I am installing some engineered flooring in my downstairs and have ordered some silicone "vapor shield" underlayment to place underneath it (between my plywood subfloor and the planks of engineered "lumber").

My overall gameplan is to:

  1. Roll out the vapor shield and make sure its laid flat; and then
  2. Staple or nail the engineered planks to the plywood subflooring

I'm curious if anyone has ever worked with this product before (or similar engineered) and has any recommendations whether staples or nails are more appropriate or easier/better to work with, and why. Also, as an aside, if my gameplan is missing any critical steps or there are any general pieces of advice, best practices, etc. when working with these materials, I'm all ears! But the main ask here is:

Staples or nails for this kind of engineered flooring, and why?


1 Answer 1


Here's the meager installation information provided on the product page:

Installation Method: Glue, Nail or Staple

Therefore, you choose based on preference and availability. Either should work fine, though there are some minor differences:

  • Nails are more likely to split the tongue due to larger diameter and the head. This can be mitigated by careful positioning.
  • Nails may be more likely to be overdriven or pull through the tongue under stress.
  • Nails are often available in a wider range of lengths.
  • Staples may not grab the substrate quite as well due to the smaller shank diameter.
  • Staples may be more likely to not drive flush, resulting in problems installing the next row.

These are minor variations, though, so I'd choose based on tool availability and fastener cost.


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