Cleats not sinking flush

Q: I’m having problems with cleats sinking flush to the bottom of the groove. I’m installing 3/4 oak prefinished flooring using 2-inch cleats, over 3/4×4 inch plank flooring. I also installed 1/4 inch plywood on top of planks. I turned my air pressure up to 160 and still was not able to get the cleats to sit flush. I also tried staples and the same problem. I tried hiring a few cleats into the subfloor and both times the cleat was flush to the subfloor. Using 15.5 gauge cleats.

A: You have your pressure to 160 pounds and it won’t sink the cleat flush to the top of the tongue? Lol, wow. It’s only oak. 90-100 lbs should be more than enough. I’ve never owned a compressor that could be set that high. If you are sure the gauge is accurate, (can you borrow and try another compressor?) then either you are hitting a nail or screw in the subfloor (but that won’t happen every time, surely) or perhaps the drive pin in your nailer is worn or broken.

Follow-up Q: I did try another compressor and still the same thing. I also when to Home Depot and rented another floor nailer and the same problem. Like I also mentioned I drove a couple of cleats with the nailer into the bare subfloor and they all entered flush. I am totally baffled. Is it possible that the oak floor is too dense? I can’t imagine that at 160 lbs. I also tried nailing a piece of flooring in numerous locations on the subfloor and still the same thing. I don’t believe the pin drivers are bad because it nailed the cleats flush on the subfloor without the flooring. Any ideas?

A: Honestly, I have no idea what is causing this. Is it possible that the oak is too dense and hard? Zero chance. I think I would call the manufacturer of the nailer and ask if they have any idea what is going on. I’d love to hear the response.

Follow-up: Thanks for your time. I will follow up with the nailer company and will let you know how I make out.

Is this finish flaking of 20 yr old floors toxic?

Q: We moved into a house that’s about 20 years old, as are the wood floors. The polyacrylic or polyurethane finish is in bad shape. It is scratched and chipping/ flaking. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed the clear chips are sticking to our feet from walking on the floor. It gets on our socks, on the couches, everywhere.

Continue reading Is this finish flaking of 20 yr old floors toxic?

Finding it hard to match an existing floor thickness

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:  I am diligently trying to match an existing floor so I can add on to it. Unfortunately, the local flooring company is no longer in business so matching it has been very difficult. The flooring is 1/2″ thick.

Continue reading Finding it hard to match an existing floor thickness

DIY sanding a prefinished wood floor



Q: We had pre-finished hardwood installed in our home when it was built. It was everywhere except the great room. Recently we decided to put wood in the great room but that pre-finished wood color was no longer available. So, we installed unfinished red oak, got stain custom matched (it matches perfectly) and put down the coats of poly. Continue reading DIY sanding a prefinished wood floor




How much should I pay for unsatisfactory work?



Q: I recently purchased a home and right off the bat hired a flooring guy to both refinish existing hardwoods and replace kitchen tile with hardwoods and finish to match. When we saw the finished floors, we noticed ripple marks perpendicular to the grain throughout the house. Continue reading How much should I pay for unsatisfactory work?




Professional hardwood floor refinishing cost



Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: I would like to find out how much it might cost to refinish my floors after having some renovation done in my home. I added the total feet of the floor that needs to be done, but I’m not sure how to calculate the square footage. Continue reading Professional hardwood floor refinishing cost




Preparing wood floors for folk art style painting



Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors:  My whole first floor was carpeted when we bought it, but underneath we discovered hardwood floors! It appears to have either been stripped or to never have been finished. They are very stained and dirty. For now, I would like to paint them in a folk art style until we can afford to have them restored. Do I have to sand them if they have no poly on them? Is this something I could do by myself? Continue reading Preparing wood floors for folk art style painting




Still smell an odor 2 weeks after last coat



Q: We had our entire home painted and our hardwood floors refinished three weeks ago. My four year old and my 11 month old and I have been out of the house since the project started. I’m wondering if it is safe for my girls and I to go back home? Continue reading Still smell an odor 2 weeks after last coat




Moving pad marks on refinished piano



Q: I am a piano technician and I sent a customers piano to be refinished. In shipping it back the finish got some moving pad marks. It is a hand rubbed traditional lacquer. How do I get these out? Continue reading Moving pad marks on refinished piano




Is smelly polyurethane sealant toxic?



Q: My husband applied a polyurethane sealant around the windows. We have a 16 month old son. I never noticed the smell in his room, but the next morning I noticed it. We had already slept in the house. I stayed the next four nights out of the house with him. However, I continue to smell the polyurethane around the windows and in one room. Continue reading Is smelly polyurethane sealant toxic?