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Home » Installation » Staples vs. Cleats

Unfinished, prefinished, subfloor prep, etc.
2/21/2012 3:42:12 PM

Avi Hadad
Avi Hadad
Posts: 232
Seems to be more and more installers are switching to cleats instead of staples. Others are use only staples. Which is better? And also, has anyone heard that the design on the cleat leg affects its' function and may be changing?
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2/21/2012 8:25:14 PM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
Avi, I use my Bostitch m3 stapler for oak and maple, my powernail 50p flex for exotics and stranded bamboo, and my powernail 200 for eng and traditional bamboo. The 200 was supposed to be for all bamboo but the cleats just curl under the planks and don't even make it into the subfloor.
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2/21/2012 9:18:02 PM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
On a kind of related topics, have you seen/tried the new powernail palm nailer? Any thoughts?
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2/21/2012 10:10:42 PM

Avi Hadad
Avi Hadad
Posts: 232
Ken, no but I had seen it. It is added to my list of tools I need to buy. You can never have too many tools. I mainly use my cleats with my converted Bostitch nailer and the powernail flex for strand, engineered and exotics. My first strand years ago I drilled and hand nailed the whole floor... Ouch
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2/21/2012 10:50:53 PM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
Talk about testing your patience. I actually bought the 200 pnail gun for a job that required a reverse nailing pattern, through the groove instead of the tongue. 3/8" with an mdf core instead of the usual ply core. My distributors sales rep said that's what I should be using on bamboo anyway so it got added to the arsenal.
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2/21/2012 11:46:55 PM

TDMAC
TDMAC
Posts: 1190
Avi,
Bostich since 1984 only....2 "Staples all the way here in the Valley ...holding power is the BOSS. Power Cleats are for the old school, but I quit that school. I have tested the holding power.. Staples win!!
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2/22/2012 6:56:42 AM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
TDmac, what do you use for bamboo or the real dense exotics? Staples split the tongues and cause dimpling. I love my bostitch stapler but I definately cant use it for everything.
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2/22/2012 10:15:54 AM

Avi Hadad
Avi Hadad
Posts: 232
When it comes to holding power more is not always better. In woodworking one builds a frame and panel door or a drawer allowing for the panel to move. So the panel usually floats inside the frame. There are other ways to deal with wood movement but this is the most common. It is also used when building doors and basically any other wood product. This planning ahead for wood movement applies to our trade as well. Technically speaking if you put too much holding power on the floor it could lead to failures other than cupping and/or gaps.
I personally have an issue with composite type products. The fact is that nobody can predict what they will do. When you mix wood particles, resins, epoxy and what not into a product you are creating a million of microscopic independent forms which move in all directions...
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2/22/2012 11:13:38 AM

johannes
johannes
Posts: 393
The new palm nailer for cleats beats predrilling and handnailing the last few rows. Have not used it yet but did see it on the web. I have used the regular palmnailer, great in confined spaces where you can not get a good hammer swing without banging up adjacent substrates.
Johannes.
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2/22/2012 12:17:40 PM

Stephen Perrera
Stephen Perrera
Posts: 951
Thats a pretty sweet palm nailer. But see the bounce when he gets close to the wall and on the tongue. Must leave a big hole when top nailing with a cleat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKYmPPnBBpI
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2/22/2012 12:34:34 PM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
Ive seen jobs where the installer has used a cleat to face nail and not as noticable as you would think once its puttied. I think Id like to give it a try, only runs around 150 from what Ive seen. Im sure I can find it cheaper if I look hard enough.
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2/22/2012 1:51:21 PM

geniasmith
geniasmith
Posts: 231
18 gauge cleats for strand bamboo, regular cleats for 3/4 exotics, and staples for everything else.
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2/22/2012 5:39:41 PM

