How to Screw Drywall to a Stud

  • 01 of 04

    Introduction

    Installing Drywall
    Installing Drywall. Ceneri/E+/Getty Images

    Screwing a sheet of drywall to a wall stud should be easy, but it's not.

    The mere act of turning a screw is easy.  But when you consider all of the misplaced, screwed-up screws that inevitably happen with drywalling, it must not be, right?

    That's how this guide came about.

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Position Screw on Edge of Drywall

    Fastening Drywall
    Copyright Lee Wallender
    • Drywall always fastens to a stud (a stud is a 2x4 running vertically down a wall).  First, find the stud with a stud finder.
    • Push tip of a 1 5/8" coarse thread drywall screw into drywall.
    • The screw should be no less than 1/4" from the edge of the drywall. If it is less, you run the risk of crushing the edge of the drywall. Reposition the screw if this is the case.
    • The sharp tip should stick firmly into drywall and make the screw stay in place.
    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Turn Screw into the Drywall

    Fastening Drywall
    Copyright Lee Wallender
    • Ease slowly on the trigger of your variable speed cordless drill. Start with as slow a speed as you can manage.  This is why I say you need a variable speed drill.  One-speed drills start too fast.
    • Increase speed on the drill. Lean into the drill hard enough only for the drywall screw to "bite" into the wood beneath the drywall.  With this pressure on the drill, the screw should draw itself into the wood.
    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Continue Turning Screw Until Head is Depressed

    Fastening Drywall
    Copyright Lee Wallender
    • Continue drilling until ​the head of the screw breaks through the paper surface of the drywall.  The head of the screw should be recessed about 1/8" below the surface of the drywall.
    • Touch the depression. The edges of the hole should feel smooth. If the edges are rough, you may have driven the screw in too deep.
    • If the screw is in too deep, it will not properly hold the drywall in place. If so, you have two choices.  1.)  You can remove the screw and drill in another spot at least 1 inch away;...MORE 2.)  You can keep the screw in place and sink a second screw at least 1 inch away.