What Size Nails for Shiplap Over Drywall: A Guide

What Size Nails for Shiplap Over Drywall?

The size of nails for shiplap over drywall depends on the type of timber used.

For hardwood cladding boards, screws are recommended, with a length of 2-2.5 times the thickness of the boards.

Pilot holes should be pre-drilled to prevent splitting.

For softwood timber cladding, galvanized nails should be used, with a length of at least 2.5 times the thickness of the board.

It is important to find stud locations when installing shiplap over drywall, and different fastening systems like nail guns can be used.

For 3/4-inch thickness shiplap, a minimum of 2-inch nails is recommended.

Consistent work and alignment of the boards are crucial for straightness, and the last board may need to be ripped to fit using a table saw or clamping a straight edge.

Key Points:

  • Nails for shiplap over drywall depend on the type of timber used
  • Screws are recommended for hardwood cladding boards with a length of 2-2.5 times the thickness of the boards
  • Pilot holes should be pre-drilled to prevent splitting
  • Galvanized nails should be used for softwood timber cladding with a length of at least 2.5 times the thickness of the board
  • Stud locations should be found when installing shiplap over drywall and nail guns can be used
  • For 3/4-inch thickness shiplap, a minimum of 2-inch nails is recommended and alignment of the boards is crucial for straightness, with the last board potentially needing to be ripped to fit using a table saw or clamping a straight edge.

Did You Know?

1. The appropriate size of nails for shiplap over drywall is typically 6d or 8d nails.
2. Interestingly, the term “shiplap” comes from the practice of using overlapping wooden boards on ships to create a watertight seal.
3. Shiplap gained significant popularity on home renovation shows, like Fixer Upper, which helped to revive interest in this traditional building technique.
4. Shiplap was commonly used throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries as a durable and inexpensive wall covering for homes.
5. Contrary to popular belief, shiplap can be installed horizontally or vertically, depending on the desired aesthetic and style preference.

Types Of Fasteners For Installing Shiplap On Drywall

Shiplap cladding is widely used for sheds and building exteriors because of its rustic charm and durability. When installing shiplap over drywall, you can choose between nails or screws as fasteners, depending on the timber type. Screws are recommended for hardwood cladding boards because they offer better holding power and are less likely to loosen over time. On the other hand, galvanized nails are suitable for softwood timber cladding to prevent staining caused by corrosion.

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Screw Length Recommendations For Hardwood Cladding

If you opt for using screws to install shiplap over drywall, the length should be 2-2.5 times the thickness of the boards. This ensures that the screws penetrate deep enough into the timber to hold securely without causing any damage. Pre-drilling pilot holes is essential for preventing splitting and making it easier to drive the screws in. It’s important to choose screws specifically designed for exterior use to ensure they can withstand the elements and not rust or deteriorate over time.

Pre-Drilling Pilot Holes For Shiplap Installation

  • Regardless of whether you choose screws or nails, pre-drilling pilot holes is a crucial step when installing shiplap over drywall.
  • Pilot holes help prevent splitting and make it easier to drive the fasteners in.
  • The size of the pilot holes should match the diameter of the fasteners being used.
  • It’s important to note that pilot holes should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the screws to ensure a tight fit.
  • Taking the time to pre-drill pilot holes will ensure a successful and long-lasting installation.

  • Pre-drilling pilot holes is crucial when installing shiplap over drywall, regardless of using screws or nails.

  • Pilot holes prevent splitting and make it easier to drive the fasteners in.
  • The size of the pilot holes should match the diameter of the fasteners.
  • It’s important to remember that pilot holes should be slightly smaller than the screw diameter for a tight fit.
  • Pre-drilling pilot holes guarantees a successful and long-lasting installation.

Galvanized Nails For Softwood Timber Cladding

For softwood timber cladding, galvanized nails are the preferred fasteners. Galvanization is a process that coats the nails with a protective layer of zinc, preventing staining from corrosion and ensuring the longevity of the cladding. Using galvanized nails will also maintain the aesthetic appeal of your shiplap cladding.

