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Flooring and Carpeting/salvaged wood strip floor installation


QUESTION: I am installing salvaged wood strip flooring in a new linen closet adjacent to an existing wood strip floor.

The tongue of the strip is running away from the closet.
Since I have to fasten the strip through the groove side do you have any tips?

Also the original floor was installed with cut nails. Those do not strike me like something I would want to drive through the groove side of the flooring.

Are there other alternatives to cut nails in fastening down the flooring? ... no glue please.

Thank you

ANSWER: Hi Thomas,

For the life of me I can not picture which way the tongue is running from your description....maybe I need coffee this morning.

I can tell you this, when we have a situation and we need to reverse the tongue and groove we cut our own spline and insert it into the groove allowing us to flip the wood 180 degrees. does that make sense?

Very carefully use a table saw to cut strips...even multiple partial strips will work. As long as you have spline in the beginning,the end and 2/3 rds of the center...or a total of about 65-75%.

Use TITEBOND II for glue up of any pieces available at the hardware stores.

My assumption is the closet is 18-24" deep and 24-36" wide. You can face nail with a 16 gauge brad nailer as long as you are comfortable with filling the small nail holes and touching up the wood. If you choose this method you can increase the bonding strength with 10 oz cartridges of Liquid Nails.....applied in beads of 1/4" on the floor in an S fashion. Then face nail and shim tight to dry overnight.

If you need any more answers feel free to follow up.

Thanks for asking,


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I think you are on it. I am installing flooring strips in reverse of manufacturers instructions.

Your spline suggestion is understood and much appreciated.

What are you using to fasten strips down?
Are cut nails still the industrial standard?

You can get cleat nails or staples at Harbor freight or Home Depot...or any number of wood floor/ flooring supply warehouses that cater to the tradesmen ...usually located in the yellow pages under CARPET SUPPLIES.

I like staples for small areas ...but the tools used to shoot the staple might need to be rented...then as you approach the back wall the clearance becomes an issue and the tool unusable. Face nailing becomes mandatory and glue as well. (Liquid nails)

Great little article here with pictures


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20+ years flooring installation ...carpet,wood,tile and vinyl. Residential and commercial. I do not sell the products , just install what ever the shop / customer has purchased. I actually love seeing the finished project completed and it gives me great satisfaction to help others acheive that goal. If I don't know the answer I will say so, and then I will recommend another expert for you. I may even research the subject and answer to the best of my ability ...including links to my sources. I wish you all success Chris


20 years as an independant contractor

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