I am installing 1/2" Australian Cypress flooring. This is solid wood, NOT an engineered material. I was going do a nail-down installation but I did a quick test first. I would nail the first and last nails by hand and the other rows using a manual nailer (hit with mallet). However, I did a quick test before starting installation and found that this wood splits no matter what type of nail is used with it. I can absolutely forget using cut flooring nails on the tongues for the manual nailing part of the job because they just knock the tongues right off. Even regular finishing nails with pre-drilling breaks the tongue off. I have not used a manual nailer yet, but I suspect that it will simply break the tongues off as well. On the other hand, maybe it will press against the tongue enough to prevent the tongue from splitting off. I did an experiment with surface nailing too and found that the wood USUALLY doesn't split even when using spiral flooring nails, especially if I pre-drill and it is an inch or so away from the edge. Surface nailing with regular finishing nails and pre-drilled holes is successful with no splitting in my tests but I don't think regular finishing nails will have the holding power that I need.
So, that brought me to the other option. Bella Wood says that their solid wood floors that are 3/8th inch and thinner can be glued down. (The recommend Bostick's Best adhesive). They do not recommend glue down installation for any solid wood flooring 3/4" or thicker. My 1/2" floor is in the middle but they do list both nail down and glue down installation as being options with the product (I don't trust their website info - there are many mistakes in it).
I am ready to start installing my floor. I would prefer to nail it down but the woods is very brittle and splits. The tongues break like glass even with pre-drilled finishing nails (driven in at a 45 degree angle in the corner so that there is wood support beneath it - NOT on top of the overhanging tongue.)
I would greatly appreciate any advice.
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