Oakville Homes

March 6, 2011

Mattamy – Size does matter in house construction.


Taking apart a Mattamy home, or any home for that matter, is an interesting process.  As I mentioned earlier, I am helping someone renovate a Mattamy master suite bathroom, with the emphasis on the leaking shower stall.  The owners wife and a friend decided to take this opportunity to paint the adjoining bedroom.  I must admit, they do a very good job of painting but, their scope of house construction is somewhat limited.

I guess one blow too many in the shower stall resulted in a nail pop on the bedroom side.  The ladies noticed this round circle of paint and, using a beautifully manicured fingernail, flicked it from the wall, exposing a screwhead.  This they removed and later asked why someone was putting screws in the wall.  🙂

Nice for the ego to explain about drywall and, it was refreshing to see that an actual screw was used instead of a drywall nail. 

But, why the pop?

A search of the internet will show that most will recommend either a 1.25′ or 1.50″ length in drywall screws.  An aggressive thread is recommended.  I guess to save money, Mattamy used the smaller one and it did not have an aggressive thread. 

Well, I hate to say it Peter, but I think size does matter in drywalling.  You can get away with the smaller screw but, as history will show, this house had suffered quite a bit of nail popping in its past.  So much so, it required extensive repair work and an entire re-painting of the house to fix the nail (screw) pops that occurred.

The fact is, the short drywall screw with the non-aggressive thread, is potentially more susceptible to popping.  So, spend a few dollars more and spare the popping in the future.  For the shower stall, 1 5/8″ screws with an aggressive thread will be used. 

Pop that one Gilgan.



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1 Comment »

  1. Nail pops are caused by the wood shrinking around the nail or screw. The tip of the screw can’t pull itself further into the wood as the lumber shrinks, which causes the pop. Therefore, you should always use the minimum length screw or nail to hold the drywall. If you are worried about the holding strength of the screw, try nailing or screwing a 1’x1′ piece of drywall on with a single screw. Pull the piece of drywall until it comes free. You will see that the screw stays in the wood, and the failure is in the drywall itself. You will also see that nails hold just as well as screws. As a matter of fact, almost all installers put the sheets up with nails at the perimeter, and later on another worker uses a screwgun to finish the job with screws. This is the fastest way to install the material, and since labour costs are high, the additional cost of the screws is offset by the reduced labour cost.

    Comment by Mike V — March 8, 2011 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

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