Hardwood Flooring Staplers - Nailers


What to choose in a flooring stapler or nailer? The choices are numerous today, and it will depend on what type of hardwood you're installing. The basic rentals at Home Depot will not cut it for some products. Two areas are included in this section. The first for actual fasteners used to attach flooring to wood subfloors and secondly, trim and surface nailers for moldings and areas a flooring machine cannot reach.

We've done some research for you by scanning all the major manufacturer installation guides and what type of fastener they recommend. Listed below in order of popularity of manufacturers. All items shown alongside manufacturers are pneumatic, or requiring air pressure and a compressor to operate.

NEW ADDITIONS: With the growing number of denser and harder products available today we've added the 18 gauge cleat nailer. These new tools cut down problems (namely tongue splitting; known to cause squeaking) associated with installing harder solid exotic wood and the newer solid stand bamboo.

Solid Floors - Widely used tools

Stanley Bostich Stapler MIIIFS Name: Stanley Bostitch Stapler MIIIFS 
Thickness Flooring Used: 1/2" - 3/4" thickness (base plates, included)
Fastener Type: Crown staples
Gauge: 15.5
Length: 1 1/2" - 2 inch
Compressor Setting: 70-90 PSI
Stanley Bostich Nailer MIIIFN Name: Stanley Bostitch Cleat Nailer MIIIFN
Thickness Flooring Used: 1/2" - 3/4" thickness (base plates, included)
Fastener Type: Cleat Nail
Gauge: 16
Length: 1 1/2" - 2 inch
Compressor Setting: 70-90 PSI
Powernail 445 Cleat Nailer Name: Powernail 445 Cleat Nailer
Thickness Flooring Used: 5/8" - 33/32"" thickness
Fastener Type: Cleat Nail
Gauge: 16
Length: 1 1/2" - 2 inch
Compressor Setting: 70-110 PSI
Name: Primatech P250F Nailer Stapler
Thickness Flooring Used: 5/8" - 3/4" thickness
Fastener Type: Cleat Nail or Crown Staple
Gauge: 15 1/2 Staple. Cleat Nail
Length: 1 1/2" - 2 inch
Compressor Setting: 80-100 PSI
Powernail 445 Cleat Nailer Name: Senco SHF50 Cleat Nailer
Thickness Flooring Used: 1/2" - 33/32" thickness
Fastener Type: Cleat Nail
Gauge: N/A
Length: 1 1/2" - 2 inch
Compressor Setting: 70-120 PSI
Powernail 50p 18 Gauge Cleat Nailer Name: Powernail 50P
Thickness Flooring Used: Adjustable 3/8" - 3/4" thickness
Fastener Type: Cleat Nail
Gauge: 18
Length: 3/4" - 1 3/4 inch. Also used for thinner solid hardwood
Compressor Setting: 70-110 PSI
PrimatechQ550 18 Gauge Cleat Nailer Name: Primatech Q550 Cleat Nailer
Thickness Flooring Used: Adjustable 3/8" - 3/4" thickness
Fastener Type: Cleat Nail
Gauge: 18
Length: 1 1/4" - 1 1/2 inch
Compressor Setting: 85-100 PSI

Engineered Floors - Widely used tools

Stanley Bostich LHF97125-2 - 20 Name: Stanley Bostich LHF97125-2 - 20
Thickness Flooring Used: Adjustable 1/4" - 1/2" thickness
Fastener Type: Crown staples
Gauge: 20
Length: 1 inch
Compressor Setting: 70-100 PSI
Stanley Bostich SX150-BHF-2 - 18 Name: Stanley Bostich SX150-BHF-2 - 18
Thickness Flooring Used: Adjustable 1/4" - 7/16" thickness
Fastener Type: Crown staples
Gauge: 18
Length: 1/2" - 1 1/2 inch
Compressor Setting: 70-100 PSI
Name: Primatech Q550 Flooring Nailer
Thickness Flooring Used: Adjustable 3/8" - 3/4" thickness
Fastener Type: Cleat Nail
Gauge: 18
Length: 1 1/4" - 1 3/4 inch
Compressor Setting: 85-100 PSI
Name: Powernail Flex 18
Thickness Flooring Used: Adjustable 3/8" - 3/4" thickness
Fastener Type: Cleat Nail
Gauge: 18
Length: 3/4" - 1 3/4 inch
Compressor Setting: 70-110 PSI
Senco SLS20HF Name: Senco SLS20HF
Thickness Flooring Used: Adjustable 1/4" - 1/2" thickness
Fastener Type: Crown staples
Gauge: 19
Length: 1 inch
Compressor Setting: 70-120 PSI
SpotNails WS4840W2 Name: SpotNails WS4840W2
Thickness Flooring Used: 3/8" - 9/16" thickness (needs adaptor, included)
Fastener Type: Crown staples
Gauge: 18
Length: 1 3/8 inch
Compressor Setting: 80-110 PSI

