Staples vs. Nails For Hardwood Floors


I am planning to staple my hardwood floor with a pneumatic flooring staple gun. I am using 3/4 by 3.5 random length strips. I have a 23/32 subfloor. I am not planning to use any additional underlayment. What staple length should I use (1.5″ or 2″ available at Home Depot), and at what interval?

Thank you for your help.


Dear Quan

You still haven’t given me the botanical name of the Asian Rosewood, are you not planning to use it?

As to the staples, DO NOT STAPLE ANY HARDWOOD FLOOR. Use only the flooring nail (also called cleats) that were designed for this purpose. The staples hold the hardwood too well, and don’t allow the wood its normal seasonal changes. The tongues have been known to crack off and as a result the boards will tilt and squeak. Please read more about this in the Primatech article available in the search box at the top of this web page. Studies of this have been done by a respected University, and the Maple Flooring Assoc. recommends their members stay away from flooring staples. I strongly suggest you do also.

The 3/4″ subfloor is just adequate for the 2″ flooring NAILS to almost fully engage, so it’s OK. Be sure to NAIL every 6-8″ into the hardwood. If you are crossing the joists with the hardwood, see if you can nail on the joist (beneath the subfloor) and between the joists. That will automatically give you nails every 8″. Even the short boards need 2-3 nails. Use a nail spinner at (prod. #=A099K20.01), to install the last 2-3 rows that the floor NAILER will not reach. It’s great for moldings also.