Q: I am about to lay a Brazilian walnut 3/4′ floor and was wondering if flooring nails or staples for hardwood are less likely to crack tongue when using air-nailer. The flooring is extremely hard and I would like to avoid cracking.
A: This wood will have a tendency to split. I would definitely go with cleats, not staples.
Related Q: We bought Brazilian Chestnut, 3/4″, from Lumber Liquidators. We hired a man who supposedly knew what he was doing. He laid the floor then never showed up again to finish the other work. Our contactor says his flooring guy said that the floor was installed with brad nails and it would be a nightmare later. I’ve read that with the Bazilian hardwoods nails are better than cleats or staples.
Should it be all ripped out or are the nails okay?
A: If he used an air trim gun with brad nails you will probably get a lot of movement with the floor. They are very light gage. I’m not a big fan of staples because they hold perhaps too tight and if the wood is very reactive to changes in humidity can cause splitting of the tongues. You could leave the floor and see what it does. If it is only a small room, you could probably remove it without losing too many boards and if you stacked them in order, row by row then you could put it down in the same order. See, it’s already a big pain.