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The Little Problem Solver

Posted in Builders

The Little Problem Solver

Squeaky floors haunt many builders for one simple reason: They lead to callbacks, which eat into time and profit.

Officials at Paslode®, in talking with builders across the country, have identified the culprit in many cases.

“The biggest cause of squeaky sub-floors are nails,” said Christelle Imhof, market manager, new product development with Paslode. “This is due to play between the subfloor panel and the floor joists.”

She said representatives of Paslode spent a lot of time talking to builders and others in the trade about how to solve the problem, but no one seemed truly able to eliminate the nail squeaks caused by the friction of the sub-floor panels on the smooth surface of the nail.

Paslode went to the drawing board and came away with a solution, the TetraGrip™ Sub-Floor Fastening System.

The system includes the TetraGrip sub-floor fastener, which looks like a cross between a nail and a screw. Proprietary ITW (Illinois Tool Works) technology enables Paslode to manufacture unique thread and shank designs on its fasteners.

Paslode reports that the secret is in the barbed, helix design of the fastener, which drives as fast as a nail but rotates as it penetrates the wood, giving it the holding power of a screw. The barbed helix-to-wood engagement also creates a high load capacity. The fastener’s unique performance is recognized under ESR 3071.

“The fastener is designed specifically to engage with wood fibers when it drives,” Imhof said. “It rotates so it does not destroy the wood fibers.” According to Imhof, using traditional nails can reduce holding power and lead to squeaks along the smooth shank of the nail. The TetraGrip fastener not only holds like a screw, but it also has no smooth surface on the shank, helping to prevent squeaks.

The system is designed for production work with a dedicated pneumatic TetraGrip sub-floor air nailer (Model PF237C), which supports the unique technology associated with this fastener.

“It was specifically designed to work with the fastener but works like a traditional air nailer,” Imhof said. “The tool not only delivers the necessary power, but it also supports the rotational forces of the fastener.” Imhof also said the product was tested extensively on engineered wood products, particularly I-joists and sub-flooring, and that a battery of tests show improved performance across the spectrum of wood products. This makes the Paslode system an ideal one to use with LP® TopNotch® Sub-Flooring, which has the strength and durability to further help reduce squeaky floors.

The system is designed to help builders avoid problems during construction and after the homeowner has moved in.

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