I'm installing 19/32" thick T1-11 panels as interior walls against wood studs. I'm unsure whether it would be easier/better to use ring shank nails in a nail gun, or screws. Some of my concerns:

  • The panels are a bit wavy, so I figured screws would make it easier to ensure the panels are snug against the studs
  • Would like to avoid buying an air compressor and framing nail gun if I can help it. Renting those would end up running about the same cost since I have to spread out installation over many days due to time constraints.
  • A nail gun would surely be faster, but since the panels are wavy I'd have to ensure the panel is pressed against the stud before nailing

What sort of screw should I use? Is there risk that a screw might tear up the shiplap edge?

  • Voting to close as opinion-based. It really is up to you and your needs. Almost any fastener of adequate size will hold plywood on an interior wall. – isherwood Oct 18 '18 at 15:02

I would use neither. Since the panels are not used for a structural purpose and only need to be held in place, finish nails would be my choice. For a finish product, the screw heads or even the nail heads would be noticeable in the surface. Filler on this type of textured surface is not a good option.

But if those are the only choices you have, screws are the best choice, you can control the screw better than the nail for depth. Nail guns will overdrive the nail and create a deeper recess than needed.

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Screws, definitely. Do the guy down the road who wants to remove these panels a favor and not use ring-shank nails, as you'll likely ruin the panels in the process of removing them from the wall. Are you painting/finishing the panels? If not, I'd suggest a exterior decking screw that has the brown cover already. If you are going to paint, you could just use regular drywall screws. I wouldn't be concerned about breaking the panel, so long as you watch your depth while screwing them in. You could always predrill for extra caution, especially if the stud lines up with the shiplap.

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  • 1
    Why would a person want to remove a panel if not to replace it after 20 years? Screws look rather ugly compared to small, flat nail head. – isherwood Oct 18 '18 at 14:41

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