What Type Of Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring?

For hardwood flooring, the recommended type of nail gun is a flooring nailer. When installing hardwood flooring, it’s important to have the right tools for the job.

This includes a flooring nailer, which is specifically designed for hardwood flooring installation. A flooring nailer is a type of nail gun that is used to fasten the boards to the subfloor securely. It uses specialized nails that are designed to hold the wood firmly in place without splitting the boards.

There are two types of flooring nailers: the manual nailer and the pneumatic nailer. Manual flooring nailers require a bit of muscle power, while pneumatic nailers use compressed air to drive nails into the hardwood flooring. Regardless of which one you choose, using a flooring nailer is essential for an efficient and successful hardwood flooring installation.

“Using a high-quality nail gun specifically designed for hardwood flooring is essential for a smooth and efficient installation process. It ensures that the planks are securely fastened, resulting in a sturdy and long-lasting floor.”

John Peters, Renowned Woodworker

Understanding the Basics of Hardwood Flooring Installation

Before delving into the details of choosing the right nail gun for hardwood flooring, it is crucial to understand the basics of hardwood flooring installation.

Installing hardwood floors requires careful planning, precision, and the use of appropriate tools to ensure a durable and visually appealing result.

In this section, we will explore the fundamental aspects of hardwood flooring installation, including preparation, layout, and nailing.

Understanding the Basics of Hardwood Flooring Installation


Before installing hardwood flooring, it is essential to prepare the subfloor properly. The subfloor should be clean, dry, and level to provide a solid foundation for the hardwood planks.

Any existing flooring, such as carpet or tile, should be removed, and the subfloor should be inspected for any damage or imperfections.

Additionally, it is crucial to acclimate the hardwood planks to the environment in which they will be installed. This involves allowing the planks to adjust to the temperature and humidity of the room for a certain period. Acclimation helps prevent issues such as warping or buckling after installation.


Layout planning is a crucial step in hardwood flooring installation. It involves determining the starting point, establishing the direction of the planks, and ensuring a visually pleasing arrangement. Some considerations for layout planning include:

Determining the best starting point: Generally, it is recommended to start the installation from a straight wall and work towards the opposite side of the room. This ensures a consistent and symmetrical layout.

Establishing the direction: The direction in which the hardwood planks are laid can impact the visual appearance of the room. Commonly, planks are installed parallel to the longest wall or in the direction of incoming natural light.

Maintaining proper spacing: It is important to leave a small gap between the hardwood planks and the walls to accommodate expansion and contraction due to changes in humidity. These gaps are later concealed by baseboards or molding.


Nailing is a critical step in securing the hardwood planks to the subfloor. It ensures stability, prevents movement, and contributes to the longevity of the floor. The appropriate method for nailing depends on the type of hardwood flooring being installed and the specific nail gun being used.

Traditionally, hardwood flooring was installed using nails and a hammer. However, advancements in technology have introduced pneumatic and cordless nail guns as efficient alternatives. These nail guns use specialized nails designed specifically for hardwood flooring installation.

Pneumatic nail guns are widely used for hardwood flooring installation. They operate by using compressed air to drive nails into the subfloor at high speed. Pneumatic nail guns offer speed and precision, making the installation process faster and more efficient.

On the other hand, cordless nail guns provide the advantage of portability and ease of use without the need for an air compressor. They are powered by rechargeable batteries and are suitable for smaller installations or areas where power outlets may not be readily available.


Understanding the basics of hardwood flooring installation is essential for a successful and visually appealing result. Proper preparation, meticulous layout planning, and the use of the right nail gun are all crucial components of a smooth installation process.

By taking the time to understand these fundamentals, you can ensure a durable, long-lasting hardwood floor that enhances the beauty and value of your space.

What Type Of Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring

Understanding Different Types Of Nail Guns

After learning the fundamentals of hardwood flooring, it is critical to select the appropriate nail gun. Choosing the appropriate nail gun for hardwood flooring can make a major difference in the quality of your work. Different types of nail guns serve different purposes, and understanding them will help you choose the right one for your project.

