The flooring nailer does not set the cleats deep enough

Whether securing your hardwood flooring or getting the proper flexibility and security advantage from the floor area, sometimes we use the cleats on your home floor. These cleats can be installed in different ways, and using the flooring nailer is one of them.

However, there are some problems with setting up these cleats, like The flooring nailer does not set the cleats deep enough. Multiple reasons can cause this problem. Your floor nailer doesn’t provide enough power, is one of them.

Also, this problem can be caused by inappropriate nails. To fix this problem, set the power of the floor nailer to no less than 120 psi. Make sure to use perfect nails on this tool to set up cleats deep enough.

Why is your floor nailer not setting cleats deep enough?

There are multiple reasons why the floor nailer cannot set the cleats deep enough. The reasons are described below.

When the PSI of the floor nailer is not enough

The flooring nailer is attached with a pneumatic motor which provides air pressure to its jaw area. This power sets the cleats into the floor. However, if the psi of the floor nailer is not enough, the cleats will not penetrate the floor.

As a result, they will not set properly. So if your cleats aren’t set properly, make sure to check the psi of your floor nailer.

When the nails that are used in the floor nailer aren’t sharp enough

If you use nails that are not sharp enough, the floor nailer won’t set the cleats deep enough. We know that if the area of something is too small, it can exert more pressure. Usually, the cleats need sharp nails to attach to the floor with the floor nailer.

If the nails are not hard enough

When the nails you use are not hard enough, they will get bent when you put pressure on them. It can also be a reason why your floor nailer isn’t set with cleats deeply. The pneumatic motor provides a lot of force to the jaw area of the floor nailer.

As a result, if the nails aren’t hard enough, they will start bending when you use them to penetrate an area. So they won’t be set deep enough.

If the nails are not perfectly removed

The flooring nailer uses a magazine of nails to attach something to the floor. However, if a nail is already inserted into the nailer and you remove the magazine, after a moment, you use a different magazine in that floor nailer, the nailer gets damaged.

In the worst case, the nail can get twisted and cause full damage to the floor area. So the floor nailer won’t set the cleats deep enough.

How to solve the “floor nailer does not set cleats deep enough” problem?

There are multiple ways to solve these problems. They are described below.

Adjusting the pressure of the floor nailer

A pneumatic motor is linked to the flooring nailer, which supplies air pressure to the jaw region. The cleats are driven into the ground by this force. If the pressure of the nailer is not strong enough, the cleats will not be able to get into the floor.

So you need to adjust the power of the floor nailer. To do it,

  • Hold the regulator of the floor nailer.
  • Start turning it to the mark of 120 psi.
  • Try it once to check if the cleats are set deep enough or not.

Sharping the nails

If the nails are not sharp enough, they will not get into the floor enough to set the cleats properly. So you need to sharpen them enough. To do it,

  • Take a stainless steel side cutter that has more hardness than the nails.
  • Set the nails on a table strongly.
  • Now use the side cutter to sharpen their top areas.
  • Use this method to sharpen all the nails.

Checking if the nails are hard enough or not

If the nails you use on the floor nailer to set up the cleats bend, the nails will start to bend. So you need to check if the nails are hard enough or not. To do it,

  • Take a nail in your hand.
  • After that, place the nail on a thick wood piece.
  • Use a hammer to nail the wood.
  • If the nail is hard enough, it won’t bend.
  • Use the batch of nails in the floor nailer.


Still have some questions? Then check out our FAQ section below.

How long should floor cleats be?

You can use 1-1/2 inch long nails for thin floors and 1/2 inch cleat nails for thick floors. However, the length of the nails changes if you try to install them on a 3/4-inch hardwood floor. In that case, you need to use 1-3/4-inch long nails.

How far apart should floor cleats be?

You will need different types of floor spacing for different sizes of floor cleats. However, the average spacing should be 6, 8, or 10 inches between two cleats. You can also check any type of floor manufacturing guide or contact a professional for better knowledge about the spacing.

Wrap up

The flooring nailer does not set cleats deep enough for many reasons. And there are solutions for the problem as well.

You need to identify the problem first so you can take proper steps to solve the problem. Without identify the problem, it is quite impossible to solve the problem.

Remember that a problematic flooring nailer will delay your work. It will also make your life difficult than before. So diagnosis your problem and solve it to get the job done smoothly.

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