Self-tapping screws for drywall: types and step-by-step instructions for use

Self-tapping screws for drywall: types and step-by-step instructions for use

Drywall is fragile and must be handled with care. Various fasteners help to ensure the integrity of the structure. Of the latter, self-tapping screws are in greatest demand. Accurate and fast entry does not disturb the structure of the drywall during installation work.


Self-tapping screws are fasteners consisting of a metal head and a rod with a sharp thread. The upper part has a special recess, into which the tool is inserted for the implementation of the rotational movement.

Self-tapping screws are in many ways similar to screws, being considered a more advanced version. They do not require additional hole drilling. Parts can be directly screwed into drywall with a screwdriver or screwdriver.

Outwardly, both mounts are almost the same. The screw under the head has a smooth shank, while the self-tapping screw has a sharp thread on the entire surface of the shank. Small products on the construction market are sold by weight, but large samples can be purchased by the consumer individually.

In order to correctly select fasteners for drywall, you need to know the main technical characteristics in accordance with GOST, namely:

  • the length of the self-tapping screws varies from 11 to 200 mm. Fasteners for decorative profiles may exceed these parameters;
  • for wood, products with rare carvings are used (according to GOST 11371-78), since the wooden material is rather fragile;
  • in the case of a metal profile, according to GOST 11652, self-tapping screws with a fine thread are required. At the same time, the upper part has an increased diameter.

Production in accordance with GOST takes into account all requirements and safety measures.

Self-tapping screws are in demand in almost all types of construction work. Different types of parts have individual purposes, parameters and models.

Depending on this, before purchasing self-tapping screws, self-tapping screws are consumed per 1m². In this case, it is necessary to adhere to the rule – the length of the product must exceed the thickness of the drywall per centimeter. In the case of a wooden frame, the installation step is 35 cm. For a metal frame, it takes 30-50 cm. Large products (from 200 mm) are used with multi-layer drywall or when a plinth is attached to the drywall. To ensure sufficient rigidity, the parts are screwed in more often. The step of attaching a sheet of drywall to the surface is from 30 to 45 cm.

To find out the number of screws that are needed for work, the table will help.

Calculation of materials

Surface type

Spacing, m

Base, p / m

Plasterboard sheets 12.5

Self-tapping screws, pcs

Long-life carriers


For installation of gypsum board, mm, m2

For mounting an additional element

L = 30 mm

GP 1











As an example, you can calculate fasteners for a wall with parameters 4×5 m.It is important to remember that a standard drywall sheet has a size of 1.2×2.6 m. Because of this, on the wall, in addition to the guides, between which one self-tapping screw is screwed, they install jumpers horizontal type (40 cm above the floor level and 40 cm below the ceiling).

The base is made according to the following parameters:

  • the distance between the guides is 60 cm;
  • GKL sheet is horizontally screwed to 3 guides;
  • the estimated step is 30 cm.

The calculation is made:

  • 260: 40 + 1 = 8 screws per profile;
  • 8 * 3 = 24 elements for three guide lintels;
  • 24 + 6 = 30 fasteners per GKL sheet.

Consumption for 1 m² of gypsum board will be:

  • the final result is divided into a sheet area of ​​30: 3.12 = 10;
  • the wall area is calculated (4×5 = 20 m²) and the total amount is calculated (20 * 10 = 200).

It is recommended to purchase materials in reserve for 10% more of the total. Therefore, about 220 pieces will be required..

How to fix?

Self-tapping caps come in different sizes, differing in the geometry of the recesses. Depending on this, a cross-shaped or flat nozzle for the screwing tool is selected.

As the latter, you can use a screwdriver or a classic screwdriver.

A screwdriver is a pistol on which a bit is mounted – replaceable nozzle of various shapes.

It is important to remember that the drill wears out during operation, thus requiring regular replacement. And you should also think about the need for a tool with a battery..

The budget cordless screwdriver is not suitable for continuous work. Charging is enough for 30-60 cycles, after which the device may fail.

This drawback can be eliminated by buying a screwdriver with mains power supply. It is a classic drill with a range of additional features. The pistol includes a reducer, the lowest speed of which reaches half a turn per second. Rotation depends entirely on how hard you pull the trigger. When buying, it is recommended to take a reverse rotation screwdriver to unscrew the self-tapping screw from the socket.

