Drywall Fasteners

Drywall fastners

In carpentry drywall fasteners are specially designed nails and screws that are used to fasten drywall panels. Ordinary nails or screws are not recommended. The heads of common nails are too small in relation to the shank. They are likely to cut the paper surface when driven. Staples may only be used to fasten the base layer in multilayer applications. They must penetrate 5/8 of an inch into supports. Using the correct fasteners is extremely important for the proper performance of the application. Fasteners with corrosion-resistant coatings must be used when applying water resistant gypsum board or cement board. Care should be taken to drive the drywall fasteners at right angels to the wallboard to prevent the fasteners head from breaking the face of the paper.


Gypsum board nails should have flat and concave heads that are tapered to thin edges at the rim. Nails should have relatively smaller diameter shanks with heads at least a 1/4-inch but no more that 5/16 of an inching diameter. For great holding power nails annular ring shank are used.

Smooth shank should penetrate at least 7/8 inch into framing members. Only 3/4inch penetration is required when shanked nails are used. Greater nail penetration is required for fire rated applications.

Nails should be driven with a drywall hammer that has a convex face. This hammer is designed to compress the gypsum board face to form a dimple not more than 1/16 of an inch when the nail is driven home. The dimple is made so the head can later be covered be with compound.


Special drywall fasteners scews are used to fasten gypsum panels to steel or wood framing or to other panels. They are made with phillips head designed to be driven with a drywall power screw gun. A proper setting of the nose piece on the power screwdriver assures correct countersink of the screw head. When driven correctly the specially contoured bugle head makes a uniform depression in the panel face without breaking the paper.

Different kinds of drywall screws are used for fastening into wood metal and gypsum panels. Type W screws are used for wood Type S and Type S12 for metal framing and type G for fastening gypsum-backing boards. Type W scews have sharp points. They have special designed threads for easy penetration and excellent holding power. The drywall fasteners should penetrate the supporting wood frame by at least 5/8.

Type S screw are self drilling and self tapping. The point is design to penetrate sheet metal with little pressure. This is the important feature because the thin metal studs have a tendency to bend away when driving screws. Type S 12 screws have a different drill point designed for heavier gauge metal framing.

Type G screws have a deeper special thread design for effectively fastening gypsum panels together. These screws must penetrate into the supporting board by at least 1/2 inch. If the supporting board is not thick enough, longer fasteners should be used. Make sure there is sufficient penetration into framing members.


Drywall adhesives are used to bond single layers directly to supports or to laminate gypsum board to base layers. Adhesives used to apply gypsum board are classified as stud adhesives and laminating adhesives.

For bonding gypsum board directly to supports special drywall stud adhesives or approved construction adhesive is used. Supplemental fasteners must be used with stud adhesives. Stud adhesives are available in large cartridges. They are applied to framing members with hand or powered adhesive guns.

For laminating gypsum boards to each other joint compound adhesives and contact adhesives are used. Joint compound adhesives are applied over the entire board with a suitable spreader prior to lamination. Boards laminated with joint compound adhesives require supplemental fasteners.

When contact adhesives are used, no supplemental fasteners are necessary. However the board cannot be moved after the contact has been made. The adhesive is applied to both surfaces by brush, roller or spray gun. It is allowed to dry before laminating. A modified adhesive is also used. It permits an open time of up to thirty minutes during which the board can be repositioned, if necessary.

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