Power nailer and subfloor sleepers


Old 04-10-06, 06:08 AM
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Power nailer and subfloor sleepers

This seems to be a silly question, but I'm a little puzzled.

I'm putting in a subfloor in my basement, over concrete. I'm using a power actuated nailer to fasten the sleepers to the floor. The fasteners end up sticking up above the sleepers (where the little rubber stops halt them). Typical height is about 3/16 of an inch or so.

Do these need to be flush before installing the plywood? I would think they would have to be. Do you hand-nail them flat? Maybe with a small sledge? I've tried this with a few fasteners with mixed results.

It seems like such a silly question, but most "how to build a subfloor" articles that I've come across don't talk about this at all.
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Old 04-10-06, 06:34 PM
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It is a "powder" actuated nail, not power. I was a little confused, but I'm OK, now. You could change to a hotter charge and sink them a little better, but for the ones already there, you will have to sink them with a 3# or so hammer, and they may still only bend with you, but that's ok, as long as they are holding. Are you using the proper length pin? The plastic bore guide won't stop the penetration. Sounds as if you may have them too long, or the powder is too weak. No question is silly, as long as you ask it.
Old 04-11-06, 02:21 AM
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While using "tapcons" might seem to be a slower method, it will solve two problems.
The 2nd is the potential splitting of the sleepers by using a "hotter" shot.
Old 04-11-06, 05:18 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm using a Remmington nailer, 2.5" nails and yellow(#4?) charges. I think the 2.5" are the size recommended for this sort of application (1" penetration after going through the sleeper). I don't know if there are any stronger charges; I didn't notice any last time I was at the store.

Finishing the nails with a hammer seems to have mixed results. Some times it drives it down, sometimes it bends it over, other times it seems to knock the nail loose. Maybe I'm not hitting it squarely but the process doesn't seem reliable.

What are tapcons?
Old 04-11-06, 06:04 AM
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One of the characteristics of aged concrete is that it's harder and more brittle than newly poured concrete. Powder gun nails will tend to spall or chip out aged concrete.
A tapcon is a concrete screw in a pre-drilled hole. They are usually blue and can be purchased in boxes of 100 as well as smaller containers. Any home center will have them. Tapcon is a brand name though there are other manufacturers who make equivalent fasteners. The head comes either as hex-drive or combo-Phillips and square drive.

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