It is also a good idea to cut a board that will allow the spreader head that’s not against the wall to exert pressure on the flat surface of the board you cut instead of against the tongue of the board in the previous row.  Cinch up the board as tight as you can and nail it in place with the Pneumatic Nailer.  You might have to space the nails closer together for crooked boards so they can hold the board in place after you release the pressure of the spreader.  Using the shims is also very effective with cinching up gaps and spaces as shown in the picture below.

Installing the End Rows


    As you approach the opposite wall you will eventually lack sufficient space to swing the rubber mallet and hit the flooring nailer without damaging the wall in the attempt.  You will have to revert back to using the Pneumatic Nailer and start blind nailing until there isn’t enough room to place the pneumatic nailer at the required 45 degree angle to the wood.  At that point you will be forced to top nail.  This is where the work tends to slow down because it is a lot harder to deal with gaps and spaces between

Using the spreader.

boards that are usually fixed immediately with the flooring nailer.  You will also eventually run out of room to swing the hammer and hit the tapping block to cinch boards together as you reach the very last rows.  This is where the spreader and shims really come in handy with cinching the boards together.  The straighter the boards, the easier it will be to cinch them together. 

    Since there isn’t enough room to use the flooring nailer, first try using the pry bar against the subfloor to push the boards together and eliminate gaps while having another person nail it in place with the Pneumatic Nailer.  If this doesn’t work you will have to use the spreader or shims which provide a lot more pressure. 

    The spreader is probably the easiest method to use, but it isn’t as effective at tightly closing gaps as the shims are.  When using the spreader, place a board between the spreader head and the wall to prevent the exerted pressure from damaging the wall as shown in the picture below.

Using the shims.