Drywall Nail-Screw Spacing
You really only need to be worried about the drywall nail and screw spacing on the "butt joints" and around the "edges" of the wallboard if glue wasn't used during installation.
If glue was not used, then proper drywall screw spacing should be measured to prevent nail pops, cracking, loose drywall and other ongoing troubles.
Any drywall pro will tell you that screws are much better then nails any day, specially when it comes to taping and finishing.
The most important area for fasteners spacing is where the butt ends of your drywall sheet meet together. The spacing between the screws on the butt should be no more then 5 inches apart. If there`s not enough screwing in the butts, they are very prone to crack.
Tip : Sometimes its much easier to use a regular screw gun instead of a drywall screw gun for the butt joints, easier to get the right angle on the screw to hit the joist. If your sheet barely hit the joist, you could always put your screw with on the edge like in the image to the right.
For the ceiling board, the screws should be spaced at about 12 inches from each other, starting from the screw on the edge, So if you got a 4 feet by 4 feet piece of drywall to screw on, your going to need 16 screws around the edges, and 9 screws in the middle of the sheet, called "The Field". All screws should be spaced evenly by 12 inches. Since the edges of the drywall is more likely to crumble or break, be very careful when screwing. The walls won't require as many screws, since these can be spaced by 16 inches from each other.
Around the doors and windows you may want to narrow the gap between the screws to strengthen the structure, down to maybe 6 or 8 inches apart. Make sure to put the screws near the edge of the drywall around the door or windows so that the trim covers them afterwards.
Make sure that you pull out any fasteners that may have penetrated to far, thru the surface, and are not holding anything now, replace it with another one right below or beside it. If you don't remove the "duds", they will pop the mud off when your finishing your wall.
Below is a list for Nail Spacing on Non-Glued Walls :
- Butt Ends: 5-Inches Maximum
- Recessed Ends: 12 inches maximum or at every stud
- Inside Corners: 12 inches maximum
- Outside Corners ( Where your going to add bead ): 8 inches maximum
- The Tops and the bottoms of every wall: 10 inches maximum
- Field Area ( Middle of Sheet ): 12 inches maximum
MAKE SURE TO ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR INSPECTOR FOR SPECIAL BUILDING CODES OF SCREW SPACING