To facilitate manipulation with a screwdriver, it is recommended to purchase self-tapping screws in a tape. Fasteners are linked together in an amount of 6-7 pieces, they are fed into the screwdriver gun automatically. If you need to screw in a small number of self-tapping screws, you should use a screwdriver with a suitable nozzle. The tool handle must be of sufficient thickness for ease of use.

How to choose and fix?

When self-arranging a home interior, you should decide in advance which screws to fasten drywall directly to the wall.

It is recommended to calculate in advance the number of fasteners, while it is worth pre-measuring the area of ​​the gypsum board. In order to avoid additional overpayments, most of the sellers of the construction market pack individual batches of self-tapping screws into industrial packaging in hundreds or thousands of pieces. And also most often the construction market offers to buy a batch of self-tapping screws by weight. At the same time, difficulties arise with the calculation of 1 m². To eliminate misunderstandings, you can ask the seller about the approximate number of fasteners per unit of weight.

To calculate the exact number of screws, the following parameters are required:

  • the distance of the two fasteners relative to each other;
  • type of drywall sheet;
  • profile material;
  • the area of ​​the room or that part of it where the work is done.

The process of installing self-tapping screws consists of several stages..

  • Before starting work, you should outline the installation locations of the self-tapping screws. For high-quality work, experienced builders recommend drilling recesses up to 2 mm at the marks with a thin drill. This will eliminate the risk of loosening the self-tapping screw by tightly screwing it into the material..
  • For convenience, it is better to use a screwdriver with a reverse direction of rotation, especially with ceiling cladding. When attaching the gypsum board to the wall, you need to try to keep the tool and the self-tapping screw as horizontal as possible. Any distortion makes the structure unsteady.

  • The self-tapping screw head must be flush with the drywall surface or at a depth of 1 mm. The marking of the drill on the screwdriver will help alleviate the situation..
  • In case of unsuccessful fastening, a new hole cannot be made within 5 cm of the wrong one..
  • The self-tapping screw begins to screw in with a fast rotation of the screwdriver. When the fastener enters the plaster, the drill speed is reduced to the minimum.

However, during installation, the consumption of self-tapping screws may unexpectedly increase due to the purchase of defective products.. To avoid unpleasant consequences, it is worth paying attention to a few details when buying..

  • Colour. Self-tapping screws have an even black or grayish-black shade, similar for each product in the batch. This color gradient indicates a high-quality anti-corrosion coating by oxidation or phosphating technology. In the absence of a protective layer in conditions of high humidity, the self-tapping screws will quickly become covered with rust..
  • Slot recess should be in the center of the cap, keeping a clear upward direction. A poor-quality slot will not allow you to properly screw the self-tapping screw into the drywall.
  • Appearance. Products in a batch must retain the same shape and size parameters. Even bent elements indicate a defective batch, they are made with violations at the production stage. Low-quality products have no markings on the cap. The presence of letters means that the manufacturer entered the market openly and is fully responsible for the quality of the product..


For working with gypsum board, ordinary self-tapping screws are suitable, which are completely included in the sheet. Differences start with a geometric recess in the hat. Defines cruciform, straight and hex cutouts.

Self-tapping screws with a complex slot are more in demand on the market, since the cap does not lend itself to damage. It is easier to unscrew them if necessary..

If you need to hang a massive structure on drywall, it is better to use a “butterfly” mount. This type of attachment is capable of withstanding a load of up to 30 kg. The fastener consists of a self-tapping dowel with a plastic core. When the element is screwed in, the dowel easily enters the gypsum, forcing the plastic seal to fold, pressing against the drywall from the back. Installation of the “butterfly” begins with drilling a hole with a diameter corresponding to the circumference of the self-tapping rod. The hole must be 5 mm longer than the dowel. Remove dust before inserting the self-tapping screw.


For a profile for drywall made of wood, large self-tapping screws with reverse frequent threads are required. The turns are divorced in the middle due to the pliable structure of the material. The tree has a low density, due to which it requires special screws for drywall. The diameter is not inferior to similar products for metal, while the length is from 11 to 200 mm. Large models with a thickness of 4.5-5.0 mm and a length of 150-200 mm are screwed into a pre-drilled hole.

Self-tapping screws for metal have frequent threads on the rod. The distance between the ridges is small, since a tight adhesion of the rod to the metal profile is necessary. Moreover, the diameter is 3–5 mm. As the length of the screws increases, the value of the diameter also increases.

Brass, alloy steel or stainless steel is used as a material for manufacturing. Steel products have high density characteristics, while brass products resist corrosion better.

