Which Drywall Screws Should I Use?
Drywall screws are specially designed to fix plasterboard to timber and metal structures. They generally feature deep threads to help keep them secured in the plasterboard and are lightweight.
There are many different types of drywall screws, so it’s no surprise that you may be unsure which one is best for the project at hand. In this handy guide, we’ll go over all of the features of a drywall screw that can differ and make them suitable for different applications, so that you’ll have a clearer idea of which type to use for your project!
The head is the top part of the screw that is wider in diameter than the rest of the screw and features a notch in which to fit a screwdriver.
Bugle head screws are the most common for plasterboard applications. They have a countersunk head which allows them to sit flush to the plasterboard, providing a seamless finish.
Wafer head screws are more often used for constructing wall and ceiling frames from metal. They have a large, rounded head that does not sit flush to the substrate.
The screw thread is the helical coil that runs around the diameter of the screw shaft. It helps to drive the screw into the substrate. There are two different types of screw threads – coarse and fine. Coarse screw threads run around the diameter of the screw shaft fewer times than fine screw threads, leaving a wider gap between the thread run.
Drywall screws with coarse threads are more suited to timber applications. The wide thread allows the screw to drive better into the wood material, fixing the plasterboard more securely.
Drywall screws with fine threads, on the other hand, are better suited for metal applications. Fine-threaded screws are self-driving, so they run smoothly into the metal – if you were to try to affix plasterboard to metal with a coarse-threaded drywall screw, it would chew up the metal substrate!
There are many different lengths of drywall screws for one simple reason – to allow for different thicknesses of plasterboard. The general rule of thumb for drywall screw length is that it should penetrate at least half of the thickness of the substrate material.
To work out the length of drywall screw you need, add the thickness of the plasterboard to half of the thickness of the substrate material – this number is the minimum length that your drywall screw should be.
Many drywall screws are supplied with a black phosphate coating which prevents rust and corrosion over time. This is useful if you’re fixing into timber, as unfortunately, it can suffer from damp and rust issues.
Some drywall screws, on the other hand, are supplied with a silver-coloured zinc coating. These are more often used for fixing into metal, as it provides a sleek finish – plus, the zinc coating also has anti-rust benefits!
Collated or uncollated?
Collated drywall screws are supplied in a row that is connected by a piece of plastic. They’re designed to be fed into auto-feed screwdrivers for quick and easy installation.
Uncollated drywall screws, on the other hand, are sold loose as any other screw type is, so you do not have to use an auto-feed screwdriver for these.
So which drywall screw should I use?
To sum up, which type of screw you should use really does depend on the type of project you’re undertaking. Most importantly, if you’re fixing plasterboard to timber, a coarse-threaded screw is recommended; for metal, we recommend a fine-threaded screw.
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