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Any agreement on nailing off sheetrock

Bob14-0's picture

Your opinions, please, on the proper nailing schedule of sheet rock. My mudder insists I use too many screws (3-4 per stud on sidewall and about the same for lids). He explains I should just nail the perimeter - one per stud, then about 4 more screws in the field, using a 4X8 sheet. The above with the benefit of glue. He can't say enough about using glue. Maybe I'm wrong but this seems a little shy on fasteners. I do trust my taper and I believe he's not just trying to save work for himself, although fewer nails would certainly do just that.
Regards, 14-0

(post #165287, reply #1 of 55)

Find a new mudder. Lazy fool.

(post #165287, reply #2 of 55)

Well......Most good quality factory built homes use that technique for the simple reason that if they just screwed the sheetrock, it would not stand up to the forces of transporting the homes to the site. I don't think your drywaller is trying to save himself much work because it really doesn't make much difference whether you mud 24 screws or 10 screws. I don't know of any drywaller that uses glue, so maybe he really does believe it does a better job. It's certainly more trouble to glue a sheet than it is to buzz in a few more screws. What's really important is to make sure you have enough screws installed to hold the sheet against the studs until the adhesive sets up.

(post #165287, reply #3 of 55)

Oh....golly, golly, golly, golly...

And to think I've gotten strange looks when I've said "no nails, only screws".

Oh golly...

(post #165287, reply #4 of 55)

Bob, 14-0,

Around here, they never put any fasteners in the field, on walls, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. I can't think of one offhand, but i leave the option open in theory.

They do however glue everything. The glue acts as the nails, after the glue sets.

Does it work? Of course. I have hung many many hundreds of vinyl drywall sheets in commercial installations. In those installations, we used hidden clips along the vertical joints, some as high as 10'. There is no fasteners allowed in the field.
It is imperative that a decent glue job is done. If a bowed board is intalled, we would have to put some type of pressure on it to keep it tight to the studs while the glue set up.

Firewall installations are different. They do require a specific nailing pattern that would supercede the aesthetic application that I described.

In residential construction, local builders seek to eliminate the possibility of future nail pops. They would not let an installer put that many in the field on wall applications.


(post #165287, reply #5 of 55)

no glue... lots of screws .. skim-coat plaster over blueboard.. 4 or 5 screws per stud.. horizontal sheets...

ceilings are all furred so one screw every 16 inch...

(post #165287, reply #6 of 55)


Bob 14-0,

I'm with Mad Dog & Smith.


© 1999-2000

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."

Friedrich W. Nietzsche

(post #165287, reply #7 of 55)

Sometimes the regional differences are really bizarre.

In central pa I have only seen skim coat blue board done a handfull of times, but I do think it is superior. Never saw a ceiling furred down, although I know it to be common in the northeast, but I think unnecessary. It is very unusual to notice flaws in ceilings particularly when coated with flat white paint.

If drywall is glued properly it does not require as many fasteners, that seems simple enough. Can any one give me a good reason not to glue? Not to mention when combined with the caulk and foam package my insulater does, air infiltration is further reduced.

I can't understand spending the time to fur ceilings in attempt to get a better job, then not going to the expense of gluing the board.



(post #165287, reply #8 of 55)

Tommy, the only reason that I could think of is vapor barrier being installed over the studs.

I've never seen anyone do that however.

I've never seen a skimcoat either.

And I've never seen a ceiling strapped nor have I ever seen a need.


(post #165287, reply #9 of 55)

if you are using a poly vapor barrier.. where does the glue go?

next.. .. and theis has come up before...

a lot of board hangers won't hang if you staple the kraft paper over the face of the stud or joist or rafter..

.. this is an improper installation of fiberglass insulation..

so .. something has to give...

what does USG say ? ... here's another

the glue can only bond to the back surface of the paper...the screws secure the entire medium from the front face....

