Laying French Pine Flooring

22 Aug 2004
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United Kingdom
I plan to lay the French Pine flooring (pre finished), bought from B&Q in my new loft room. The boards are 21mm thick x 143mm wide and 2m long. The loft floor is 18mm waterproof chipboard on joists.

The instructions say to nail the boards (secret nailing).

A few questions.

1 If Im nailing the boards, do I still need to leave an expansion gap?
2 I plan to use a nail gun that fires 50mm / 18gauge brad nails to fix the boards (at 45 deg through the tounges), do you think that will be suitable.
3 how many nails per board, and should they be to the joists or will it be ok to fire them just into the chipboard.
4 the boards are already in the loft in packets to aclimatise, should I take them out of the plastic wrap, a few days before I use them.

Thanks for your time, and if theres any other useful info, I would appreciate it.
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In fact it's normally not needed to nail the T&G boards. (Nailing them only comes in the picture if you need to install them directly onto joists).
Install the board 'floating': put polystyrene insulation down first, glue the T&G with PVAC glue, leave 1 to 1,5 cm expansion gaps around the floor.

Leave the boards wrapped until you're ready to install.

good luck
Thanks for the reply.

Having read other posts on laying similar boards, the only thing I was certain of was that they should be nailed (due to warped boards), so after the from woodyoulike, I'm even more confused.

Does anyone else have comments, has any one used a nail gun with 18ga brad nails, has anyone else layed the floor floating.

Would appreciate any more suggestions.

I know people who have installed solid wood flooring using a nail gun and brads but the recommendation would be to use 6mm exterior ply to line the floor (chipboard will not hold the nails well enough) and to use a nailer (Powernailer or Portanailer - can be hired) with power cleats. These are designed to hold the flooring against movement.

You may need to practise using the nailer beforehand but if you get the ratchet type you should not have problem.

Although pipes should not be a problem it is always best to check first.

Also bear in mind the difficulty of access once you have installed this flooring.
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fletchermills said:
Having read other posts on laying similar boards, the only thing I was certain of was that they should be nailed (due to warped boards), so after the from woodyoulike, I'm even more confused.

Didn't mean to confuse you, sorry. We , as flooring company, normally install our solid boards with the floating method without any problems whatsoever on warping of the boards. We only nail T&G boards if they have to be installed directly on joists (but that's obvious ;) )
There are pro and contra's for all installing methods, we know of some companies who always place solids on battens or plywood etc without problems of warping, we know of more companies who, like us, use the floating method.

If you are more comfortable following the nail method there's nothing against it, I only mentioned the floating method because: as explained that's the method we use and b: it saves a lot of time and extra costs. And sometimes the Tongues in the boards are so tiny that nailing can damage the Tongue beyond use.

But make sure you use proper brads (60mm)
Thanks for your replies, and dont worry, I do confuse easily.

I think we will go the nailing route, and will see if we can hire a nailer. There have been a lot of people viewing this, but I guess none of them have tried a nail gun either. As I said before my nailgun fires 18 ga brads, 50mm long, and I do think they are too thin, the instruction with the boards also recommend 60mm nails.

Once again thanks for the replies
You need to remove the chipboard flooring as it's not doing anything with new flooring plus the floor level will be a lot higher, more problem. The new T&G flooring should go onto the joists which is design for and the nail length need to be 3 times the thickness of the flooring, so 21mm thickness will need a minimum 60mm nail, having said that you may get away with 50mm if the nails is going into the groove which is less thickness.

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