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Community and Q&A

Double stud walls and drywall nail pops?

jrinmichigan | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

Does anyone have any experience with double stud walls and excessive nail pops? I am building a double stud wall, and my carpenter is concerned that we’ll have a lot of nail pops on the exterior walls because the secondary stud wall isn’t braced on its back side by another layer of drywall or sheathing. Do double stud walls “require” the use of drywall screws? One option might be to put a piece of blocking at mid-span on the interior stud (at 5′ on 10′ walls in this case). That would trade off some thermal bridging for increased rigidity.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    That's an interesting question. I've never heard of anyone complaining of nail pops in double-stud walls, so it probably isn't a problem.

    If you're worried, you can always glue the drywall to the studs. That will stiffen the wall.

    I should note, however, that most drywall installers have switched from nails to screws. It might be time for your drywall contractor to get a screw gun.

  2. dankolbert | | #2

    We've built several homes this way and have not had the problem. Drywall is pretty tough stuff.

  3. user-1105327 | | #3

    i agree with martin, there is no excuse for not using screws anymore. use plenty of glue in a continuous bead and don't allow it to set up, i.e., apply enough glue for one panel at a time. the downside is most nail pops occur on exterior walls and the exterior walls/ceilings usually have a polyethylene vapour barrier (at least around here) so you can't use glue.

  4. wjrobinson | | #4

    Drywall pops are from over time the studs shrinking from installed moisture content to long term moisture content. A space between the drywall and the stud grows. Then the wall is bumped and whatever and you get nail pops.

    Frame a home, let it sit for a bi,t till she loses moisture like the old days of building and there are way less problems from the frame losing moisture.


  5. davidmeiland | | #5

    Agree it should not be a problem. Use S-dry lumber. Use five 1-1/4" screws across the panel at each stud. Use glue.

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