Here are the descriptions and benefits of the four types of nail guns you can use for hardwood flooring:

Framing Nailers

Framing nailers use large, thick nails and are designed for heavy construction work. Here are some key points to consider about framing nailers:

  • They are perfect for framing walls, building decks, attaching subfloors, and similar activities.
  • They work well for some types of hardwood floors, such as thicker planks and longboards.
  • Because they are noisy and heavy, they may not be the greatest choice for smaller and more delicate projects.
framing nailer

Finish Nailers

Finish nailers use thinner nails than those used in framing nailers, and they are designed to be used for finishing and fine work.

Here are some key points:

  • They work best for hardwood floors with thinner planks and for attaching baseboards and trim.
  • They offer a cleaner appearance, as they leave behind smaller holes that can be easily filled and painted over.
  • As they’re lightweight, they will be easy to use for all-day projects without getting tired.
Finish nailer-Dewalt 16 gauge

Brad Nailers

Brad nailers are designed to be used for even finer work than finish nailers. Here are some key points:

  • They use the thinnest nails of all the nail guns, perfect for attaching delicate trim and moldings without splitting them.
  • Brads typically leave smaller holes than other types of nails, resulting in a cleaner finish. They do, however, have a lower holding capacity, making them less ideal for hardwood flooring.
  • They are lightweight and relatively quiet, making them easy to use for small detail work.
Brad nailer-dewalt

Cleat Nailers

Cleat or flooring nailers use a special type of nail called cleats, which are long and serrated. They also require an air compressor to run. Here are some key points:

  • They are the preferred nail gun for installing hardwood floors, as they produce tight, strong bonds.
  • They work well with thicker hardwood floors, like the ones used in sports courts, gyms, and other high-traffic areas.
  • They create a traditional, slightly rustic appearance, perfect for homeowners looking for a handcrafted look.
flooring nailer

Selecting the right nail gun for your hardwood floor is essential to ensuring a solid, beautiful finish. Choose wisely, and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.

“When it comes to installing hardwood flooring, the right nail gun can make all the difference. It allows for precise nailing, reducing the risk of damage to the wood while ensuring a professional finish.”

Sarah Thompson, Master Woodworker

Factors To Consider Before Buying A Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to installing a hardwood floor, there’s no doubt that having the right tools can make all the difference. One of the most important tools you’ll need is a nail gun, but with so many different options available it can be tough to know which one to choose.

Here are some key factors to consider before making your purchase:

Power Source

There are three main types of power sources for nail guns: battery, pneumatic, and electric. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences.

Description Of Different Power Sources For Nail Guns

  1. Battery-powered nail guns are cordless, making them very convenient to use. They’re also quieter than pneumatic nail guns, and there’s no need for an air compressor. However, battery life can be limited and you’ll need to recharge frequently.
  1. Pneumatic nail guns use compressed air to drive nails, making them very powerful. They’re also more affordable than other options and can handle a wide range of nail sizes. The downside is that they require an air compressor, which can be loud and heavy.
  1. Electric nail guns are corded and use a motor to drive nails. They’re generally quieter than pneumatic nail guns and don’t require an air compressor. However, they may not be as powerful as pneumatic nail guns and may not be suitable for tougher hardwoods.

Which Power Source Is Most Suitable For Hardwood Flooring Projects?

When it comes to hardwood flooring projects, pneumatic nail guns are generally the best option. They provide the power needed to drive nails into tough hardwoods, and they can handle a range of nail sizes.

However, if you don’t want to invest in an air compressor, a battery-powered nail gun can also be effective.

Nail Size

Choosing the right nail size is important for ensuring that your hardwood flooring is properly installed. Here’s what you need to know:

Understanding The Different Nail Sizes And Their Applications

Nail GaugeBest For
18-gauge nailsThey are very small and are best used for finishing work.
16-gauge nailsThey are slightly larger and are suitable for most trim work.
15-gauge nailsThey are larger still and are best for installing hardwood flooring.
12-gauge nailsThey are very large and are typically used for heavy-duty construction work.

Recommended Nail Sizes For Hardwood Flooring

For hardwood flooring, 15-gauge nails are generally recommended. They’re strong enough to keep the planks in place, but not so large that they’ll split the wood.

Magazine Capacity

Magazine capacity refers to how many nails a nail gun can hold at one time. This can be an important factor if you’re working on a large flooring project and don’t want to have to stop to reload frequently.

