Hardwood floors that are installed in a home come in two types. One type is called a floating floor; it is not secured with nails. The other type is secured to the subfloor using staples or nails. Nails that are used to secure the wood boards to the subfloor require using a hammer or a finish nailer. Finish nailers can be purchased or rented.
Things You'll Need
- Finish nails
- Chalk line
- Power drill
- Finish nailer
- Wood putty
- Putty knife
Make a mark along the floor half an inch from the wall using a chalk line. The half inch is to allow for the expansion of the wood. Align the first row along the chalk line, and use a hammer and nails to secure the boards to the sub floor. The finish nailer will be too big to use until at least two rows have been installed.
Open the magazine cover of the finish nailer and place strips of finish nails in a row along the length of the magazine. Make sure the heads of the nails, not the tips, are facing the handle of the nailer.
Close the magazine cover when you have finished loading nails into the magazine.
Set the finish nailer so that is sits flush against the tongue edge of the board.
Press or strike the trigger on the finish nailer to drive the nail diagonally through the base of the tongue on the board.
Place nails along the row about every 10 to 12 inches. Make sure you place at least two nails in each board of the hardwood flooring.
Repeat the previous three steps until you have finished installing the floor.
Place additional strips of nails into the finish nailer as it runs out. You may need to install the last row of boards by hand with a hammer and nails if the remaining space does not permit full functioning of the finish nailer.
Tips & Warnings
- Cover the finish nail hole on the top of the first boards with wood putty using a putty knife.
- You can rent a finish nailer from your local Home Depot or other home improvement store.
- If any boards are not aligned flush, the rest of the floor will not install properly.
How to Use a Floor Nailer
When installing tongue-and-grove hardwood flooring, a floor nailer is the optimum tool to have. This machine sets the cleats at the perfect...
How to Use a Brad Nailer on Engineered Hardwood
Engineered hardwood is a solid wood floor product that is manufactured from thin layers of hardwood laminated together to provide planks with...
15 Gauge Vs. 16 Gauge Finish Nailer for Hardwood Floors
Superficially, finish nailers can appear almost interchangeable with brad nailers; however, this is not the case. Brad nailers are less costly, but...
Can I Use a Nail Gun to Install a Hardwood Floor?
Nail guns reduce time and labor, replacing the old “swing-a-hammer” technique with automated nailing. You may use certain types of nail guns...