I am planning on putting in staple up radiant heating for my main
floor while I am finishing my basement (since I will have access to
the underside of the floor). At a future date I want to remove the
linoleum floor on the main floor and put in hardwood floors, the real
oak flooring that you have to nail down. I know my floor has 3/4
plywood, do I run a serious risk with nails going through the subfloor
and puncturing the radiant? or do the nails normally not go that
deep? I will use a pneumatic floor nailer.
On Apr 27, 8:47 pm, email@example.com wrote:
The flooring staples I have used will penetrate the 3/4" plywood.
There are a few options.
I once ordered 1" (I'm not sure of the length as this was some years
ago) staples that did not penetrate the plywood.
There are also radiant heat systems that rely on a suspended pipe that
does not contact the subfloor. These systems require insulation under
the pipe to work. I haven't used one of these systems purposely, but
I am told by reliable sources that it can work. The insulation is
I suppose you could also add a layer of plywood underlayment to
prevent the staples from penetrating the plywood, though this might
result in problems with your floor elevation.
Just select fasteners that do not fully penetrate. Most hardwood is put in
using 16 gauge cleats (nails), 20 gauge staples are more common for thinner,
engineered flooring. If you go with an exotic hardwood or bamboo, 18 gauge
nails are perfect, just harder to find a nailer (I used a Powernail 50M).
Both staples and nails are available in 1/4" increments. 1 1/2" nails are
probably about right to get a good penetration without going through. You
should an underlayment between the subfloor and the hardwood. Builder's felt is
traditional, many people use red rosin paper. You can use 30 lb felt instead of
15 lb to get a slightly thicker buildup.
There are also products that are nearly 1/8" thick that cushion the floor even
more. Lumber Liquidators usually carries it if there is one in your area. So
between the nail length and the underlayment choice, you should be fine.
Here is a link to the Powernail nail guide, be sure and click on the Nail Depth
Charts to see a graphic of how each penetrates.
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