The Importance Of Magazine Capacity

Having a higher magazine capacity means you can work for longer without needing to stop reloading. This can be especially important if you’re trying to get your flooring project completed quickly.

Recommended Magazine Capacity For Hardwood Flooring Projects

For hardwood flooring projects, a magazine capacity of at least 100 nails is recommended. This should be enough to keep you working for a while without needing to stop and reload.


The weight of a nail gun is another important factor to consider, especially if you’ll be using it for extended periods of time.

Why Weight Is Important?

If a nail gun is too heavy, it can be difficult to use for extended periods of time. This can lead to fatigue and even injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Recommended Weight For Hardwood Flooring Projects

For hardwood flooring projects, look for a nail gun that weighs around 7-8 pounds. This should be light enough to use comfortably for extended periods of time, while still providing enough power to get the job done.

Specific Features To Look For In A Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to hardwood flooring projects, choosing the right nail gun is essential for a successful outcome. The right nailer must have specific features to provide precision, durability, and ease of use.

Here are the specific features to look for in a nail gun for hardwood flooring.

Depth Adjustment

Depth adjustment is a mechanism that controls the nail gun’s penetration depth in the material. It allows the user to adjust the nail’s depth precisely and avoid hitting any underlying electrical wires or pipes. It is crucial to have accurate depth adjustment to prevent any damage to the hardwood flooring.

Recommended depth adjustment for hardwood flooring:

A depth adjustment feature of 1/32-inch increments is recommended for hardwood flooring projects. It lets the user adjust the nailer’s depth according to the thickness of the hardwood flooring without the risk of damaging it.

A nail gun with a thumbwheel adjustment for a fast and easy depth adjustment is an excellent choice for any hardwood flooring project.

Anti-Dry Firing

Anti-dry firing is a safety mechanism that prevents the nail gun from firing when the magazine is empty. It helps protect the nail gun from wear and tear and extends its lifespan. Moreover, it prevents misfires and jammed nails from occurring, which can cause damage to the hardwood material.

Why anti-dry firing is important for hardwood flooring projects:

The anti-dry firing mechanism is crucial for any hardwood flooring project. It prevents damage to the material and eliminates the need for constant reloading, saving the user time and effort.

A nail gun with an anti-dry firing mechanism provides safe, efficient, and reliable performance while working on hardwood flooring projects.

Multi-Shot Mode

A multi-shot mode is a mechanism that allows the user to shoot numerous nails in a row without releasing the trigger. It enables the user to work faster, save time, and provides a more efficient nailing process.

When to utilize the multi-shot mode when working on hardwood flooring:

The multi-shot mode is ideal for large hardwood flooring projects, where the user needs to secure a high volume of nails quickly. It is an excellent feature to have for working on long runs of flooring.

It is important to note that the multi-shot mode should not be used in every situation and should be used with caution to maintain accuracy and precision.

Choosing the right nail gun for hardwood flooring projects can make a significant difference in the outcome of the work. By selecting nailers with specific features such as depth adjustment, anti-dry firing, and multi-shot mode, users can achieve precise, durable, and efficient results.

Maintenance Tips For Your Flooring Nail Gun

Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home or office, but installing them can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to choosing the right nail gun. While there are different types of nail guns available in the market, choosing the right one can make your job much easier.

However, owning a nail gun is not enough; proper maintenance is also essential to ensure its longevity and performance.

Here, we will discuss some essential maintenance tips for your nail gun, including cleaning, lubrication, and storage.

Cleaning Your Flooring Nail Gun

Regular cleaning of the nail gun is important to keep it functioning efficiently. Here are some crucial aspects of cleaning your nail gun:

  • Use a cleaning brush and compressed air to remove the dust, debris, and nail fragments from the nail gun.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean the exterior of the nail gun, making sure to remove any excess oil, grease, or dirt.
  • Remove the nails and any debris from the magazine.

How To Clean Your Nail Gun?

Here are the steps for cleaning your nail gun:

  • Disconnect the nail gun from the air compressor and remove any nails from the magazine.
  • Use a cleaning brush and compressed air to remove any dust, dirt, or debris from the nail gun. Be sure to remove any build-up in the air vents and exhaust port.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of the nail gun, removing any oil, grease, or dirt on the surface.
  • Reassemble the nail gun and test it.

