Monthly Archives: July 2019

Choosing Between Screws and Nails for Drywall Fastening

When it comes to fastening several wood products or similar materials, including drywall, nails and screws are the two most common fasteners used. If you’re considering a new drywall installation or repairs that involve re-hanging drywall, which should you choose?

At Blue Dawn Drywall, our typical drywall installation features screws to support drywall – these are the more durable and secure option in most cases, and we prefer quality first even if these may cost a bit more than drywall nails. There may be certain situations where nails are more appropriate for your needs, however. Let’s go over some basics on each, plus a few circumstances where nails might be a realistic consideration.

choosing screws nails drywall fastening

Screw and Nail Sizes

For starters, let’s just go over some basics on recommended sizes for drywall screws and nails – these depend on the size of drywall as well:

  • Half-inch drywall: Generally, half-inch drywall screws should only penetrate to between 5/8ths of an inch and 3/4ths of an inch. For this reason, screws or nails should be at least 1 ¼ inches long for this size.
  • Three-quarter-inch drywall: This will require a nail of about 1.5 inches, or a screw of 1 3/8 inches.

To ensure your drywall is secure and does not risk popping, make sure any nails or screws used are of the ring shank variety.

Ceiling Installations

If the area where drywall is being installed is the ceiling, screws are almost always the way to go. They offer greater protection than nails here, with more strength and toughness that will hold even the heaviest drywall up with no additional support. Nails are also tough, but they tend to fail earlier when they’re being pulled not only by heavy drywall, but also by the force of gravity.

Wall Installations

For walls, on the other hand, your options are a bit more open. There are many wall installations where nails are every bit as useful as screws – but you do have to be careful here.

For instance, while nails are far cheaper than screws, many building codes will call for up to twice as many nails as screws just to hang the exact same slab of drywall. Nails could still be the more cost-effective option in some of these situations, however, especially if there’s not already a nail gun on hand and this has to be purchased for installing drywall screws. You should also consider future wear-and-tear in this decision, and whether you might be required to re-do the fastening sometime in the future depending on which option you choose.

To learn more about whether you should choose nails or screws for your new drywall fastening, or for information on any of our drywall installations, basement finishing or any of our other services, speak to the staff at Blue Dawn Drywall today.