Bamboo flooring is my new installation nightmare


Old 09-10-16, 05:24 PM
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Bamboo flooring is my new installation nightmare

I purchased 1764 square feet of solid bamboo flooring to install in my whole house. This is my first time doing nail down flooring-- I did floating in my previous home.
Here are the issues I'm having/have had:
- I purchased a new Bostitch 16 gauge nailer with 2" cleats. The tongues were splitting on EVERY. SINGLE. nail. Tried 1-1/2" cleats and 1-1/2" staples and they did the same thing. It was bad!
- Returned that and ordered a Freeman 18 gauge nailer and have 1-1/2" (may be 1-1/4") cleats. They are doing better, but still splitting most of the time, but not as severely as with the 16 gauge.

Current Issue: I've gotten about half way through the first room and now it's not going together without gaps, which are getting worse the more rows I lay.

I've wasted so much time and money by ripping up numerous rows-- the planks are no longer usable after they've been torn up.
I rented a flooring edger today hoping that leveling out some of the subfloor seams that weren't completely flat would help, but it's still doing the same thing.

Any suggestions other than ripping out the whole thing? That's where I'm at right now anyhow, but if I do that, I'm going to return what I can and get solid oak, which is cheaper, skinnier, and I don't like as much. This is my primary residence, but I'm probably going to list the house in the spring.
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Old 09-10-16, 05:44 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Your cleat nailer came with two feet. Make sure you are using the proper foot. It appears you may be using the 3/4" foot on 5/8" flooring. You need to "hit" the nailer with the hammer, not just tap it. Hitting it helps align the planks against the next and form a tight line. You may want to post pictures of what you have going on since we can't see what you see.
Old 09-10-16, 06:06 PM
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It's 1/2" flooring and I did change the plate. I feel like I'm hitting it decently hard (it's air assisted too) and have tried it at numerous PSI options. I'll try to get pictures tomorrow. It's too dark now. Thanks!!
Old 09-10-16, 07:43 PM
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Send us a link to your actual flooring. Some flooring actually recommends nailing through the groove side instead of the tongue side do to the makeup if the flooring and a brittle core.
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