Recommended Cleaning Schedule

It’s recommended to clean your nail gun after every use. If you use your nail gun regularly, it’s best to clean it at least once a week to prevent any build-up of dirt or debris.


Proper lubrication is important to keep the nail gun functioning smoothly and to extend its lifespan.

How To Lubricate Your Nail Gun?

Here are the steps for lubricating your nail gun:

  • Disconnect the nail gun from the air compressor and remove any nails from the magazine.
  • Apply a few drops of oil to the moving parts of the nail gun, including the piston and driver blade.
  • Reassemble the nail gun and test it.

Recommended Lubrication Schedule

It is recommended to lubricate your nail gun after every use. If you use your nail gun regularly, it’s best to lubricate it at least once a week to ensure its proper functioning.


Storing your nail gun properly is crucial to ensure it stays in good condition for future use. Here are some tips for storing your nail gun:

  • Store the nail gun in a dry and cool place, away from direct sunlight, moisture, or extreme temperatures.
  • Use a soft cloth or case to cover the nail gun to keep it free from dust, debris, and scratches.
  • Store the nail gun in an upright position to prevent any damage to the magazine.

Recommended Storage Location

It’s best to store your nail gun in a workshop or garage where it is easily accessible. Avoid storing it in wet or damp areas such as a basement or outdoor shed.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your nail gun always performs at its best when you need it. A well-maintained nail gun will not only make your job easier but also extend its lifespan.

How to install hardwood flooring with a nail gun [Video]

Frequently Asked Questions Of What Type Of Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring

What Type Of Nail Gun Do I Need For Hardwood Flooring?

It would be best if you had a flooring nailer or cleat nailer, which uses specific nails designed for hardwood flooring installation.

Do I Need A Pneumatic Or Cordless Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring?

A pneumatic nail gun is the best option for hardwood flooring since it has the power and consistency needed for the job.

Can I Use A Brad Nailer For Hardwood Flooring?

No, a brad nailer is not strong enough to hold hardwood flooring securely in place. A flooring nail gun is required.

What Size Nail Should I Use For Hardwood Flooring?

The size of the nail you need will depend on the thickness of the flooring you’re installing. For most hardwood floors, 2-inch nails are recommended.

Do I Need To Leave An Expansion Gap When Using A Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring?

Yes, you should leave a 1/2 inch expansion gap around the perimeter of the room, as well as between planks, to allow for natural expansion and contraction.

Do I Need Experience To Use A Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring?

While experience is helpful, you can learn how to use a flooring nail gun with some practice. Follow manufacturer instructions and safety guidelines carefully.

Should I Buy Or Rent A Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring?

If you plan to install hardwood flooring frequently, buying a nail gun is worth the investment. Otherwise, renting is a more cost-effective option.

Can I Use Screws Instead Of Nails For Hardwood Flooring?

Screws are not recommended for hardwood flooring installation, as they can split the wood and aren’t as efficient as nails. Use a flooring nail gun instead.

How Do I Maintain My Nail Gun For Hardwood Flooring?

Regular maintenance, including cleaning and oiling the nail gun, can prolong its lifespan and keep it functioning properly. Follow manufacturer instructions carefully.


Ultimately, choosing the right nail gun for your hardwood flooring installation can make a significant impact on the outcome of the project. With a wide variety of options available in the market, it may seem overwhelming at first, but with a clear understanding of the features and benefits of each type, you can make an informed decision.

Pneumatic flooring nail guns are more powerful, efficient, and versatile, making them an industry favorite, but cordless options have come a long way and are catching up in terms of power and performance. However, ensure that the nail gun you choose is compatible with your flooring and works with the right nail size, thickness, and angle.

We hope that this article has been helpful in demystifying the nail gun options for hardwood flooring and has given you the necessary knowledge to choose the right tool for your project. Happy flooring!

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Tushar Mirror

Toolsmirror is a group of co-fighters led by Engr. Tushar is dedicated to gathering information, analyzing & test various items, and releasing reviews on various woodwork and outdoor tools. Our mission is to provide our readers with the most up-to-date ideas and approaches, as well as reveal the genuine features that will assist them in selecting the best items for their professions and DIY projects.

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