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How Many Screws per Sheet of Drywall? Estimate Your Needs

Making sure you use the right amount of screws in the correct locations is essential for properly hanging your drywall sheets. Neglecting to do this can result in a series of problems like cracking, warping, and screw pops.

Repairing things like this is not only time consuming but quite expensive as well. This is why it’s important to hang your drywall correctly the first time.

So, how many screws are needed per sheet of drywall?

The short answer: 28 screws are needed for attaching a 4-by-8 sheet of drywall. If it’s 4-by-12, it’ll take about 36 screws.

When screwing drywall sheets (4-by-8) to the studs vertically, use four screws, and start at the top. Give each of the screws about 16 inches apart from one another.

As you move downward, the screws below should also be directly under the top screws and about 16 inches apart from each other. Do this all the way to the bottom. After you’re finished, the drywall sheet should have a grand total of 28 screws, four columns with seven screws each.

If your walls studs are spaced 12 inches apart, then you’ll want to do everything exactly the same except space your screws 12 inches apart. Wall studs in modern homes are usually 16 inches apart, whereas wall studs in older homes tend to be spaced 12 inches apart. In this situation, 32 screws are needed for attaching a 4-by-8 sheet of drywall. If it’s 4-by-12, it’ll take 48 screws.

Homeowners who are hanging their drywall sheets horizontally will want to begin by inserting sever screws at the top. From there, work downward and insert a screw every 16 inches. When you’re finished, the drywall sheet should have seven columns each with four screws, a total of 28 screws.

How many screws per sheet of drywall on a ceiling?

Spacing your screws when attaching drywall to the ceiling is a lot like attaching drywall to a wall stud. When attaching drywall sheets to your ceiling, you’re going to attach them just like you would a wall, but instead of screwing the sheets into the studs, you’re going to screw them into the joists.

Screws that go into the joists should be spaced 16 inches apart, and screws that don’t go into joists should be spaced 12 inches apart. Just like you would attach drywall to the wall studs, move from one end to the other. When you’re finished, you should have four columns of screws with nine screws in each, a total of 36 screws. (If it’s 4-by-12, it’ll take 52 screws.)

Research your local building codes

Before you start your drywall project, it’s important that you check your community’s building codes to see if there are regulations you need to follow.

These codes can include things like requiring contractors to have licenses, requiring homeowners to have the proper permits, and scheduling mandatory inspections as a few examples. Failure to do this could result in expensive fines or tickets.

If the community you live in doesn’t require homeowners to purchase permits or schedule inspections, then you can go ahead and get started on your drywall project.

Calculate your needed drywall sheets

It’s important to have a good idea of how much drywall you’re going to need. By doing this, you’ll eliminate wastage while also saving yourself some money too.

To calculate how many drywall sheets you’re going to need, take the total square footage of the area and divide it by 32. This is if you’re using 4-by-8 sheets of drywall.

However, if you’re using 4-by-12 sheets, you’ll want to divide your total square footage by 48.

No matter what size sheets you use, it’s essential to add 10 percent. This will give you a little extra if you have to make strange cuts or you make a mistake. For example:

1,800 square foot divided by 32 = About 56 sheets of drywall (4-by-8)
56 sheets + 5,6 (10% add-on) = About 62 sheets of drywall

62 sheets of drywall x 28 screws = 1736 screws

To calculate the cost, all you have to do is multiple the number of sheets your project requires the cost of a sheet of drywall.

62 sheets of drywall x $12 a sheet = $744

What do you do with 24-inch studs?

Although most modern homes have 16 inch spaced wall studs, some homes may have their wall studs spaced out 24 inches apart. This is common with homes that have a second level.

In this situation, 15 screws are needed for attaching a 4-by-8 sheet of drywall. It’ll take 21 screws for a 4-by-12 sheet of drywall.

Simply attach your drywall just as you would with the walls and ceiling. Space out your screws 24 inches apart and start at one end and work your way down the other. The only real thing you may want to consider when hanging drywall to 24 inch spaced studs is using thicker drywall. Thinner drywall may sag and break or crack easier.

Mike Bailey