.. IMHO... the glue is not an equal substitute for a good screw job....hah, hah, hah

(post #165287, reply #10 of 55)

Mike, here in the Metro Detroit area, there is 45,000,000,000 sq ft of board hung without field fasteners to prove you wrong.

I've done a ton of it myself and have never noticed any loose board. Fasteners = nail pop possibiliies. The builders around here would absolutely
b not
let you hang for them.

Incidently, one of the ways hangers will make sure that the board is contacting the glue, when long horizontal sheets (16 footers) are used is a couple of screws in the field that they screw in leaving the head out. These are later taken out before finishing.


(post #165287, reply #11 of 55)

blue.... why do i have to be wrong... ?

isn't it your turn to be wrong ?

fair's fair...

and what is all this reference to NAILS ?

""Fasteners = nail pop possibiliies.""

is that a slip of the tongue ...old-timer ?

they ain't still using nails in mich. are they ?

what does USG say ?

still wanna staple the insul. to the sides of the joists .. doncha ?

where'd ya get that number (( 45, 000, 000, 000 sf ))

u were wingin it weren't you ? or is that since they started glueing sheets ?,.... nah.. you were wingin it.. can't sh*t an old bull sh*tter....hah, hah, hah

(post #165287, reply #12 of 55)


Just because in Michigan you guys are getting away with this kind of installation does not mean it is the right way to do the job. It would be considered totally unacceptable here. Besides, you didn't answer Mike Smith about the vapor poly question--but then, maybe you don't use that either? And since you don't tarpaper the roofs, why use a vapor barrier right? Hard to believe you even tyvek the damn things, don't you have better things to spend the valuable time on?



(post #165287, reply #13 of 55)

Wow!! That question stirred up a hornets nest...It seems that some here don't think that a glued sheetrock application is as strong as one where the rock is just screwed to the stud...I can assure you that the glued application is much, much stronger. I have a friend who engineers and sells this equipment nationwide and he deals with all kinds of clients who are begging for better ways to attach rock to walls in commercial and manufacturing situations.

They use all kinds of adhesive methods, some of which don't use any mechanical fasteners at all , just rapid drying adhesive. As I mentioned before, one of the biggest problems with manufactured homes or modules was the problem of cracking sheetrock joints during transportation and this is solved by glueing the rock.

Glueing sheetrock may not be big in the on site homebuilding business, but it is big time in other construction activities.

(post #165287, reply #14 of 55)


Is that BILLION with a "B"?


© 1999-2000

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."

Friedrich W. Nietzsche

(post #165287, reply #15 of 55)

LOTS of screws.

Southern Building Code Fastening Schedule

1/2 + 5/8 Gypsum Wallboard - 7" o.c. on ceilings, 8" o.c. on walls.

(post #165287, reply #16 of 55)

Is that with adhesive Ralph? Glueing drywall in residential isnt very common here. Had to check my now obsolete $70.00 CABO Code book for a fastening schedule. It says for 1/2" drywall with adhesive on walls with studs 16" oc, fasteners 24"oc. Guess that would be 1 in the field. Never seen it done. I guess my feelings are, as long as you're right there with a screwgun in your hand........ 'Course I havent hung the stuff by the $sq' in over 20 years, I might feel differently if I were in that position again.


(post #165287, reply #17 of 55)

Around here the method that is advertised in the fact sheets on the homes are " drywall glued, screwed then screws removed prior to finishing to remove all the possibilities of pops(Yes, screws do make pops also!) It might be noted that the studs and ceiling joists are glued end to end , every stud, every joist, not just this 2' in the center [JOBSITE WORD].
Now to the remodelers, would you rather remove drywall that has been nailed, and screwed or glued? Keith

(post #165287, reply #18 of 55)

I can speak with authority on this much: If you do decide to glue, wear a hat - construction adhesive, after some setting, is best removed with a sharp utility knife. Don't spare the hair when removing, just lop her off.
Regards, 14-0

(post #165287, reply #19 of 55)

didn't mean to touch a nerve here..

just trying to point out that if you are going to glue.. it limits your options... and aj... and blue have stated before that the board hangers won't hang in their areas if the kraft is on the face of the studs...

so that means they fasten to the sides...bad vapor barrier... bad insulation install..

and.... just because some ... or most areas of the country don't furr.. doesn't mean squat...

in new england... we do.. we did.... and we will..

and it will be a superior installation...with other bennies besides ..

so ... pla eeeze.... gimme a break about telling me i don't know how to hang rock.....

as a matter of fact .... bite me.....hah, hah, hah

you can glue it... or you can screw it...

code is code... and USG is USG.....

