I have little bumps appearing where the staple went in for the 1/2" manufactured hardwood floor.

enter image description here Can't even tell they are there from the picture... Maybe I'm looking at it too closely.

These are my floors: http://www.johnsonhardwood.com/products/forevertuff-69/forevertuff-canadian-maple.html

They look great, but after a long day of install, I sat down and caught the light hitting the floor at an oblique angle and could see little bumps where the staples they recommended went in. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BKOD4AS/)

I tried hitting those spots with a rubber mallet and that has helped a great deal, but what am I doing wrong in the first place? My air compressor is set at the recommended 75PSI and I am aligning the flooring stapler correctly.

  • 1
    I feel like I should up-vote for using the word 'oblique.' I would bet the likely answer is not mechanical installation, but a thermal/humidity/differential expansion issue. Did the flooring spend enough time in the room where they were to be installed to sufficiently acclimate to conditions there?
    – Some Guy
    Mar 30, 2015 at 18:38
  • 1
    What is the subfloor? Plywood? How thick? What's under the subfloor? Joists? Slab?
    – longneck
    Mar 30, 2015 at 18:54
  • Plywood, not sure how thick but it's on joists.
    – Matt
    Mar 30, 2015 at 18:55
  • To me the only way this could happen is if the staples aren't catching underneath (not long enough or wrong kind) or if they aren't in enough.
    – DMoore
    Mar 30, 2015 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


Well, it turns out, the answer is I'm an idiot. I misread the guidelines and used the wrong gauge of staples.

As the result, I got this textbook description from the manufacturer:

IMPORTANT: Be sure not to over-drive the fastener past the nail slot, this can lead to a condition known as a telegraphing fastener. A telegraphing fastener is the visible effect of excessive pressure being placed on the wood fibers which causes the appearance of a bump to occur just above the fasteners. This condition becomes most apparent when natural or artificial light reflects across the surface of the floor causing the bump to become visible to the eye. This condition can sometimes be difficult to see, so make sure to thoroughly examine the first few rows of flooring to make certain telegraphing does not exist. Johnson Premium Hardwood does not warrant against this condition since telegraphing fasteners are not manufacturing related. If you should encounter this condition immediately stop the installation and contact Johnson’s Technical Department and or the manufacturer of the nailer for technical advice. It is essential that the flooring installer make sure that the nailer/stapler is properly adjusted for the particular floor that is being installed i.e. the fastener(s) MUST enter the nail slot at the correct angle and height, do not over-drive the fastener(s) so as not to cause damage to the board e.g. telegraphing fasteners, broken or split tongues, peaking, squeaking, or crackling noises to occur.

I'm redoing it -- 3 day - $600 lesson learned. Read more carefully....

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