TDMAC
TDMAC
Posts: 1190
Genia,
Bamboo??? Glue it or Run!!! Maple Gyms on sleepers, Oak on plywood in our climate the 2" Staples have never failed me since 1984. I don't even have a Power Nailer any more even though Vern Miller was a great guy selling them in 1958. smilesmile
In our climate of this Desert area in the San Joaquin Valley, Now Delta Smelt environmentally protected. I have seen has very little expansion. We have Contraction... Labor Pains... when the wood contracts if it is possibly high mc..
So my theory has been Holding power wins! We top nail with pin guns and glue in the final boards as much as possible. We wont put the membrane around the edges. NO need when the subfloor is dry.
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2/22/2012 6:33:59 PM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
Glue? AAAAAH! We dont glue ANYTHING in jersey. just pops off eventually. I guess thats the trade off though, cant glue a floor but it only takes ten minutes to go surf.
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2/22/2012 9:23:10 PM

TDMAC
TDMAC
Posts: 1190
SURF??? Cali4nia??? SURF??? are you kidding?? All Surf Boards ar Laminated wood Glued together!!! GET A GRIP, California style.
We have 90% concrete SOLID Non MOVING Slabs . We Glue everything down to slabs like a surfer does on the big waves! Stuck to IT. But we NAIL it toosmile
Now days the MSplus Polymer adhesives are super bonding and very elastic adhesion to all we use it with. I personally believe they are even better that Urethane's!
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2/22/2012 9:49:14 PM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
Whoa td, boards have been foam and glassed for a long time now. I suppose if we had more exposure to gluedowns over here we would embrace them more but I would say 99% of the customers on concrete ask for laminate anyway, at least around here. I would love to do some crazy glue down wood but we have absolutely no demand for it. I don't even get asked about medallions or anything fun. Prefinished oak, laminate, Prefinished oak, laminate. Well, you get the idea of what I install mostly.
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2/22/2012 10:02:08 PM

TDMAC
TDMAC
Posts: 1190
Ken, So sorry my friend. Laminates are ok but Engineered floors with good wear layers are the King over Concrete and over wood subfloors.

You know that the Owens etc..... Like are shown on the HF main Page! Multi layered / stable / refinishable/ less acclimation time/STABLE
Engineered floors are so much more stable under all aspects of moisture variance and have a 4 plus mill wear layer, that you all on the East coast with all those M/C problems should go to good Engineered floors.
They are easily nailed to sub floors and expansion & contraction movement is minor! I really do not understand the dedication to SOLID products when the climate conditions are so extremely varied. Why are these multi- layered woods with 4 to 7 mil wear layers aren't used more often?
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2/22/2012 11:02:20 PM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
The problem is that people do so much of their own research on the net that they have it in their head that eng won't hold up because only the top is a wear layer. In their heads solid wood is real and eng is fake. I know it doesn't make sense but all these smart cityfolk that come down to our little island seem to know more than we do. I had a 3" Anderson handscraped eng that looked awesome, one of my favorite floors that I've done, there's just no call for that much of it.
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2/22/2012 11:17:44 PM

TDMAC
TDMAC
Posts: 1190
Ken, You said a lot there!!! there is a disconnect with this process!! Engineered floors with a good Sliced faced or sawn faced 4 to 7 mil wear layer.. That is Over 3/16" thick to many that are NOT aware of millimeters, Is Refinishable 5 times!!
some OLD Farts out in the East coast cannot vision that total conception.

Some Old Hard heads just keep on fighting that Solid product expansion and contraction and Gotta Acclimate and worry about that wood reacting to the elements! Come On ..GET a Grip!!! Engineered Flooring has come of AGE and will conquer that problem of M/ C Variances
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2/23/2012 7:02:23 AM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 324
Sorry TD, I must have not told the entire story. When my customers call me directly (ie not through big blue) I can sell them whatever product I feel will work best. I like a lot of the eng products and push them because of their stability and finishes that you cant really get in a solid. However, when I get a customer through my sub work I have to install whatever the salesman sells them and dont really have a say in what they pick. The salesman, who may or may not have ANY flooring experience, gets to push whatever product they like for whatever reason they like and I just have to smile a get it to work to the best of my ability. They just brought in a 3/4" LOCKING solid oak! Cant wait for a call back on that. Dont get me wrong, I love working with them because it keeps me busy but sometimes its frustrating that I dont get to advise the customer on product until after they have been tainted by someone else.
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