Graphical Construction Glossary >> Tools. >> Hand Tools >> Floor Clamps

Floor Clamps
Aids to fixing tongue and grooved flooring. They clamp to the floor joists and exert pressure on the boards to close the joints.

floor clamps

There are a few variations to the actual design of the clamps from varying manufacturers.

The clamps above are the larger type that work with the long lever that transmits the force through a ratchet. The lever is pulled backwards and forwards and when the clamp is released the ratchet pawl is flipped by hand and the opposite stroke removes the pressure.

The clamps rely on their grip on the joists with the serrated side pieces, and often if they don't grip the carpenter will give them a quick belt with a hammer to set them firmly. This is OK in most work, but on work where the underside of the floor is to be exposed then the marks on the joist that the clamps produce might not be acceptable.

The clamps are never used directly against the flooring. A sturdy length of timber (150mm x 50mm) is laid on the joists between the clamp and the board edge to spread the load. Also one clamp alone is rarely used. At least two and sometimes more depending on the length of the floor being laid.

These clamps are still used today on floors that are laid with softwood or inexpensive timber that is to be covered up. For most modern hardwood floors that are to have a decorative effect the trend is towards secret nailing and these clamp are not suitable for that. There are many purpose made floor nail guns available and one of my inventors pages show a brilliant idea that uses compressed air to cramp the boards. See the Nobow flooring clamp page.

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
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