How to Use a Flooring Nailer

What You'll Need
Flooring nailer
Rubber mallet
Nails (cleats)
Air compressor
Measuring tape

If you want to install hardwood flooring in your home, then a flooring nailer is a must have tool. A flooring nailer allows you to make quick work of the tedious and tiring task of nailing down hardwood flooring, while also inserting the nail cleat at a perfect 45 degree angle. A flooring nailer is not an automatic or trigger powered nail gun. It requires a strike with a rubber mallet in order to set the nail. It will take you a couple of minutes to get the hang of using the nailer; however, this easy to follow how-to guide will show you exactly what to do.

Step 1 - Select the Correct Size Adapter Plate

Measure the thickness of your hardwood flooring with a tape measure and use the measurement to select the proper adapter plate and cleat to be used in the flooring nailer. Attach the correct adapter plate to the flooring nailer and load the magazine of the nailer with a strip of the correct size cleats.

Step 2 - Connect Flooring Nailer to Air Compressor

Using the compression fittings on the air hose, connect the flooring nailer to your air compressor. Make sure that the connection settings are tight and secure before continuing.

Step 3 - Set Air Pressure on Compressor

Refer to the operating manual instructions that come with the flooring nailer for the correct psi setting to be used with your air compressor. Once you have that information, adjust the pressure gauge on the air compressor to the correct psi setting.

Step 4 - Using the Nailer

Before you start using the flooring nailer, you need to use a regular hammer and some finish nails to install the first strip of flooring against the wall. However, you can use the flooring nailer to insert the second row of nails along the tongue side of the first strip of flooring. To do this, place the adapter foot of the flooring nailer directly up against the tongue. Then, strike the actuator on the top of the flooring nailer with a rubber mallet. This will engage the nailer and drive the cleat into the hardwood flooring at a 45 degree angle. If you do it correctly, the tongue side of the hardwood flooring should not be damaged at all.

When you lay the next strip of flooring, tap the second strip of hardwood flooring firmly so that it fits tightly onto the tongue side of the first strip of flooring. Then, repeat the process of holding the adapter foot directly against the tongue side of the second strip. Again, strike the actuator with the rubber mallet to drive the cleat at the appropriate angle. Do this for all of the pieces of hardwood flooring until you reach the opposite wall. On the last strip of hardwood flooring, you will again probably need to use a regular hammer and finish nails to secure the flooring.