Choosing The Right Nail Length For Softwood Cladding

When it comes to choosing the right nail length for softwood timber cladding, the general rule of thumb is to use nails that are at least 2.5 times the thickness of the board. This ensures that the nails penetrate deep enough into the timber to hold securely. Using nails that are too short may result in the cladding becoming loose over time, compromising its structural integrity. It is always better to use nails that are slightly longer than necessary rather than shorter.

  • It is recommended to use nails that are at least 2.5 times the thickness of the board.
  • Using nails that are too short can lead to loose cladding over time.
  • It is better to use nails that are slightly longer than necessary.
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Tips For Installing Shiplap Over Drywall

Installing shiplap over drywall requires careful planning and execution to achieve a professional-looking result. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

  • Find stud locations: Locating the studs behind the drywall is crucial for secure attachment. Use a stud finder or tapping technique to locate the studs before installing the shiplap. Ensure that your fasteners penetrate into the studs for maximum stability.

  • Consistent work from the same side: To maintain straightness, always work from the same side of the room when installing the shiplap. This helps ensure even spacing and alignment of the boards, resulting in a clean and cohesive look.

  • Attention to alignment: Aligning all the boards correctly is crucial for a seamless appearance. Take care in checking that each board is level and flush with surrounding pieces. This attention to detail will make a significant difference in the final outcome.

  • Ripping the last board: It is common for the last board at the top of the wall to require ripping to fit. Use a table saw or clamp a straight edge to guide the saw for a clean and accurate cut. Ensuring a precise fit will provide a polished look to your shiplap installation.

In conclusion, choosing the right size nails or screws for shiplap over drywall depends on the type of timber being used. Hardwood cladding generally requires screws, while softwood cladding can be installed with galvanized nails. Following the recommended lengths and pre-drilling pilot holes are crucial for a successful installation.

  • By finding stud locations and ensuring that fasteners penetrate into the studs, you can ensure secure attachment of shiplap.
  • Consistently working from the same side of the room helps maintain straightness and even spacing of the boards.
  • Paying attention to alignment and making sure each board is level and flush with surrounding pieces will result in a seamless appearance.
  • When ripping the last board, using a table saw or a straight edge as a guide for a clean and accurate cut is recommended.
  • For shiplap installation over drywall, use screws for hardwood cladding and galvanized nails for softwood cladding.
  • It is crucial to follow the recommended lengths for screws/nails and pre-drill pilot holes for a successful installation.
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Following these tips and considering the factors mentioned, you can achieve a beautiful shiplap cladding installation over drywall.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you nail shiplap to drywall?

Yes, shiplap can be nailed to drywall by directly nailing through the drywall into the wall studs. This provides a secure and stable attachment for the shiplap planks. Additionally, if you are installing shiplap on ceilings or other surfaces in good condition, you can use construction adhesive along with the nails for added support. This versatile method allows you to easily and effectively transform your walls with shiplap, whether you choose to install it vertically or horizontally.

Do you use nails or screws for shiplap?

For shiplap, nails are the preferred choice for fixing softwood timber cladding due to their practicality and benefits. They eliminate the need for sink holes and minimize the risk of splitting the timber, ensuring a secure and durable installation. Nails offer a reliable fastening solution that seamlessly holds the shiplap together, making them an excellent choice for this type of application.

What nail gun is needed for shiplap?

To properly install shiplap, an ideal choice would be a pneumatic nail gun equipped with 18 gauge 1 3/4” long brad nails. This type of nail gun provides the necessary power and precision for securing shiplap boards in place. It is important to nail through the top flange, which is the longer of the two flanges, to ensure a secure and seamless installation. Additionally, for the first board, it is recommended to use a second nail approximately 1” from the bottom edge for added stability and support.

Is it better to glue or nail shiplap?

When it comes to installing shiplap, it is best to use a combination of adhesive and nails for a smooth, prepainted surface like our Timeless nickel gap shiplap. By using both, you can ensure a secure installation while also avoiding any visible nail marks that could impact the aesthetic of your wall. Simply nail through the flange of each board rather than the face, and use adhesive to further enhance the bond between the boards and the wall. This method will provide a seamless and visually appealing result for your shiplap installation.

References: 1, 2, 3, 4