What Screws to Use for Plasterboard Ceiling?

What Screws To Use For Plasterboard Ceiling
  • Author: Amanda Arnold
  • Posted On: March 28, 2022
  • Updated On: October 11, 2023

For connecting entire or partial drywall sheets to wall studs or ceiling joists, drywall screws have become the standard fastener. The lengths and sizes of drywall screws and thread types, heads, points, and composition can be confusing for a first-time DIYer. The use of screws varies for each type of ceiling.

Plasterboard is mostly used to make the interior walls and ceiling. They are cost-effective and very easy to install with an appealing aesthetic look. That is why plasterboard ceilings are the favorite of homeowners. Plasterboard or drywall screws, as the name implies, are used to secure plasterboard and offer a long-lasting fix.

Plasterboard screws come in various shapes and sizes, each with its own set of advantages. In this article, we have discussed about the types, installation process, and uses of plasterboard screws.

Common Types of Plasterboard (Drywall) Screws 

When attaching plasterboard to stud partitioning, use Drywall Screws. Before you patch the plasterboard, ensure you know what’s underneath it and stay away from pipes, electric cables, and other hazards. Plasterboard screws have positive, countersunk heads and are black.

The following are the most popular types of plasterboard screws:

Fine-Thread Drywall Screws

Also known as S-type screws, these are are self-threading. They work quite well for metal studs and come with sharp points. These are some of the most popular choices for installing drywall ceilings to metal studs. 

Coarse Drywall Screws

Also known as W-type screws, are best known for use on drywall and wood studs. They have a phosphate coating which protects them from rust. Mostly they are used with Timber which is highly susceptible to the damp environment. 

Self-Drilling Drywall Screws

To support the heavier gauge track, self-drilling drywall screws are used. But it all depends on what you are fixing on the plasterboard ceiling. You will need the right tools, like auto-feed screwdriver, to ensure screws are properly installed in the plasterboard ceiling.

What are The Size Considerations for Drywall Screws

Different types of plasterboard screws have varying sizes. The size of the screws will depend on the requirement of the job. 

Fine Drywall Screw Size

The size of the plasterboard screw is determined by the job at hand, precisely what you’re attaching the plasterboard to. If you’re screwing plasterboard to a timber frame, be sure the screw is long enough to penetrate the wood.

However, when fixing metal studs with plasterboard screws, you can use a shorter screw as long as it penetrates the metal stud.

The majority of drywall used in homes is 1/2-inch thick. Thickness can occasionally rise or decrease, but only by a small mm and not very frequently.

The only time DIYers will need to use thicker drywall is if they are installing fire code or type-x drywall.

Coarse Drywall Screw Size

For most wood studs, coarse-thread drywall screws should be used. Coarse-thread drywall screws are the best option for most drywall and wood stud applications. The large threads grasp the wood well and draw the drywall tight against the studs. You can use 1-¼’’ coarse drywall screws. Whereas 1-⅝’’ is less commonly used.

Metal burrs can embed in your fingers, which is one disadvantage of coarse-thread screws. Working with coarse-thread drywall screws necessitates the use of gloves.

Fine Thread Or Self-Drilled Drywall Screw Size

Because fine-thread drywall screws are self-threading, they are suitable for use with metal studs. The best drywall screws for installing drywall to metal studs are fine-thread drywall screws. Coarse threads have a habit of chewing through metal and never establishing adequate traction.

Because fine threads are self-threading, they function well with metal. Coarse-thread drywall screws hold in wood better than fine-thread screws.

What are The Uses of Drywall Screws

The primary function of drywall screws is to secure entire or partial drywall sheets to either wood or metal studs. Nail pops can be repaired with drywall screws. If you have an older house, you have nail pops and see mysterious circular bumps on the walls.

Drywall was nailed with short, wide-head nails before drywall screws became widely used. While drywall nails are still used to fasten drywall to studs, drywall screws have become the standard method of attaching drywall to studs due to the nail-pop issue.

What are the Best Practices to Install Drywall Screws

Plasterboard screws and nails are available in different sizes. Therefore whether you are fixing a building ceiling or planning to install a new plasterboard ceiling in your home, you will require a combination of adhesive and fasteners.

Some of the best practices to install drywall screws on plasterboard ceilings are discussed below.

  • You won’t need a dedicated drywall screw gun if you’re a DIY person or a casual drywall installer. 
  • A drywall screw gun is a specialized instrument for drywall hanging. Most cordless drills are more compact, lighter, and have lesser torque.
  • It is best to install a plasterboard ceiling first and then walls to decrease the risk of damage.
  • The phosphate-coated, coarse thread of one 1/4-inch or one 5/8-inch drywall screw works well for most tasks involving 1/2-inch drywall put on wood studs.
  • Because drywall installation requires several fasteners, this screw is affordable and available in large tubs. Shortening the length makes driving easier, but it also weakens the grip.
  • You should hold the plasterboard ceiling sheet firm while driving fasteners.
  • It’s recommended to slightly overdraw the screws and nails so that they do not break face paper. 
  • You might wish to use the longer drywall screw to hang drywall on ceilings. You can use either a long or short drywall screw to hang drywall on the walls.

Final Words

The plasterboard screw head’s bugle head alludes to its conical shape. This form makes it easier for the screw to stay in place without damaging the outer paper layer. The sharp point on some drywall screws is specified. The tip makes it easy to drive the screw into the drywall paper and start it.

Dry lining is a technique for attaching plasterboard to brickwork and masonry that includes applying dabs of plaster glue to the wall and then bedding the plasterboard on top.


  • What are the Best Screws for Plasterboard Ceiling?
    The plasterboard ceiling is quite thick, so it's recommended to use long screws they are a good choice.
  • What Size Screws to Use for Plasterboard Ceiling?
    If your plasterboard is 9.5mm thick, use 32mm screws, and if it's 12.5mm thick, use 38mm screws. This ensures that the screw penetrates the timber by about 25mm (1 inch).
  • What Size Screws are Best for 12.55 mm Plasterboard Ceiling?
    If you're attaching plasterboard to a timber frame, the screw length should penetrate the timber by about 25mm (1 inch). The screws should be 32mm long for 9.5mm-thick plasterboard, and 38mm long for 12.5mm-thick plasterboard.
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Author: Amanda Arnold

Amanda has been working with ConstructionHow since 2021. Her experience spans over 5 years in the creative niche such as home decor and trends, landscaping, renovations, and custom architectural values. As a home designer expert, she has a keen eye for the latest home improvement trends with accurate facts that readers find impossible to ignore. Being invested in home-building trends is how she has gained her lucrative expertise exploring more to bring a positive ambiance for all homeowners (and even tenants!). Currently, she lives in a beautiful beach home, a source of fascination for her.