Hardwood flooring: Nails or staples better?

What are the pros and cons of each? We will be using pneumatic equpment. Which make/model of nailer/stapler do you recommend?
I am working with an experienced hardwood floor layer and will be working on many new and old homes, he has only worked with a pneumatic stapler.
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Though timber floors are not my Forte in life, I thought you should not nail timber flooring down ?
Am I wrong ?
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On 13 Sep 2004 01:38:19 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (ississauga) wrote:

The hot ones in my area are Porta-Nails and Bostich. I've seen guys using staples or flooring nails. This is for hardwood strip flooring, other types of floors require different methods.
Barry
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ississauga wrote:

I can only tell you that nails - serrated cleats, actually - hold extremely well...almost impossible to get out.
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My experience with the Bostich staples is that they hold well. The wire is fairly fine (16 ga?) allowing for extra fasteners to assist pulling in bowed pieces without splitting the tongue off. FWIW, I used a deadblow mallet with it.
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well the 15 gauge staples 2 inch seem to be the supreme fastner my angle is the weight of 7700 staples is greater than 7700 power cleats by 1/3 so more weight more fastner more holding power ken moersch http://allhardwoodfloor.com ( Ltd.)
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I read an answer to a similar question in a UK Magazine. The person asking was talking about laying a hardwood floor over UF heating.
The magazine suggested laying the floor as a floating floor to allow it to acclimatise - then nailing it down when you get fed up of the creaking!
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The whole point of a floating floor is to allow for expansion and contraction of the timber. timber floors will expand / contract about 2mm per metre, ( in UK weather, may be more in more variable climes ) so with a modest room of say 4m length of board an 8mm expansion is to be accomodated. This can not be done by nailing the boards down and will result in the boards lifting / twisting.
The creaking noise normally stops after a while, once the floor is " bedded in"
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David Hicks wrote:

It depends a lot on how closely the climate is controlled in the house, too.. But normal T&G wood flooring is nailed. The boards are put down with just enough space between them to allow for seasonal expansion. I suspect that the point of the "start like a floating floor" suggestion is that it gives the wood (which probably was milled, partially kiln-dried, stored outside, and then shipped) a chance to get to something near its expeted moisture-content
in place, so the it wont shrink after being nailed down and leave 1/8" cracks between every board. Personally, I'd be a little hesitant to drive flooring nails over a subfloor heating system, anyway.
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I stapled my flooring down as tight as I could get it in June and July in Atlanta. KD select oak. The floor is fairly gap free 6 years later but gaps have opened up. RH on the cheap thermometer is about 50% now and it dips a bit lower in the winter. Conditioned air all the time. Only about 2 months a year that either the heat or air is not running.

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Lots of good advice from this supplierl....
http://www.broadleaftimber.com /
See "Technical Information" -> "Floors" then links on the left.
Specifically on fixing....
http://www.broadleaftimber.com/floors/technicalinfo/ftechnicalinfo4.html
and
http://www.broadleaftimber.com/floors/technicalinfo/ftechnicalinfo5.html
with UF heating
http://www.broadleaftimber.com/floors/technicalinfo/ftechnicalinfo6.html
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There was a study done several years ago on the holding power between cleats(powernail type) and staples (commonly used by the Bostich pneumatic). I refer to those nailers because they are the dominant names in the trade. The Canadian nailer escapes my memory right now but also uses the cleats. Anyway, this study, paid for by one of the manufacturers, showed that staples hold better initially, but the GOOD cleats hold stronger longer, especially after repeated moisture cycles.
The staples holding power is derived from glue and the slight cross angle of the two staple legs. Once the wood expands/contracts a few times, the glue loses bond, giving the cleated l-nail the edge.
There are some cheap cleats out there, imports with little actual cleat. Pay the money and buy the quality ones. I prefer Powernal cleats over the Canadian company.
That said, I have used staples over the years and those floors are still there. I did however take the opportunity to change my Bostich pneumatic to a cleat head, courtesy of that Canadian company(my apologies) who sold the conversion for $80. I happen to prefer the ease of use of the cleats, and the luxury of air, but did not like the clumkyness of the canadian companies nailer. I tried the new-at-that-time pneumatic Powernailer, and it was $600 worth of scrap metal(imo).
Truth be told, stay in shape and the old manual powernailer is just as effective. I will never sell mine.
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