If you’re working on your first DIY drywall project, knowing how many drywall screws per sheet is essential.

The number of drywall screws will depend on the spacing of the studs in the wall. For newer homes, studs are usually 16 inches apart. 

A 4×8’ sheet of drywall will require 28 screws, and a 4×12’ sheet will require 36 screws

If your studs are 12 inches apart and your drywall sheets are 4×8’ you’ll need to use 32 screws. For a 4×12’ sheet, you’ll need to use 48 screws. 

Here’s what else to consider.

How to Determine How Many Drywall Screws Per Sheet

If you’re unsure of how many screws to use in a ceiling versus a wall, here’s what you should know.

How Many Drywall Screws for Ceilings?

When hanging drywall on the ceiling, you’ll follow a similar formula as the wall. However, most professionals recommend less space between screws on the ceilings, so you’ll need to use slightly more screws.

For a 4×8’ sheet of drywall, you’ll need about 36 screws. For a 4 x 12’ sheet of drywall, you’ll need 52 screws.

How Many Drywall Screws for Walls?

When attaching sheetrock to a wall, the number of fasteners is dependent on how far spaced your wall studs are and the size of your drywall panels.

For studs that are 16 inches apart:

  • Use 28 screws for a 4×8’ sheet
  • Use 36 screws for a 4×12’ sheet

For studs that are 12 inches apart:

  • Use 32 screws for a 4×8’ sheet
  • Use 48 screws for a 4×12’ sheet

When screwing into the studs and hanging drywall vertically, you’ll create four even rows of screws. 

You’ll also need to check local building codes to see what they recommend for drywall installation before starting your project.

Drywall Screw Spacing and Pattern

drywall screw pattern

Wondering how to space your screws? There’s a lot of debate on what the “right” way to do so is. 

Some installers like to use extra screws on the edges while others do not.

Here are some general guidelines you can follow.

Drywall Screw Spacing for Wall Edges

The term “wall edges” refers to the edge of the drywall. 

If your home has studs that are 16 inches apart and you’re using a 4×8’ piece of drywall, you’ll use four rows of 7 screws, starting at the wall edge. 

First, place the edge of your drywall at the center of the stud.

Next, place your first screw about ⅜ inch from the wall edge and drive it into the stud. Repeat on each of the four studs you’re attaching the drywall to.

You’ll then start your next row on the wall edge 16 inches from the first screw. Repeat on all four studs. 

Keep doing this until you have four even rows of seven screws that are all 16 inches apart.

If you hang your drywall panels horizontally, you’ll follow the 16-inch spacing but will end up with seven rows of four. 

If your studs are only 12 inches apart, you’ll space your screws out every 12 inches, meaning you’ll use 32 screws for a 4×8’ sheet of drywall.

Drywall Screw Spacing for the Wall Field

Most experts recommend following the same pattern for the wall field as the wall edges. 

For example, for studs that are 16 inches apart, place screws every 16 inches. For studs that are 12 inches apart, put screws in the studs every 12 inches.

Drywall Screw Spacing for Ceilings

For ceilings, you’ll space your screws a little closer together. Simply place screws on the joists spaced out at 12-inch intervals.

Can You Use Too Many Drywall Screws?

While it’s always better to use more than not enough drywall screws, too many could present problems. 

First, if you use too many screws, your drywall mudding job will be more labor-intensive. Aside from that, it may be harder to hang objects on the wall without hitting a screw.

If any weather-related issues cause moisture or cold air to collect in the wall, you may eventually deal with drywall screw pops.

How Many Drywall Screws Per Square Feet? 

The number of screws per square foot will depend on how close together your studs are. 

For studs that are 16 inches apart, you’ll need approximately .75 – .88 drywall screws per square foot (easiest to round that up to 1 screw :). 

For studs 12 inches apart and ceilings, you’ll need about one screw per square foot.

Conclusion

If you’re wondering how many drywall screws to use, create even rows on each stud and space your screws based on the stud spacing. 

For example, if your studs are 16 inches apart, space your screws 16 inches apart along with studs.

If your studs are 12 inches apart or you’re hanging drywall on a ceiling, keep your screws spaced at 12-inch intervals.