Nailing solid floors

I'm laying a new solid oak floor in the lounge over the existing 20mm Victorian pine floorboards. The new oak is thinner than normal at 14mm. I'm planning to put hardboard down first then 6mm fibreboard from Wickes then nail the oak at an angle through the tongue. I'll probably try to hire one of those special floor nailers but I don't know yet whether it will work because the oak is thinner than standard.
The question is how many nails to use? What's the normal spacing - every 6 inches, every foot, every 2 feet or what?
Kit Jackson
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On 16/09/16 11:24, Kit Jackson wrote:

I'd give strong consideration to specialist screws over nails:
http://www.tite-fix.co.uk/tite-range-products/tongue-tite/
At least you can get it up again, if you need to.
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Tim Watts wrote:

Only one size? I've got some oak boards which need installing soon[ish]. With nails at least you get a few choices of length depending on board thickness, nailing angle etc.
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On 16/09/2016 11:58, Andy Burns wrote:

It looks like a cheap screw to me.
Far more preferable than nails though I might find a more suitable screw in terms of length that would still do the job.
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On 16/09/16 11:58, Andy Burns wrote:

3.5mm sounds about right not to split the wood.
What's wrong with 45mm long?
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Tim Watts wrote:

did you find the "no pre-drilling" lived up to the name? Several reviews seem to say they did have to drill to stop splitting the tongue.

Can't remember what size I'd worked out for using a nailer, 15mm oak boards on top of 7/8" floorboards, at recommended 30° angle doesn't feel like much will be going through ...
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On 16/09/16 13:05, Andy Burns wrote:

Well, I have not used this exact screw. I've used others from the Tite range without issues, and also similar from SPAX.
My experience is that with 3.5mm, they usually self drill very well.
However, oak needs special care (I've worked with oak doorframes) so there is a possibility you might need to pilot the tongue.
I just threw the idea out there - you'd need to verify if it will work for you - and also, if it is worth it. If there are cables and pipes under the floor, I'd rate it as "worth it" - but personally, I would not say an additional floor in that environment - I'd either recondition or replace the floorboards and screw down (as I am doing in my upstairs).
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On 16/09/2016 11:44, Tim Watts wrote:

Well I have tried them to fix down Wickes '18 mm solid hardwood' flooring and if you try to unscrew them they tend to snap because they are very slender.
Just use ordinary spax screws and drill+ countersink the hole using and combined drill+countersink bit.
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On 16/09/2016 19:18, Andrew wrote:

That's what I did and I was very glad I hadn't nailed it when I needed to take some of it up.
It's actually a lot easier to screw than to nail.
Bill
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On 16/09/2016 19:18, Andrew wrote:

I haven't quite got my head around this! If you screw through the tongue, don't the screws get in the way of fitting the next board? I must be missing something!
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Cheers,
Roger
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Roger Mills wrote:

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On 17/09/2016 00:23, Andy Burns wrote:

Ah! So it doesn't actually go through the tongue at all - it starts above the tongue and goes in at a shallow angle.
As a result, the clamping force generated by the screw has a larger horizontal than vertical component, so I can see how it helps to keep the boards tightly together.
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Roger
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Tim Watts wrote:

Whilst I agree about the ease of removing screwed flooring, I've never seen a US solid wood floor other than nailed. I saw a program the other night, where someone installed Bamboo, rather than oak as it is much more resistant to stiletto heels. Thinking about it, I remembered our oak flooring was quite damaged by shoes in the last house.
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On Fri, 16 Sep 2016 11:44:55 +0100, Tim Watts wrote:

I didn't realise you could get screws with a small enough head for this to work but toolstation seem to do 2 types - lost-tite (33733) and tongue- tite (53848). The lost-tite screws are threaded at a shallow angle close to the head which is presumably designed to provide additional grip in the piece being screwed down. I think I'll get a packet of each to test. I do like the idea of being able to take stuff up again if necessary.
I'm a bit worried about splitting the oak but we'll have to see. For spacing the only thing I can find is screws no further than 12 inches apart and no closer than 2 inches from the end of each piece.
Thanks everybody for you comments.
Kit Jackson
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and if there is any flexing the nails gradually work up and cause issues at the joint. This happened at a library near me some years ago, but I never did find out what they did about it. Of course much more wear in a library than on a domestic floor. Brian
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I did pretty well that - but use a high quality engineered oak. Basically plywood with the top 12mm layer being oak.
Bought a new manual nailer then sold it after use on Ebay for a lot less overall cost than hiring. And, of course, no pressure in finishing the job within the hire time. Which was longer for me as I removed the skirtings etc to get a decent looking job.

I went for 12" spacing. But only used a plastic membrane as the original boards were sound and level. Been very pleased with it - virtually creak free.
But I'm not sure if solid oak would split by nailing more easily than ply?
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*Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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