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Nailing down floorboards

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NOTTNICK

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I'm about to help my son lay reclaimed pine floorboards on top of chipboard. They are straight edged, not T&G.
I have just ordered a pneumatic brad nail gun for a big trellis construction job in my garden so I will have this tool available.
Do you reckon it would be good for the job? It would certainly make it quicker if it works.
Cheers
 

porker

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Personally I would screw down floorboards. Nails tend to work loose or if using a nail gun with ring shanked nails make it impossible to get the floorboards back up without damaging the boards. You can get lots of screws with small heads these days if the appearance of screws is an issue. Only exception to nails are the old cut nails. These always seem to hold well.
 

harryc

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Depends how you are going to finish the floor will it be sanded and varnished in which case ring shank nails are less likely to come loose and look better than screws which would be fine if carpeting.

I might be wrong but I would imagine Brad nails are more likely to come loose.
 

NOTTNICK

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I know he wants to varnish the floor so nails might be a better bet finishwise. If he sanded the floor, he might sand off some of the screw heads if he's not careful, That could make removal very hard!
 

porker

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I guess the other option is to nail through the side of the board as is often used in T&G hardwood flooring to hide the fixings. I know these are not T&G boards so not sure how you would keep them from being too tight
 

ptturner

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Oen thing to bear in mind when laying floorboards is to note where any cables and water/gas pipes are prior to nailing or screwing. Many people forget that electricians and plumbers notch out the top 3rd of the joists and sometimes services are just below the board. I learned the hard way cutting through a water pipe with a rotory saw but thats another story...

Its well worth buying a deluxe stud, metal and cable detector to save any embarrassment. ;)
 

gregmcateer

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If he is varnishing, may be worth prepping boards before fitting to avoid nail or screw head problems.

I reckon nails could well work loose in chipboard. I assume he can't remove the boards first
 

Doug B

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Personally if the boards are dry & true I wouldn’t nail or screw them down for reasons already mentioned, I‘d go down the floating floor route either using a self adhesive underlay such as :-
I’ve used self adhesive underlay before on Oak floors & it works very well & certainly makes laying natural timber fast, alternatively you could glue the edges of the boards together using ratchet clamps to pull them tight whilst the glue sets.
 

Robbo60

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Isn't pine too soft for floorboards? Heels on Ladies shoes? It may be a bit time consuming but screwing with a counterbore and using plugs of a different colour wood could look good.
 

Cabinetman

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I would recommend using floorboard screws that have a head diameter of about 3 mm, they can be driven very easily just below the surface and are pretty unobtrusive, you can buy some that will just go into the chipboard underneath so won’t risk damaging pipes and wires, I think the brand is called tongue tight
 

wsb1207

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As mentioned by Doug, I think you'd be best sticking it down. We've used this quite a lot, works well and goes off quickly, you could skew a brad through the edge of the boards into the chipboard every two or three rows to hold them in place as the adhesive sets. It's available in tubs too but we find it less messy using the gun tubes.
Bona Quantum Flexible Wood Flooring Adhesive 600ml Sausage
 

timothyedoran

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I lifted my pine floor, insulated, and relayed the boards. I used cut clasp nails. Drilling pilot holes saved much hammering and splitting. It's one of those don't count how many nails there are jobs. Get two people doing it as it is a bit boring. I did it in a couple of sessions.
IMG_20140920_154527481.jpg
 

NOTTNICK

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I've spoken with my son, I think he wants to go with the screwing option. The electrician & plumber have both drawn on the chipboard sub-floor so he knows where to watch for services too (but they should be we below screw depth anyway.

A last query resulting from this: If they are screwed down, can we butt them closely together (maybe even use a jig to ensure they are a tight fit), or should we be leaving a small gap for possible expansion?

Any thoughts?

Cheers
 

NOTTNICK

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OK, we laid the floor this week using the Torx screws. As it was onto chipboard the job was really straightforward. A few slightly bent boards could be straightened easily too when one end was secured. The floor looks amazing. My son is getting a professional sander to do the job for him and he was told it was one of the best floors he had seen. There are gaps here and there but they add to it rather than detract. Thanks for all advice here,.
Nick
 

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