Latest Discussions : Flooring & Stairs


07:37AM | 11/14/07
Member Since: 06/08/05
24 lifetime posts
This will be my first hardwood flooring installation project and I don't understand a few things so I'd hoped someone here could help me out a little. We're putting 3/4" x 3 1/4" oak flooring in our kitchen. It's about 220 square feet. We're planning on doing this at the end of next week....after Thanksgiving. Anyway, my concerns have to do with the expansion gap and the fasteners.

According to the installation instructions that I've read, both from the manufacturer and several on the web, you're supposed to leave a 3/4" expansion gap all around the perimeter of the flooring. My concern is that standard trim will not cover this gap. All pictures that I've seen of rooms with hardwood floors have the older style 3/4" thick board trim with a shoe. I could use a more modern trim with a shoe but I still don't know what to do around the doors where the door trim comes down to meet the floor. The thickness of the more modern trim is only about 3/8". So I guess I'm asking what is normal in terms of trimming the room?

Secondly, I've heard different stories concerning the good and bad of cleats vs. staples. It appears to me that you have more of a problem with splitting the tongue when you use cleats and they don't hold as well as staples. Beyond that, the directions say not to mix the fastener types within the field. What happens when you get too close to the wall and you can't use the gun anymore? Don't you have to change the fastener type there? Unfortunatel we already have cabinets and a laundry area in the kitchen so we're going to have some tight places that the gun isn't going to fit into.

So, to summarize, I have questions about:

1) expansion gap / trim

2) fastener type / mixing fastener types

If you've managed to stay with me this long I certainly appreciate it. Thank you ahead of time for any help you may be able to offer.




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