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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Hardwood floor installing question

    I am planning to install hardwood floor by myself. I am using 2 by inch red oak. I have two questions regarding this subject.

    1. For Massachusetts climate should I use nails as oppose to staples? I did some ****** browsing and people seem to be split 50/50 for nail Vs. staple. Some say staples hold the wood tighter initially but over time as the wood expands and contracts nails do a better job in holding them in place.

    2. In my ****** browsing I found that everyone unanimously agree that wood planks should be laid perpendicular to the floor joists. Everyone also agree that planks should be laid parallel to the longest wall. My problem is I have 30x14 room where the joists run parallel to the longest wall. So if I lay the floor parallel to the longest wall I would be also placing them parallel to the joists. What should I do in this situation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Hardwood floor installing question

    My personal preference is to use nails if the sub floor is plywood or wood and use staples if the subfloor is OSB.

    Usually parallel to the longest wall is more aesthetic but perpendicular to the joists is a must.
    Jack.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: Hardwood floor installing question

    Thank you very much for your help Jack. I have couple more questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    My personal preference is to use nails if the sub floor is plywood or wood and use staples if the subfloor is OSB.
    What is OSB and how do I know which one I have?

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    Usually parallel to the longest wall is more aesthetic but perpendicular to the joists is a must.
    Jack.
    What's the consequence of laying parallel to the Joists? Can I strengthen the subfloor somehow to be able to lay the planks parallel to the longest wall?

  4. #4
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Hardwood floor installing question

    Quote Originally Posted by duha79 View Post
    What is OSB and how do I know which one I have?
    OSB = Oriented Strand Board. Imagine potato chip sized flakes of wood that have been glued into a panel, that is OSB. Google images if you're still unsure.

    Quote Originally Posted by duha79 View Post
    What's the consequence of laying parallel to the Joists? Can I strengthen the subfloor somehow to be able to lay the planks parallel to the longest wall?
    I believe the primary thing is that you're more likely to see waves between the joists, whereas if you ran perpendicular, the hardwood would span any irregularities.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: Hardwood floor installing question

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    I believe the primary thing is that you're more likely to see waves between the joists, whereas if you ran perpendicular, the hardwood would span any irregularities.
    A friend of mine suggested that I nail small pieces of wood perpendicular to the joist into the joists under the floor to add extra strength to the sub-floor. Do you think it would help?

    Any suggestion for nail Vs. staple?

  6. #6
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Hardwood floor installing question

    Adding blocking would strengthen the floor, though I don't know that you'd notice much difference from the top. Also, any waves that are there won't be cured with blocks.

    I'm a nail man. Nails are easier to set to the proper depth and they can be driven a little deeper if need be. IMHO, most of the time a nail will hold better than a staple because staples tend to get driven improperly, either too high or too low. If it's too high, it will bend over before being manually driven any further. If it's too low, then it's likely split or destroyed whatever you're trying to hold down, making that staple worthless.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Hardwood floor installing question

    I'm with Spruce. I always use plywood for subflooring and always use flooring nails.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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