Can You Nail Hardwood On The Groove Side

Nailing hardwood on the groove side is a work of patience and perfection. As it’s a matter of nailing hardwood on the groove side, the conventional nailer rarely be applied. By using a nailer marginally, can you nail hardwood on the groove side?

Yes, you can nail hardwood on the groove side using the hammer and nails. It’s even difficult to apply hammer and nail on the groove side but it’s possible. But, people have a great interest in doing this tough thing for featuring tight seams between two boards. 

Besides, non-groove planks aren’t compatible with pesky problems like shrinking, warping, and many more. Perhaps, you can conquer this most difficult part of hardwood flooring by following the depicted guidelines here.

Can You Nail Hardwood On The Groove Side

Check This Too: Best Underlayment for Engineered Hardwood

Can you nail hardwood on the groove side?

Nailing hardwood on the groove side is a wise decision. There are some facts you should consider to nail hardwood on the groove side. Why don’t you glance over these facts before diving into the main portion?

Little maintenance

Hardwood floors come with the minimum maintenance effort and cost. Once you nail hardwood on the groove side, you need not think about the deep maintenance. Moreover, it’s highly hygienic to use residential areas as well as other places. 

Limits the use of nail gun

To install hardwood on the groove side, you don’t need a nail gun constantly. A nail gun is an expensive tool for nailers and a little tricky to use. It’s operated on the battery or sometimes on the direct corded option. So, you’re saving a good amount of money along with eliminating the hassle. 

Offers the accuracy of the joint

Nailing hardwood on the groove side increases the accuracy of hardwood flooring. Tongue and groove joints are accurate enough to prevent moisture from affecting the hardwood floor. So, you must nail hardwood on the groove side for a better lifespan of the floor. 

Ensures airtight seal

An airtight seal between two boards is mandatory for any kind of building structure. If the sealing remains loose, it’ll gather debris and moisture inside it over time. Nailing hardwood on the groove side ensures have no dent between the used boards. 

How to nail hardwood on the groove side?

Now, you get introduced to the process of nailing hardwood on the groove side. 

Step:1- Installing the first row

  • First, cut the groove parts of the hardwood board in a square shape. 
  • Create a ½” expansion gap between the cut boards and the walls. 
  • It’s the turn to apply the bead of Landbond. You need to apply a ⅛” bead of Landbond. This should be applied to the subsequent end joints of the grooves. 
  • After that, check the tight-fitting of all the end joints. Lay the entire first row on the floor to check this precisely. 
  • Last, of all, maintain the interval of 7″ to 10″ for the top-nail first row. This interval should be maintained as near as possible. 

Step:2- Starting with the second row

  • Cut off the end of the last board from the first row. 
  • This time, use the knocking block to engage the groove. It should be engaged with the tongue of the board in the first row.
  • You need to allow the expansion gap for this time too. It’s prohibited to tap the groove side or its top surface. 

Step:3- Installing the second row

  • Start by engaging the boards only at the end joints.
  • Then, knock the length of the boards to engage the groove with the tongue.
  • It’s time to engage the end joints with the nearby boards using the Last Board Puller. This will stop the way of closing end joints. 
  • Now, tap the board flush to the previous row. The knocking block should be applied against the tongue side. 

Step:4- Finishing work with the second row

Cut the board in the exact length maintaining the expansion gap. Then, install it and apply the Last Board Puller as like the previous time. 

Step:5- Side-nailing second row

  • It’s time to nail through the tongue. Before nailing, you need to maintain the 8″ intervals of side-nail boards by laying the entire previous row. 
  • Pull the side nail carefully. Pulling it straight up may damage the surface of the existing board. 
  • Depending on the situation, you may need to adjust the compressor. 
  • Now, apply glue to convert the groove into the tongue. 

Step:6- Dealing with the last row

  • It’s normal not to fit the last row as per expectation. To eradicate this problem, scribe the row like step:1 with maintaining a ½” expansion gap. 
  • Now, interlock all seams with Last Board Puller precisely. 
  • After the installation, remove the expansion shims and cover the expansion space.

More on FlooringWest

How Long Does Carpet Last On Stairs
Can You Put New Flooring Over Old Linoleum


Having some questions on nailing hardwood on the groove side? Here you get some relevant questions with the answers. 

Which side do you nail hardwood flooring?

Nailing hardwood floors should be started from the left side of the room. It’ll lead to the right side over time. You’ll need to drive the nail at a 45-degree angle for tongue and groove flooring. Perhaps, to get some working convenience, it’s recommended to start from the left side. 

How do you change the direction of hardwood floors?

As there are no “rules of thumb” to fix directions, you can change it according to your convenience. The floor should be placed perpendicular to the floor joists. It’s proved that this direction helps to reduce the possibility of buckling, gapping, sagging, and others. 

Can you secret the nail through the groove?

Yes, you can secret the nail through the groove but it’s so much subtle work. This process should be done quickly to avoid damage to the hardwood floor. In this way, the nail goes through the board along with entering the subfloor. 

How do you nail down 3/4 hardwood flooring?

The 3/4hardwood flooring can be nailed with the help of staples or the flooring cleats. You can apply the exact nailer or stapler to eliminate the thickness of the hardwood floor. By applying the appropriate nail at a right angle, you nail down 3/4 hardwood flooring. 

Can I use a finish nailer for hardwood floors?

Finish nailers aren’t pretty good for hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are compatible with the nearby size of 8D finishing nails. If you’re good at nailing with a finish nailer, you can use it for the hardwood floors. Otherwise, going for the flooring nailer or stapler nailer is the best choice. 


Reaching the endpoint, your confusion on nailing hardwood on the groove side must be dispelled. This task is difficult to perform except for the pro nailers. Even if you’re a newbie, you can do it with perfection by following our steps.

So, can you nail hardwood on the groove side? Well, nailing hardwood on the groove side comes with a lot of conveniences. This process helps to reduce the use of a flooring nailer. Moreover, it helps to avoid future problems with hardwood floors. 

You need to complete this task row by row. Therefore, giving proper concentration and time can make your project successful. Also, using the appropriate tools with the necessary efficiency can nail the hardwood on the groove side nicely.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *