Brazilian Redwood is 141% harder than Red Oak. Many installers gluedown a hard, thin floor such as this to avoid nailing issues. However this is not always necessary.
Cleat nailers rather than staples have a better chance of penetrating the harder exotics. Better chance for 5/16", 3/8", and 1/2" is a 18 and 20 gage nail with a 50P or 200 POWERNAIL nailer. 18 gage with a 50P and a 3/4" adapter plate can work best on very hard 3/4"exotics. Or equivalent nailer like our Norge 18ga. Cleat Nailer.http://www.powernail.com/rentals/index.htm
It's hard to say as one shipment or even bundle to bundle can vary in hardness or nail-ability. This depends on what conditions the tree was grown in, factors such as rainfall, to the area of a hillside it was grown in, are all contributors.
So the conclusion is you may be able to go with a pneumatic or hand nailer, maybe not. Installers will give two estimates when it comes to iron woods in case it requires drilling and hand nailing.
If Hand Nailing is Necessary-
One person can pre-drill the nail holes with a 3/32" (2mm) bit, the next can complete the nailing. For boards 2 1/4"-3 1/2" wide place a 2" nail, every 8”-10” inches along the side tongue edge and 2"-3" from the board ends. The wider the board the closer the nail spacing.
Use- ring or screw shank, galvanized or regular finishing nails 6d-7d.
Answered on 1/2/2013 by Tech & Install