Thread type

In the case of the operation of metal profiles, drywall is used for metal, while for wooden lathing, gypsum board for wood is required. Based on the facing material, select the appropriate self-tapping screw, focusing on the appearance of the thread.

Regardless of the specific purpose (wood or metal), self-tapping screws have the following features:

  • PH-2 (Phillips) is a cross-shaped recess with which it is convenient to screw screws into a sheet with a screwdriver and a screwdriver;
  • screwing the self-tapping screw into drywall facilitates the sharp spiral thread on the rod;
  • the presence of a hat that is recessed into the gypsum board sheet and does not complicate further cosmetic finishing;
  • black color (without additional painting and grinding) indicates anti-corrosion oxidized and phosphated coating.

For wood, a rare thread is characteristic, and for a metal profile, a frequent one. The latter represents a reinforced version with a thickness of up to 2 mm, requiring the participation of self-tapping screws with a drill.

This type of fastening dispenses with additional drilling of a hole. Thus, they reduce the time required for installing drywall to the wall, despite the small distance between the fasteners..

Dimensions (edit)

Manufacturers make batches of self-tapping screws for gypsum board sheets of various sizes. A wide assortment is due to the different-caliber designation of fasteners. It is not always necessary to attach drywall to a wooden batten or wall. In some situations, to increase the density, two sheets of drywall are attached, which require a longer self-tapping screw. And also the parameters of fasteners depend on the density and distance to the material..

It is better not to rely on intuition and choose the length of the self-tapping screw according to the marking. For example, 4.8×100 is indicated on the packaging. It follows from this that the self-tapping screw has a diameter of 4.8 mm and a length of 100 mm. Experts recommend that when choosing a self-tapping screw of a certain size, proceed from the basic rule: the head of the fastener should go into the drywall to a depth of 1 mm.

Famous manufacturers and reviews

The leading position in the rating of manufacturers is occupied by an international company Knauf. The company manufactures self-tapping screws for drywall for various purposes.. Fasteners from a German manufacturer have a number of advantages.

  • The sharp shaft and countersunk head are coated with phosphated anti-corrosion protection. It allows the use of self-tapping screws both in dry conditions and in rooms with high humidity..
  • The standard construction pitch is 11 to 200 mm. For multilayer plasterboard coatings, Knauf produces an additional line of self-tapping screws up to 750 mm long.
  • High-quality metal for manufacturing does not allow the geometric recesses in the screw head to collapse, ensuring a tight match with the screwdriver’s bit. They withstand heavy loads at a speed of 2 revolutions per second.
  • Each self-tapping screw has a logo on the “K” head. In the construction market, manufacturers put the label only if there are stable products without flaws.

Self-tapping screws are supplied with a magnetic bit with replaceable nozzles, which guarantees more than 1000 unwinding. Significant competition is the company Omax, which marks the products with an “X”. The company maintains high quality standards, not yielding to an international manufacturer from Germany.

After using Knauf products, consumers leave only positive reviews. However, German quality hits the wallet hard. As a budget option, you can purchase domestic or Chinese products. Chinese manufacturers have raised quality standards. Self-tapping screws are also covered with an anti-corrosion compound, but the warranty period for unwinding is reduced by one and a half times.

Tips & Tricks

Experts recommend adhering to the following tips when working with self-tapping screws:

  • when attaching drywall to the wall, it is necessary to recessed the self-tapping screw to a depth of at least 1 mm;
  • during subsequent painting, the heads of the fasteners are recommended to be masked in order to create an aesthetically pleasing surface;
  • to create an even coating, it is required to putty the recessed caps;
  • in the presence of holes from unsuccessful twisting, the holes of the self-tapping screw should be similarly covered;

  • when visiting the construction market, it is important to purchase an additional set of drywall or self-tapping screws, since when carrying out self-repairs, the necessary elements may not be enough. At the time of need, the seller may not have similar products;
  • do not neglect security measures. Protective gloves should be purchased for hand protection. During production, sharp metal particles are deposited on self-tapping screws, which are invisible to the naked eye. They are able to pierce the skin in the palm of your hand, contributing to infection. Therefore, do not ignore protective clothing..

Successful examples and options

The classic use of self-tapping screws for installing drywall is finishing hay with additional interior elements. The result is a plastered, sanded surface that is easy to paint.

In addition to the walls, the ceilings are clad with plasterboard, giving the reliability of the structure using self-tapping screws..

An overview of self-tapping screws for mounting drywall, see the following video.

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