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?