How Many Cleats For Hardwood Floor [Complete Solutions]

By nailing down some hardwood, you can transform your room into something high-class. You don’t need to be a professional to be able to install a few hardwood floors in your room. Question will arise how many cleats for a hardwood floor?

All you need is the Will Spirit, and of course, the right set of information, which we will provide in a bit.

How Many Cleats For A Hardwood Floor?

Knowing how many cleats for a hardwood floor is one important question you need to have answered when you want to install a hardwood floor. How Many Cleats For Hardwood Floor Doesn’t Have To Be Hard? Read These Tips. I want to share a couple of things today from my experience of installing a hardwood floor.

Here is your answer about nailing:



2″-2 3/4″


3″-3 3/4″




What Size Cleat For ¾ Hardwood Floor?

From my experience with installing a hardwood floor, I’ve come to understand many people struggle with the right size of cleats to use for a ¾ inch hardwood floor.

In such cases, what you should do is refer to the flooring manufacturer for reference to the perfect cleat size to use.

Most manufacturers allow you to use either a staple or a cleat nail. While installing on a ¾ hardwood, I installed the nail or staple 6-8 inches along with every board’s tongue. Use 2″ long cleat nails when installing 3/4″.

I also ensured I stayed approximately 4 inches away from each end of the floorboard. I’ve made use of both staples and clear nails, and here’s what I’d recommended based on my past jobs.

Cleat for hardwood Floor

For the cleat nail, I used a 1 ¾ inches long cleat for a ¾ thick plywood installed directly over concrete. There was a time I installed a ¾ inches wood over a wood subfloor with floor joist; I used a 2 inches long cleat nail.

But for installing thinner woods like a ½ inch thick wood, I used a 1 ½ inch long cleat nail.

Similarly, when I used a staple, I installed a 15 GA 1 ¾ inches long-staple when installing ¾ wood over a concrete floor.

But when installing that same ¾ wood over a wood subfloor with floor joist, or over two layers of ½ plywood over a concrete floor, I installed a 15 GA 2 inches long staple. But for thinner ½ inches thick solid wood, I used an 18 GA 1 ½ inches long staple.

What Is Better, Flooring Cleats Or Staples?

Another thing I noticed was the difference between using cleats or staples.  Note that even though the space recommendation for cleats and staples is similar, you should not use the two on the same installation because of the allowance for seasonal movement and holding strength.

Cleats are about twice staples’ price, but they offer a more durable and longer-lasting grip than staples. Cleats are often sold as L or T shaped heads. Both types of cleats have a series of ribs that run about two-thirds the way down the nail shank.

However, because staples grip the wood with two prongs, they offer a snugger grip than cleat nails. But as the flooring contract and expand, flooring with staples will likely loosen the hold and squeak.

Moreover, staples are more likely to split the flooring tongues, especially when the flooring is less than ¾ inches thick.

So, the significant difference between staples and cleats is in their holding properties. Also, cleats are more expensive to purchase than staples.


In conclusion, when it comes to installing hardwood flooring, a lot of factors come into place. You don’t just install a hardwood like you would a carpet. The flooring needs to be extra leveled to ensure the wood lies flat.

You also need to know if a cleat staple would work best for the type of wood you are installing and how many cleats for hardwood floors would do if you’re using cleats? Installing hardwood can be quite tasking and requires a lot of investment, both time and money.

James Collins
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