Why Screws and Not Nails?
If you’ve never worked with drywall before, you’re probably inclined to wonder why nails are so rarely used.
The answers comes in a few different pieces, but the most important is that it saves time. You can’t use a nail gun on sheetrock, you’ll just break the panel you’re working with. Screw guns, on the other hand, are nearly everywhere and work just fine because they lack impact.
Hammers and drywall don’t mix well. A missed hit with a hammer can severely damage a panel, and hitting too hard in the right place will still indent it. The gypsum simply isn’t made to take that kind of concentrated blunt force.
The final reason: screws will nearly always drive straight. Even if they don’t, you can easily remove them and go through the same whole to correct matters. With nails a single badly placed hit can bend the nail, and if you finish the drive you’ll damage the drywall.
Screws will also allow you to work with both metal and wooden framing, while nails can only be driven into wood. This offers an additional level of versatility, especially when it comes to working in commercial settings.
There is one disadvantage inherent to screws: inevitably drywall fasteners will pop. This has to do with the shrinking and expanding which wood goes through during normal temperature and humidity changes.
This is completely natural, and nails will do it too. Even the best mudding job can’t always hold them in if you’re dealing with an extreme climate.
While you might be able to get away with simply bumping a nail back in with a rubber mallet or even a hammer if you’re careful, for screws you’ll be in for a longer task.
It’s not hard, just tedious, if you want to deal with popped screws chip away the plaster or mud above the head until you can see the thread and screw it back in.
They’re also harder to get off when you disassemble the wall, since you can’t just slip them with a claw on the back of a hammer.
As far as disadvantages go, they’re a very minor one. Many homes will never even see a fastener beginning to pop, or have to pull a full wall, and it just goes to show the superior holding power over screws over nails anyways.
- Simply put screws are superior to drywall nails in every way that counts for your project.