Hardwood floor installation - poor workmanship?

Last week my partner and I had a highly recommended contractor install a hardwood floor consisting of ~1000 sq. ft. of 3 1/4" solid bloodwood from Bellawood. The wood is absolutely beautiful, but its hardness apparently makes it a pain both saw and nail down.
Here's my question: In places where the rows approach the walls and the hardwood floor nailer can't be used, is it acceptable to simply nail the boards in place with a hammer and nail punch without first drilling? In several places its very evident where the nails went in, and the spots surrounding the nails, although clearly not caused by the hammer, are much larger than the nail head (sometimes 1/4" dents) and do not look, well, professional. The installer blamed it on the hardness of the wood. Is this a commonly accepted practice?
Thanks!
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If the finished job doesnt look good then its the instaler. Didnt he nail on the sides of the boards.
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On Wed, 7 Apr 2004 18:57:53 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

He nailed on the sides of the boards up until he got two to three rows from the walls, and that's when he began driving nails in from the top.
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J. Anthony Crumpton wrote:

Sure. That's the norm. Face nailing there is the only way to fasten it. Unless you countersink a hole, screw it down and glue in a plug of the same wood. Which I think is much, much nicer.
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same
Correct, but in this case, he should have made a starter hole. Or maybe a nail gun that would set them properly. Proper method with sloppy execution. Ed
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NO. Only the beginning row and last row are face nailed. If you cannot use the floor nailer you must pre drill holes and manually nail through the tongue with finish nails(tough ones like meza not the ones used for baseboard). The tongue will split if you don't pre drill with such hard wood. He should have used finish nails for the face and a punch to drive them into the wood leaving a very tiny hole which is covered with wood putty. There should be no dents whatsoever..
Noel
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