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.

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

Can I use the Bostitch Manual Floor Nailer MFN-200 on my 5/8′ bamboo flooring?



Q: Can I use the Bostitch Manual Floor Nailer MFN-200 on my 5/8′ bamboo flooring? It says it’s for 3/4′ floors. Or should I use one with an adjustable plate like the Powernailer? Continue reading Can I use the Bostitch Manual Floor Nailer MFN-200 on my 5/8′ bamboo flooring?




Pneumatic hardwood floor nailer leaving marks



Q: My pneumatic hardwood floor nailer sometimes leaves unsightly marks my prefinished hardwood when I am nailing it. Is there something I should put over the plate on the nailer that will prevent it from marking the hardwood? Continue reading Pneumatic hardwood floor nailer leaving marks




Cutting back the nosings



Q: I’ve taken carpet off stairs and am preparing to lay oak on treads and oak veneer on risers. I plan to leave spruce stringers and just repaint them. But I can see that when I cut back the existing nosings of about 1 3/8″ to be flush with riser there will be an ugly gap and rough edge of the existing nosing in the stringer where I cut the nosing back, which will not be fully covered by new solid oak nosing. Continue reading Cutting back the nosings




Getting boards on the straight and narrow path



Q: I am installing some new 5/8″ hard wood floors, glue down over concrete. My home has a large floor plan and a large island in the kitchen, while meeting up around the island I noticed the 2 pieces had a slight gap. Unfortunately, I noticed this after the panel was down. I would like to rip down the existing piece to continue in a straight path, and sort of hide the mistake. Do you recommend I do this with a skill saw or router with a straight edge in place as a guide? Continue reading Getting boards on the straight and narrow path




Removing wood without ripping out kitchen?



Q: My hardwood floors were installed under the kitchen cabinets and have not held up well. I would like to remove them, and install ceramic tiles. How do you remove the old flooring without tearing out the kitchen cabinets? Continue reading Removing wood without ripping out kitchen?