugated fastening tools and flaring staplers; however, these specialized tools are typically intended for industrial use or manufacturing.
    Bostitch Cordless Carton Stapler
    Just as you should with any other power tool, be sure that safety is your top priority when using a staple gun. Always be aware of your surroundings, how you handle the tool, and make sure you are equipped with the proper safety gear.
    ~The Nail Gun Depot Team 
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  • What's The Difference Between A Floor Nailer & Flooring...

    So you are interested in replacing your hardwood floors, but you don't know which tool will work best for the job? If you look for a flooring tool, you will see there are flooring nailers and floor staplers. The tools may look similar, but which one is the one you need? The answer is, either tool can work for you, but let's explore some of the differences between a floor nailer and flooring stapler, to give you the most informed decision possible.
     
    Bostitch Miiifs
     
     
    Floor nailers are available in two variations, manual or pneumatic (air powered). You might hear a contractor refer to this tool as a flooring cleat nailer, as it most often takes cleat nails for fastening. A manual flooring nailer will require additional muscle, as it relies solely on its user's strength. On the other hand, pneumatic floor nailers assist the user by providing additional force, when inserting a nail. Either of these tools will require a user to hit the driver head when inserting a cleat. The amount of pressure required depends on the density of the wood being installed. A thicker wood will require longer cleats, which also calls for additional force to drive the fastener. You will find it easier to use a pneumatic floor nailer for thick woods, such as Brazilian Cherry.
     
    Powernail 2000
     
    Flooring Staplers are also available in manual or pneumatic variations, although manual floor staplers are typically not preferred in the construction trade. As you can see on Nail Gun Depot, electric staplers are also an option, depending on the source of power that you prefer - although pneumatic is by far the most common offering.
    A hardwood stapler anchors the flooring planks to the sub-floor, driving staples into the tongue of a wood plank. Recognized as an industry "staple," the Bosititch Miiifs is one of the most popular tools for the flooring stapler segment, thanks to its superior performance and time-tested reliability. Operating at 60-100 PSI, the Miiifs can achieve 420 pounds of driving power.
     
    Now that we know the tools available, let's look at the flooring fasteners that make the difference. As you saw above, the tools operate similarly, which means that the difference primarily lies in the fastener itself. It all boils down to nails versus staples. [Also note that you should not switch between nails and staples when installing a floor - whichever fastener you start with should be the only one used throughout the entire project.]
     
    A flooring nail, or cleat, is typically offered in either "L" head or "T" head variation - check and see which variation your nail gun requires. A cleat nail offers a sharp, rigid body to grip the sub-floor firmly. It also features a smooth portion of its body, which allows for seasonal expansion and contraction of the flooring. Typically, cleat nails are available in 16 or 18 gauge - although 20 gauge is also available for certain applications. The more durable option of the two, the drawback to cleats is their cost - compared to the cost of staples.
     
    "L" Cleat
     
    Floor staples provide two-pronged fastening for hardwood flooring. Flooring staples actually provide a stronger initial grip than cleats, but do not hold as firmly when the floor expands and contracts - which can eventually lead to creaking. Another drawback to staples, they can split the tongue of flooring - especially when the plank is less than 3/4" thick. Because staples are less costly to manufacture, they are typically the more cost-effective flooring fastener, when looking at cleats versus staples. However, you also have to consider the long-term durability of your flooring installation, when selecting between staples and nails.
     
    Floor Staple
     
    Regardless of the flooring nailer or stapler you choose to use, it is imperative that you understand your tools prior to using. Applying too much pressure can damage your floor, while applying too little pressure can cause cleats or staples to only be driven partially, resulting in each neighboring plank to not form a tight fit, ruining the entire project.
     
    If you need additional assistance in choosing the perfect flooring nailer, stapler or fastener for your job, Nail Gun Depot's customer service is ready to help!

     ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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