There’s a lot of debate about how much weight a drywall screw can hold. Some claim that they’ve successfully held more than 100 pounds (45.36 kilograms) with just a few screws, while others say that anything over 50 pounds (22.68 kilograms) is pushing it. So, what’s the answer?
A drywall screw can hold a maximum of 10 pounds (4.54 kilograms). These screws are meant for adhering drywall to walls and not holding weight. Therefore, adding excessive weight to them can result in the screws pulling out of the wall, which can cause damage to your property.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss the factors determining how much weight a drywall screw can hold and the other functions of drywall screws. I’ll also discuss the risks of adding excessive weight to a drywall screw. Stay tuned!
Factors That Determine How Much Weight a Drywall Screw Can Hold
According to Academia, drywall partitions are mainly used to create a space separated from fire or noise.
Therefore, they usually aren’t strong, as they’re attached to the main wall using drywall screws.
In some situations, you may be forced to hang your belongings using a drywall screw if it’s the only option.
However, you should consider the following factors:
1. Drywall Material
Most drywalls are made from:
- Wood pulp
- Cement board
Although these materials are brittle, they have different strengths.
The strength of the drywall will affect how much weight the screw can hold.
For example, gypsum drywall is weaker than cement board. Therefore, it can’t hold as much weight as the cement board.
Thus, knowing which material your drywall is made from will help you prevent damage by hanging heavy objects.
2. The Size of the Screws
Drywall screws come in different sizes ranging from 5/8 to 1/2 an inch (1.59 to 1.27 cm).
The smaller the screw, the less weight it can hold.
This is because the small screws have a lesser diameter, which makes them weaker.
The larger screws are better at holding weight, as they have a large diameter.
However, you should be careful not to use screws that are too big for your drywall, as this can cause damage.
3. The Condition of the Screws
The condition of the screws will also affect how much weight they can hold.
New screws are stronger than old screws. This is because, over time, screws become loose, and their threads wear out.
If you’re going to use screws that have been used before, make sure to check their condition first. If the screw is damaged, it’s best to replace it.
4. The Number of Screws Used
Using more screws will increase the amount of weight they can hold.
This is because each screw will hold a portion of the weight, reducing the risk of the screws pulling out.
However, when using multiple screws, ensure to space them out evenly.
Installing screws close to each other increases the axial load, which can split the drywall.
Moreover, installing the screws close to the edge increases the chances of splitting the drywall.
5. Screw Threads
There are two main types of drywall screw threads:
- Coarse threads
- Fine threads
Coarse threads offer more holding power than fine threads.
This is because the coarse threads have a larger diameter, which makes them stronger.
On the other hand, fine threads are less likely to cause damage to your drywall.
This is because they have a smaller diameter, which makes them less likely to split the drywall.
When choosing between coarse and fine threads to support weight, it’s best to go with the coarse threads.
This is because they offer more holding power and are less likely to cause damage.
Risks of Adding Excessive Weight to a Drywall Screw
You may be tempted to put too much weight on your drywall screw.
Although it might seem fine, it poses the following risks:
- The screw might pull out from the wall, which can cause your belongings to fall and break.
- The drywall might crack or split, which can cause severe damage.
- The falling objects might cause injuries if someone is nearby.
Therefore, it’s best to err on caution and not put too much weight on your drywall screws.
Other Functions of Drywall Screws
Drywall screws have other functions besides holding weight.
These screws are also used to:
- Create a space between the drywall and the wall: This is crucial if you want to prevent moisture damage.
- Hang pictures: The screws support the nails, which in turn hold the pictures in place.
- Install electrical outlets: The screws can be used to secure the electrical box to the drywall.
- Pilot a new hole: Drywall screws have sharp ends suitable for creating a new hole for your drywall.
- Support a wall: Drywall screws, especially the 1/2 inch (0.01 meter) size, are suitable for securing the drywall to the studs.
- Clean-up drywall compounds: Drywall screws have sharp ends that can be used to clean up drywall compounds. You don’t have to worry about the sharpness as the screws will not penetrate through the drywall due to their short lengths.
Drywall screws are not meant to hold weights.
However, if you must, ensure to use the proper screws and follow the tips mentioned above.
Excessive weight on these screws can cause severe damage to your drywall and pose a safety hazard, so ensure you’re using them correctly to avoid these possible issues.
Cheers, tools owners!