Nailing tongue and groove flooring

The project for this weekend is to start installing 1 x 6 tongue & groove pine plank flooring in our summer lake cottage. I am trying to decide between using a nailer that shoots cleat nails or or one that shoots staples. One person I spoke to thought that staples held better. The cottage is unheated during the winter months -- the location is in southwestern Michigan near Kalamazoo. Because of the variation in temperature there might be a bit more than the normal movement of the wood throughout the course of the year. Any recommendations?
Also, the first row of planks to be installed is parallel to an 8 foot patio door. I could use some ideas on how to fill the gap I need to leave between the first plank and the aluminum track at the bottom of the door.
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Larry Wolfrum wrote:

I would rent a pneumatic flooring stapler. i believe the tool that shoots cleats uses the force of hitting it with a hammer to sink the cleat. that adds up to a ton of work. staple every six inches or so.
i wouldn't worry about the lack of heat in the winter. there will actually be less wood movement in this situation. if you heat it, in the winter, the moisture content of the wood will get much lower than if you didn't heat it. contrasted with the humidity in the summer, large gaps in the flooring are inevitable. .i know of a camp with a maple gym floor that has been unheated in the winter and it looks like new 70 years later.
as for the gap between the door and the wood, you have a few options. you could make a little piece of trim to cover it, or maybe buy a piece of screen molding or something like that. the traditional way is to use a cork strip which i believe you can get from hardwood flooring suppliers. you could use a caulk similar to what is used to caulk concrete expansion joints--sikaflex or something like that.
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Larry Wolfrum wrote:

I really can't imagine a staple holding better than a cleat (they are barbed). You can rent either manual or pneumatic nailers.
If you choose cleats and rent a manual one do *NOT* get a Bosch...get the Porta Nailer. With the Bosch, the cleat must be driven with one blow...close to impossible with hardwood for an amateur; might work with your pine but why chance it? The Porta Nailer holds the ram down until the cleat is completely set which allows multiple blows which means your 10 year old could use it.
--

dadiOH
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I would think either would work fine but I've not installed a nail down floor before so let the experts chime in here. I will say however that wood moves very little with temperature changes. It's the humidity that affects wood's movement. Typically however, the warmer temps bring higher humidities and wood expands with increased humidity. Most people associate the wood's change in size to the temperature because of this yet that is just not true. Cheers, cc
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