Cleat, Nail or Staple ???

Old 05-20-05, 11:34 AM
jdu is offline
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Cleat, Nail or Staple ???

I'll be installing some 3/4" thick, 3 1/4" wide solid hardwood flooring in my house and I have a question on which type of nail to use. I have heard I should use either a 1 1/2" staple, 2" staple or 2" cleat. What is prefered? Also, when the directions say "nail", is that really a cleat? Thanks.
Old 05-20-05, 04:06 PM
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If it says nail, then it does mean cleats.

There are some hard species of wood, you don't want to staple, as the staple acts as a chisel and busts or cracks the tongue off. the staple can cause a dimple in the surface if it doesn't seat all the way.

Staples hold stronger then cleats, and can cause problems with a species that moves a lot (Maple, or Brazillian Cherry) Cleats let the floor move with climate changes, and normal squeaks will appear from the movement.

You do not want the fastener too long, that it bust through the subfloor plywood, or you will have major squeaks! If you have " plywood, then the 2" fasteners should work, provided the shoe on the nailer is adjusted right, keeping the angle enough not to blow the fastener through the subfloor plywood.
Old 05-20-05, 06:31 PM
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I personally prefer staples. Really, it doesn't make much difference. Everyone has their own opinion and their own experiences and facts to back it up. I have used both and both do the job. I find cleat nailers slower to use so I choose to use staples. The faster I work the more I make. I have had problems with cleats and staples splitting the wood so say what you will, wood splits sometimes.
I also think the staples hold stronger than cleats but wood moves no matter how you have it secured down so I wouldn't worry about that.
We generally use 2" staples.
You'll be fine either way.
Good Luck

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