(post #165287, reply #20 of 55)

After reading the entire thread, I think a couple of things are being overlooked: the entire wall system, which may be climate related...and regional code differences.

I'm sure that it's easier to rip off screwed drywall than glued drywall. the Northeast (on exterior walls) we're talking insulation...the two most common are kraft-faced fiberglass and unfaced fiberglass with poly.

To install kraft-faced according to manufacturer's recommendations you need to staple the flange to the face of the stud...not the sides of the stud. Drywall glued to paper? No no.

The other, probably most common, is unfaced FG with the entire wall then covered with poly. Drywall glued to poly? No no.

Interior walls are your choice, as they are (at least mine are) insulated (sound attenuation) with unfaced batts.

For you folks glueing drywall to the exterior walls of your houses, what are you using for a vapor barrier? Not everyone is dense packing cells and using that for the barrier, I presume.

Nail pops? I've seen 'em. Screw pops? I've never seen the threads of a screw let go or a screw back out like naiuls do...but I have seen mud not entirely fill the phillips head screw slots and I've seen a few air bubbles in the screw heads "pop," creating a little divot.

You've all got different techniques, which is long as you meet or exceed code.

(post #165287, reply #21 of 55)

Mike, Just to make you feel better........I've never seen anybody strap ceilings, never saw any problem with not doing it , thought it was a waste of time and material , but for some reason way in the back of my mind, think it must have benefits or you frugal New Englanders would not do it! Why do you do that?? Always willing to listen!!

(post #165287, reply #22 of 55)


Never heard of not using fasteners in the field, glue or no glue. Won’t fly here in earthquake country.

The Uniform Building Code, adopted virtually throughout California as far as I know, requires the following for 1/2" and 5/8” Drywall:

Nails 7” O.C. Ceilings, 8” O.C. Walls (gives various lengths with regard to type of nail – i.e.; ringed shank, cooler, etc. – and w/ regard to thickness of sheetrock)

Screws @ 12” O.C. Ceilings. Walls are screwed 16” O.C. for studs on 16 inch layout, 12” O.C. for studs on a 24” layout.

Screws shall be long enough to penetrate into wood studs a minimum of 5/8”, and 1/4" into steel studs.

SOURCE: UBC table 25A-G

Fewer than that won’t pass inspection – use more than that often enough and your boss might just get peeved about wasted hardware.

WHAT IT MEANS: – using 4’ wide sheets laid perpendicular to the studs (without any specially engineered situation or concerns) - that amounts to five screws per stud (or joist) at 12” O.C., or 4 screws each stud on a 16” O.C. “nailing” schedule.


(post #165287, reply #23 of 55)

oh goody a rock fight! sheetrock that is. could you guys explain to a moron like myself why stapling kraft paper to the sides is bad? I understand that attaching to the stud face creates problems with the rock attaching smoothly but what effect does side stapling have?

(post #165287, reply #24 of 55)

gene, i don't know why they got started furring ceilings in new england..

but i've seen furring even in old wood lath and horsehair , it's nothing new...

i've seen wood lath direct to the framing... and lath on furring..

occasionaly... drywall, rocklath, and blueboard will be applied direct to framing.. but most of the time... the ceilings get furred..

it helps with wiring and plumbing too... the 3/4 inch space helps a lot...

cathedral ceilings don't move as much either....

(post #165287, reply #25 of 55)


I think what Mike Smith was referring to (he can correct me if I'm wrong) was that lapping the joist faces provided some sort of superior infiltration barrier. Sounds logical - I was always taught though to staple to the sides.


