Steel cleat nails are commonly sold with either L- or T-shaped heads, depending on the brand of nailer being used. Both types have a series of ribs that run at least two-thirds of the way down both sides of the nail shank, which grips the subfloor. The remaining part of the nail is smooth, which allows the finished flooring to expand and contract with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. Most cleat nails are 16 ga. or 18 ga., but thinner 20-ga. nails are available for installing engineered flooring. The big drawback with cleat nails is their cost.
Hardwood flooring installers have used cleats for generations, nailing 3/4” solid hardwood planks to a wooden subfloor with 2” nails formed with an “L-shaped” head. Installation requires a nailer and mallet. This type of hardwood flooring fastener works well with thicker profiles and species with a high hardness rating such as Tigerwood, Cumaru, or Amendoim. The nail design allows for smooth insertion, and a longer shank penetrates deeply into the subfloor. Most experts agree that cleats allow for greater movement in areas with high humidity, meaning your hardwood flooring will look better longer.
Be sure to factor in every detail of the project when deciding between cleats vs staples. What type of hardwood flooring are you installing? What are the thickness and Janka hardness rating? Cleats provide a better fit with thicker, harder types. Do you have the tools necessary for installation or will you need to rent or buy a nailer or stapler? How much time do you have available for installation?Think about the details of your project before you decide.
● Compatible with most 16-gauge l-cleat flooring nailers.
● Solid steel for durability.
● Glue collated.
● Serrated edges grip tight to wood to prevent creaking.
● Innovative L-shaped HD head helps to eliminate split tongues on even the hardest wood species.
● Can be used with any floor nailer intended to drive 16-gauge, L-shaped cleats (or floor nails).
● Compatible with most 16-gauge T-cleat flooring nailers.
● Use for nailing tongue-and-groove wood floors.
● Glue collated.
● Use for decorative paneling and ceilings and sub-flooring.
● Use for angle and face nailing applications without damage to the flooring.
● Full-hard carbon-steel construction to help prevent the nail from bending during installation.
● Wide-head wedge-shaped design for a tight floor.
● Well-defined barbs to help prevent the nail from backing out.
● Cupped point to help the nail to cut through the wood and avoid splitting even with very hard species.