My contractor install hardwood floor today. I was surprised to see that they started from the entry hallway. When I asked them about it, one worker told me that was the longest continuous room in my basement. It covered the most area. Starting from this room eliminated a lot of un-necessary cuts. They just keep putting the hardwood through the door way into every room.
The contractor used a special hardwood stapler from Bostitch with 2” hardwood staple. The stapler had special pad to rest on the hardwood surface. The worker would hit the top of the stapler with a mallet. The mallet hit would drive the hardwood close to last one, then the stapler fired the staple through the hardwood tongue into the sub-floor. This tool made the hardwood installation faster, simpler and better than nail and hammer approach.
The contractor also filled some small voids around corners. He cut the hardwood plank to size. Then he nailed it to sub-floor with finish nail. He told me some less careful contractors just glue the plank to the sub-floor. Glue did not last as long as nail. You should be able to tell the difference by looking for nail holes at corner or edge pieces where normal stapler could not fit.
Four workers nailed 500 square feet of hardwood floor in 9 hours. I was amazed on their speed.