There are two ways to fit wooden flooring: using nails and staples, each of them having different impact on the flooring. Staples are mostly used in carpet layers meaning in engineered wooden flooring where only a layer of wood is put. Staples are never used with hardwood floors, for the simple reason being that staples are nailed in through the face. Hence, leaving marks all over the floor and ruining the beauty and appearance of the wooden flooring. You would probably want to use staples to lay down the backer board under the hardwood floor, since this will prevent airflow between the slots in the floorboard and help insulate the room. The main advantage of staples is that they are used for a solid fitting and give a tighter fitting floor Now the problem with staples is that once the wooden flooring is stapled it is not an easy task to remove the staples. They can damage the adjacent board while being removed. Therefore, it is advised that before opting for staples, you should be 100% sure that you will not be making changes in your flooring pattern. Another problem with staples being that the flooring squeaks if affected by humidity.
When installing the wooden floor with the help of nails, you hammer the nail into the tongue at a 45 degree angle. This is the ideal angle to keep the flooring from moving and the next nail which is put gets hidden by the next piece of flooring which overlaps the previous one. The biggest advantage in this method is that none of the flooring pieces will have a nail marks except the last one. Plus it is easier to remove nails unlike staples. They do not leave markings on the flooring and do not make it look ugly. Hence with nails you have the room for change later on. It is wiser to use nails in areas where humidity poses a problem since humidity has effect on the flooring, causing it to expand or contract. Staples are not able to hold the flooring with the constant change whereas once a nail is struck it holds the wooden board irrespective of the change in size.
The drawback of nails is that they tend to be very expensive. First the nail gun and secondly the number of nails required per square foot will be more expensive than staples for the same amount of area.