(post #165287, reply #26 of 55)

Even before I had to care about code my fasteners, whether nails or screws, were 7 per stud. On the ceiling, 10, with the screws or nails in the field in groups of 2, spaced about 1 1/2 - 2 inches apart on about 9" centers. No glue. Have never seen glue in any gypsum application, residential or commercial. Must be regional??

If you use fewer fasteners, especially on the ceiling (no Glue), do you really trust just a few little bugle heads to hold all that weight?

(post #165287, reply #27 of 55)

I think he means the glue will be ineffective because it is stuck to the paper rather than the studs but I could be wrong too.

(post #165287, reply #28 of 55)

Sorry for pointing out the facts of the building methods around here Mike. I didn't mean to make you wrong.

Sometimes, we all tend to do things that are unneccessary simply because that's the way our Dad's taught us. Many of the codes were written before the develpment of the superior glues that are on the market today. Sometimes, different regions have regional specific needs. Each question will usually bring about different responses.

I mention the volume of installations (Yes, Mike, I pulled the number out of my bowels) as proof that I'm not a lone wolf doing my own thing. If the board was falling off, I'd tell you that.

I can also tell you that I did several years of commercial tenant work, which involved a lot of removing the vinyl board whhich was glued on. We never even attempted to try to save the stuff. It comes off in pieces. YOu are not going to simply pry the stuff off and expect it to pop off in one piece. The glues are much better than you give them credit for.

We used to use a dot style glue application. We'd put a blob every 4" on each stud. That would equal the same holding power as a nail/screw every 4".

Now, about that calling me an old fart and the slip of the tongue thing. I've never heard a screw pop referred to as a screw pop. It just doesn't have the right ring to it. A screw pop is still a nail pop.

Yes they use nails in MI mainly because they are hidden under the tape. Every crew will have a obx of both onsite and many have some supplies of spray on glue. I've never figured out what that is for.

Yes, they staple the insulation to the inside of the studs.


(post #165287, reply #29 of 55)

Mad dog, I can assure you that it is the right way to do a job here. There is nothing wrong with any of the installations. I personally wouldn't let anyone put a bunch of nails in the field of any drywall on my stuff.

It's not that we are too lazy. It's just that every fastener has a possibility to pop later as the house drys out an settles in. Less fasteners equal less possibilities. It's actually much faster just to put more nails in and skip the glue. Cheaper too.

I can only remember one person that used poly behind his drywall, my first mentor/boss. He swore he'd never do it again because the walls always felt damp. I personally woulnd't do it, nor allow it because of my concerns for air quality. I'd rather have a more natural air exchange in the house. A poly wrapped house does not breathe enough for me.

They do tarpaper the roofs in most localities. I personally don't believe that it matters much, but did put it on the Huron house. I didn't put any on my barn and time will tell which method is better. Check back in 30 years. I never had any on my first house and the shingles lasted about 20 years. They were ordinary black asphalt three tab shingles. I had one flashing leak (sidewall).

Each builder makes their own mind up about Tyvek. Many don't believe that it's any better than a foam job. It's really a matter of personal taste. Our energy codes require a certain level of r factor and each builder picks and chooses whatever to meet the code requirements.


(post #165287, reply #30 of 55)

In central and Eastern Canada, from what I've seen unfaced batts and poly vapour barrier are standard. I've never personally seen or used these kraft paper faced batts (they may be in use, but I've never seen one in my whole career). And because poly is standard on exterior walls, I've never seen or heard of drywall being glued. The only problems I've ever seen with screw pops is where the guy didn't quite drive the screw home, and the sheet eventually seems to move back on the screw a little (and that is only in my own home, which was apparently built by chimps). I've never hung sheetrock in commercial applications, so I don't know what they are doing up here.

So, maybe I've lead a sheltered life, but there's another regional perspective. Hanging drywall Monday, over poly, with plenty of screws.