Driving Drywall Screws and Nails

  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 200-500
What You'll Need
Drywall screws
Drywall anchors
Electric screwdriver
Drill and bits
Stud finder

There is a debate between the use of drywall screws or drywall nails. Professional opinions on the subject point to using nails and not screws. Monetary and time constraints factor into this opinion. Drywall nails are cheaper and can be installed faster than screws. This is great for the contractor's bottom line but not always for the client. If you're hanging drywall yourself then using screws is far superior to using nails. They cost more and take a little more time to install but unlike nails, they will not pop out of the drywall. As the seasons change the drywall naturally expand and contract. This causes the holes to expand slightly and, over time, nails will begin to come loose and pop out of the drywall. Screws, on the other hand, will grip the interior compound of the drywall as well as the wooden stud they are driven into. The article that follows will show you how to properly drive drywall screws as well as nails.

Step 1 - Pilot Holes

Drywall screws can even be pushed out of drywall over a long period of time. To stop this from happening it is important to install anchors into the drywall. These anchors keep the drywall in place and the screws where they are supposed to be. With the drywall up and flush to each other you have to find the stud because the drywall has to be secured to something substantial so it will not go anywhere. Once the stud finder locates a stud use the drill to make a pilot hole through the drywall and the stud.

Step 2 - Inserting Drywall Anchor

Pilot holes are important because they give you a starting point in which to thread the anchor as well drywall screws. These holes will help you keep the drywall screws from wobbling as you install them. The anchors will help the screws stay in a straight line so it will not scrap against any wiring or go in crooked to damage the stud. The anchors are very easy to install to the drywall. Carefully place an anchor inside the pilot hole. Hold the anchor in place with your hand and use the hammer to gently tap the anchor. The goal of this is to tap the anchor hard enough that it enters the pilot hole that you drilled into the drywall but only about 1/4 of the way in.

Step 3 - Installing Drywall Screws

With the anchors in place you can now insert the screws. Place the head of the screw inside the anchor as far as it will go without you have to force it. Use the electric screwdriver and force the drywall screw deeper inside the anchor. Once the screw hits resistance it will push the anchor and itself into the drywall and the stud. As the drywall screws are turned they cause the anchors to open up and embed themselves into the drywall and the stud along with the screw.