How Deep Should Drywall Screws Go Into Studs?

If it’s your first time screwing drywall into studs, you may be intimidated by the prospect. One question you may have is how deep drywall screws should go into studs.

Drywall screws should go half to three-fourths of the way into the studs. However, this depends on the length of your screws. In general, they should penetrate about 5/8 inch to 3/4 inch (1.59-1.9 cm) into the stud. If you push your screws in too deep, they may pop out of the drywall.

In this article, I’ll explain how to screw your drywall into studs and why you should never push your screws in too deep. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a better idea of how to approach your drywall hanging project. So, let’s get started.

How Deep Should Drywall Screws Go Into Studs?

How To Screw Drywall to Studs

Studs are a type of wall framing that form the “bones” of a wall.

They extend from the top to the bottom of a wall and serve as support for your drywall.

They’re generally made of wood, though they can occasionally be made of stainless steel as well.

As mentioned, you’ll be attaching your drywall to the studs in your wall.

Here’s how to do this:

  1. Find the studs. If you don’t already know where your studs are, you can use a stud finder for this task.
  2. Position your drywall against the studs.
  3. Decide where you’ll position the screws. Don’t position them too close to the edge of the studs, or you risk damaging the drywall.
  4. Using a drywall screw gun, start driving the screw into the drywall. As mentioned above, don’t push it in too deep. Initially, you’ll need to rely on the screw gun to tell you how deep the screw is going. However, if you hang a lot of drywall, you’ll develop a sense of the depth of the screw over time.

What Screws To Use for Drywall

When screwing in drywall, you should have the right tools to do the job — and this includes having the correct screws.

You can buy drywall screws in different lengths, and the right length for your project depends on the thickness of your drywall.

Choose the screws meant for your drywall type. Otherwise, there’s a significant risk that you won’t screw in your drywall correctly.

The most common screw lengths are:

  • 1 ¼ inch (3.17 cm) screws: These are meant to be used on ¼ inch (0.63 cm) or ½ inch (1.27 cm) thickness drywall.
  • 1 5/8 inch (4.12 cm) screws: These should be used on ½ inch (1.27 cm) or 5/8 inch (1.58 cm) thickness drywall.
  • 2-inch (5.08 cm) screws: These are for 5/8 inch (1.58 cm) thickness drywall.

The other major consideration to keep in mind is the gauge or diameter of your screws.

You can buy screws in a wide range of gauges/diameters.

However, drywall screws are either #6 or #8 – and, of those, almost all drywall screws are #6 screws.

When judging the gauge, a simple rule of thumb is “the smaller the gauge number, the thinner the screws.”

When choosing your screws, make sure you select both the right length and gauge.

Finally, you’ll also need to choose the right thread.

The screw thread is basically the number of ridges on the length of the screw — the coarser the thread, the fewer the ridges.

You’ll need coarse thread screws for wooden studs and fine thread screws for metal studs.

Why You Shouldn’t Drill Screws Too Deep

As mentioned above, if you drill your screws in too deep, you risk the screws popping.

To understand why your screws pop when you drill them in too deep, you must first understand how your drywall works.

Drywall is made from the mineral gypsum.

The gypsum plasterboard forms the core of most drywall.

However, this plasterboard is covered on both sides with thick, durable paper.

Though this drywall paper may seem like the equivalent of plastic packaging, it’s actually essential to the drywall’s durability.

The gypsum is highly susceptible to moisture damage, so when that happens, you’ll need to replace your drywall much sooner than expected.

When you drill in your drywall screws too deep, you damage this drywall paper.

The screw depends on the paper to hold the drywall in place. If it’s drilled in too deep, the drywall will “pop” away from the screw.

This means that, though the screw will remain joined to the stud underneath, the drywall will no longer be attached to the stud.

It will move around and become easier to damage.

You should always repair screw pops as soon as you notice them.

If not, you’ll likely have to replace the whole drywall before you know it.

Final Thoughts

You should drill drywall screws about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way into the studs.

The head of the screw should never go through the drywall paper, as this can lead to screw pops that need to be repaired.

Cheers, tools owners!

Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.