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Flooring 101 Home Tools for Solid 3-4" Hardwood

Tools for Solid 3-4" Hardwood

What tools do I need, installing solid " thick Northern and Exotic Hardwoods

There is no one nailer that will nail all wood floorings.

Because of the harness of some wood species, some tongue fracture during installation is inevitable, and should not be considered a defect. 


 There are a few steps that can be taken to minimize tongue fracture and squeaks. If using a compressor, 1st  try adjusting or regulating the compressor air-flow outlet. Check for an incorrect or too narrow of air hose, this can effect proper air flow to the nailer.


With exotic wood, staples tend to snap or split the tongue across the crown of the staple, the negative action of the drive bar as it delivers the staple is similar to the action of a " wood chisel.

Try using a cleat nailer instead of a stapler, Cleat nails tend to pierce the tongue cleaner and neater. Also you could try adjusting the angle of nail entry by a buildup of duct tape, either the bottom front or bottom back of the nailer foot plate, this should do the trick.

The harder and stronger the wood is especially with the exotics you may have to hand nail each piece.

One person can pre-drill the nail holes, the next can complete the nailing. For boards 2 -1/4"-3 1/2" wide, 3/4" thick, place a 2" nail, every 8"-10"along the side tongue edge and 1"-3" from the board ends.    The wider the board the closer the nail spacing.


Helpful tools are;

Power tools

Miter-chop saw

Table saw

Jig saw

Air compressor

Jam or tenon saw

Hardwood floor nailer specific to wood type (manual or pneumatic)

Correct size fasteners


Hand Tools & Accessories

  • Pry bar
  • L-Square
  • Knee pads
  • Rubber mallet
  • Moisture Meter
  • measuring tape
  • Chalk line, pencils  
  • Broom and dust pan
  • Claw hammer and nail-set or punch
  • Flooring screws for sub-floor squeaks
  • Hardwood flooring nails - per product
  • Filler stick, putty and Touch-up marker
  • Construction paper or #15 felt floor liner
  • Electric drill, with a 3/32 inch (2mm) bit
  • Screw shank finishing nails (2 inch) or regular all steel finishing nails 6d-8d (For hand nailing)

Technical & Installation 02/2016

Flooring 101 Home Tools for Solid 3-4" Hardwood