 

Armstrong - Includes Bruce, Hartco & Robbins

• Solid 5/16" - Stanley-Bostitch S32SXBHF, Stanley-Bostitch SX150, Senco SLS20HF, or other machine designed or adapted specifically to 5/16″ solid flooring.
• Solid 3/4" - Stanley Bostitch (multiple models) with M-4 foot, Powernail (multiple models) with NailerShoe, Primatech (multiple models) with Trak-Edge.
• Engineered - Stanley-Bostitch “FloorRunner”, Senco SLS20HF or equivalent

Anderson Family - Includes Anderson, Appalachian, Anderson Pacific

• Solid 3/4"- No set recommendations. "Pneumatic Nailer/Stapler"
• Engineered- No set recommendations. "Pneumatic Nailer/Stapler"

BR111

• Solid 3/4" -Powernail manual 45 T&G Powernailer, pneumatic 445 Powernailer or other machines designed or adapted specifically to 3/4” solid wood flooring
• Solid 7/16" - Powernail 200/250, HighPRO AS-4090, other machines designed or adapted specifically to 7/16” solid wood flooring.
• Solid 5/16" - Powernail 200/250, Senco SLS20HF, Stanley-Bostitch S32SXBHF, HighPRO AS-4090 or others designed or adapted specifically for 5/16" solid flooring.
• 3/8" Engineered - Stanley-Bostitch, HighPro AS-4090, Bosch, Portanail, Spotnail,
etc.) with adjustable head (must be adjustable to 3/8" minimum 1 1/4" notched staple)

Columbia

• Solid 3/4"- No specific recommendations.
• Engineered - Stanley-Bostitch Floor Runner (S3297-LHF orS97125-LHF). Power Nailer #200 and #250

Kahrs

• Engineered - Bostitch Air Stapler Model III, Primatech Q 500, Powernailer Model 200

Mirage

• Solid 3/4"- Stanley-Bostitch MIIIFN, Stanley-Bostitch MIIIFS, Powernail 445, Senco SHF50
• Engineered - Stanley-Bostitch SX150-BHF-2, Senco SLS20HF

Mannington

• Engineered - Mannington Spotnails Floor Monster

Scandian

• Solid 3/4"- No specific recommendations. "Mechanical Fastener and appropriate fasteners"
• Engineered - No specific recommendations. "Recommended staples/cleats"

Huh? This Is Way Too Confusing

Perhaps you’re wondering. Different manufacturers shown above recommending different systems. Why? After all, what can be different from their ¾” hardwood for example, and the next company? It comes from a tree, shaped and milled nearly identical, but different fastening tools?

If you look at those guys that install unfinished floors day in and day out, they don’t follow any specifications. They simply use what has worked best for them over the years. In fact the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association) has no recommendations or specifics. Their technical manual simply lists the general types; manual, and pneumatic. They do go on to elaborate cleat nails are proven to work better with harder hardwoods as their design cuts down on tongue splitting; common when using crown staples with ¾ inch material.

So What Do I Choose?

Some manufacturers react unusually when it comes to warranty issues if a floor fails for one reason or another. Most of the time it’s the installers fault. If that doesn’t work, blame it on something else. Although there is only one proprietary tool shown above (Mannington) be careful with what you use if they recommend a particular system.

Related Pages

Floor Nailers On Wheels
Pneumatic Nail Guns - For top nailing and trim work
Rosin Paper or Felt? Goes under solid hardwood
Aquabar Underlayment - the new alternative