Nail depth

Discussion in 'Hardwood and Laminates Q&A' started by otterslide, May 26, 2018.

  1. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    I'm using 15 gauge cleats for 3/4 maple. Some nails go in more, some less.. the difference is something like 1/16. Some nails are flush with the wood, some 1/16 up. The next groove has no problem going into the tongue, because the nail is just so slight ever higher. Is this Ok?
    As long as the next piece goes in, I was assuming it's ok, but just want to make sure this is really the case before putting more nails down.
     
  2. Dan Schultz

    Dan Schultz Certified Wood Floor Inspector Charter Member

    They should be flush to prevent future vertical movement of the board. Try increasing your air pressure. Be careful not to increase it too much so that the head sinks too far and splits the tongue.
     
  3. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    That's the thing, if I go any more it will very likely start to split. Even like this sometimes there is a very slight split line next to the nail..
    I attached a photo to show what I mean. Should the nail head not be seen at all?
     

    Attached Files:

  4. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Kind of a learning curve on how much pressure to push on the gun.
     
  5. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    You mean the mallet? I found that if I whack it really hard or just normal/medium hit, the nail goes in almost the same amount.

    Sure if I whack it with all my force it will go in almost flush, but isn't that going to squeeze the boards too tightly and then cause squeaks?

    I've seen videos where installers are bringing the mallet above the head and whacking the machine pretty hard, and others where they just raise it at about head level or below.. I'm not sure which way is more correct..
     
  6. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I thought you were using a finish nailer, not a wood flooring nailer.
     
  7. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    Using both. But mostly the floor nailer where it fits.
    These are cleats that I'm not sure how far to go, I think they are 15.5 to be exact..

    The 15GA finish nailer shoots fine and then I can drive them with a punch, no problems at all there or cracks. The cleats are a lot more beefy though.
     
  8. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Maybe a little oil in the gun?
     
  9. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    I put 4-5 drops before the 100 cleats I just finished.. I have to get a new compressor because the one I'm using may have inaccurate gauges.
     
  10. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    My guess is the compressor your using doesn't have sufficient scfm, and/or capacity to consistently drive the cleats. Check the output of your compressor, they usually show output at 40 psi and 90 psi.
    My single tank Makita, is rated at 3.3 scfm with a 2.6 g capacity
    My twin tank Senco, is rated at 4.4 scfm with a 4.3 g capacity.
    I think the Makita is right on the line, of being too small, if I'm just nailing some pre racked wood, I can over run it. Not so the with the Senco.
    And for nailing off underlayment? The Makita flat runs out of air, they will both run nonstop while running, but in that case, its more about air capacity.
     
  11. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    I'm about to get a used MAC700 which sounds like the Makita you have. If I go slow, this should be ok right?
     
  12. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    Yes,But if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't buy it. Nice compressor, super quiet, but as it as it rides in my work vehicle, its top heavy and tips over too easy. Plus, it's heavy and really awkward to carry. Can you try it out first? Are you buying it just for this job?
     
  13. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    I can inspect/run it at the place I buy it.
    Yes I'm buying mostly just for the nailers.
    It would be nice to get something that can power an air gun for the car as well, but I have an electric gun too.
    I have an old twin tank compressor that has a bad regulator, it varies too much.. kicks in at 90, out at 120, but the regulated air goes from 90 to 100 when it's at 120.
    Maybe I should just get a new regulator.. I'm quite stuck on what to do. The Makita is $125 for the used one which is a pretty good price.
     
  14. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    • Like Like x 1
  15. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    I live in Canada, so no such luck for 199 free shipping on that Senco. I got the $125CAD MAC700, that's like $90US. Works great so far. The pressure regulator is a little more lively and more accurate than what I've been using for sure.. the gauge that is.. I think the slower the gauge re-pressurizes that's the actual delay in the air hose? My old compressor was very slow, would go down to 80 and then you could count 1 2 3 and then it would be at 90.

    Are you running synthetic oil in it? I'm thinking to change the oil, it's a 7 year old unit, but the oil still looks good. I think oil should be changed though due to age?

    It fills in 58 seconds, that's what a Youtube video showed on a new one, so it's still sealing well.
     
