Nails versus screws who will become the winner. When drywall first came out the installers used everything from regular steel nails to galvanized roofing nails. After a short amount of time they started to develop major problems from nails popping out of the finished drywall.
Nail popping results when the nail is driven into moist lumber and as the lumber shrinks the house settles and nail can actually pop out to the walls. Hard to imagine the nail could actually pop out of the drywall as the wood was drying out.
How far the nail would actually pop out was determined by how far it was driven in to the framing studs or ceiling joists. Well pretty soon drywall installers started to use ring shank nails to eliminate this problem. This worked great but these nails were hard to drive in and would often break.
As time went on the nails improved and were made out of galvanized metal with cupped shaped heads and came in a few different sizes. The size of the nail used was determined by the thickness of the drywall. These new nails worked great and had good holding power and eliminated a lot of nail popping.
Using nails means driving them in with a hammer. If you miss the nail you damage the drywall. This seemed to be a big problem and was virtually eliminated with the screws.
Well pretty soon people started using screws which had greater holding power and pretty much nail popping. Another advantage to using screws over nails is the simple fact you need less screws than you do nails to attach the drywall to the metal or wood framing.
This means less labor installing and finishing the drywall.
There is one problem with the screws and that is they have to be set perfectly. They can not break the paper surface on the drywall but have to be set enough into the drywall so that it can be finished properly. Most screw guns have an adjustable setting used to get just the right depth for the screws installed in the drywall. But this also was a problem when screwing into a hard piece of wood you can actually snapped the screw head off, strip the screw head or break the screw.
Nails on the other hand can bend while driving them into a hard surface.
Who wins the nails versus screws while installing drywall? I have got to give it to the screws. That doesn't mean the nails just got screwed or the screws just got nailed.
I couldn't resist. I actually preferred the screws over the nails except for when nailing the drywall corner bead on. Some drywall professionals use nails to hang the drywall and go back with a screw gun and some screws to finish the job. The nails sometimes seem handier than the screws when installing the drywall.
Greg Vanden Berge is working on the internet to promote the education for creating simple to follow guides and home building books to help professional building contractors as well as the weekend warriors. He is currently working on more Building and Remodeling Library and adding useful content to help solve problems created by the lack of construction knowledge in the building industry.
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