  16. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I have one of these I bought a year ago because my twin tank is too heavy. Its nice and quiet but when I use it to nail off ulay it runs continuous. Its great for nailing off baseboard and stuff like that. This is more what you need, more cfm.

    Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor | eBay
     
  17. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member

    Are there any tricks to ensure floors will not make noise?
    I am using wax paper, I cleaned all the dirt off the subfloor, it's OSB. I read now that I should sand down any high areas. In the some places where it butts together it is higher, so I will be sanding this down a bit. I am using cleats every 8 inches, and 3 inches from each end, they are 2" long. I'll make sure the cleats drive flush all the way down.
    Anything else I can do?

    The small section I installed so far (20 sq feet) makes a "pop" sound when first stepped on.. After that it settles and no more noise for a while while walking on it, but if the entire floor ends up like this I won't be very happy.
    The OSB is installed with plenty of screws and didn't make any noises when the carpet was there.
    I know the noise is the edges of the wood moving against each other, but how is it even possible that the edges don't rub? As I see it, that will always happen.. as long as the planks are tight against each other they will probably pop once in a while, and likely a little looser would allow them some moving room without popping?
    Maybe I'm being a little too careful when installing to get no gaps at all? I try 3-5 planks until I get one that fits perfectly so there are no gaps. The wood is Goodfellow Maple from Lowes, .. I don't know how good the quality is, but some Home Depot birch I returned was way way more bent, so I thought this one is good after seeing that wood.

    Some planks are wider a little than others. Is this normal? By 1/32 or so, but it creates a small gap.. I thought that's a milling defect, but maybe this helps leave a little room here and there for the floor to expand?

    It's very frustrating doing this without prior experience.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  18. Dan Schultz

    Dan Schultz Certified Wood Floor Inspector Charter Member

    Minimum vapor retarder for use over the subfloor and under the wood flooring is: (From NWFA) "Asphalt-saturated kraft paper or #15 or #30 felt paper meeting ASTM Standard D4869 or UU-B-790."

    One of the most popular choices today is an asphalt saturated paper called fortifiber.

    You are correct that the popping noises are caused by vertical movement as the edges rub against one another. If the tongue side is fastened properly, when the groove edge is placed under the tongue there should be no room for vertical movement. You should notice just a bit of resistance when placing a board in place up to an installed board. Loose floors create noise, so you DO want the boards tight against each other.

    As far as you nailing schedule, what is the width of your boards? NWFA calls for 8"-10" fastener spacing for strip flooring, 6"-8" for plank or boards 3" and wider.

    As for the varying width of boards, have you checked the moisture content of the flooring and the subfloor? If so, how was it checked?

    I know you want to get your installation done, but now is the time to pause and correct these types of things so you have a floor you will enjoy for life.

    By the way, the specifications I have quoted are from the NWFA. Manufacturer's instructions will prevail.
     
  19. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Less expensive products won’t have the same level of quality control. Tongue n groove might have some play between each other and you’ve seen the size differences. It’s hard, even for an experienced installer, to accept gaps n such but that has to be expected.
     
  20. otterslide

    otterslide Well-Known Member


    I just called the manufacturer, the instructions say 8-10" and 2-3" from the edge for the nails, so I did this correct.

    They say 15lbs asphalt felt paper is optional.
    I am using 30lbs wax paper.
    "Cover the clean surface, wall to wall, with 15 lb. asphalt saturated felt paper, butting the edges together. Use of felt paper is optional and will not prevent squeaks or any other noise reduction."

    For moisture, the floor has be sitting in the room for 6 months(I ran heat/AC to keep stable temp, and even kept any drafts away from the wood).. I'll still test for curiosity to see if there is any difference between planks. I thought the same thing.. moisture. But likely it was moisture while milling.

    You said sliding the wood in should be with "slight" pressure.. sometimes it's a little tight when the next groove goes in the previously installed tongue.. and the groove end stays "above" the tongue.. so the planks are not perfectly leveled with each other. It could be the floor, or the planks not being perfectly flat, I'm still not sure, but the difference is extremely small, and sometimes it does line up perfectly flat with the next plank.
     
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