Will applying drywall directly over nail plates create a noticeable bulge? I am not applying any texture to the wall. If so, what is the best way to avoid any bulge? How far should drywall screws be from the nail plates to prevent cracking the drywall? enter image description here

3 Answers 3


Will applying drywall directly over nail plates create a noticeable bulge?

It depends on the circumstances. If the wall has a lot of oblique natural light and/or will have a gloss finish, yes the bulge will likely show. Depending on how critical the need for a perfect wall is, should determine your efforts to eliminate the bulge.

what is the best way to avoid any bulge?

There are several tricks, with preference likely being opinion based. I have found that the easiest/quickest way is to mark plate locations with a pencil and use my electric planer to shave the stud back at plate locations so the plates sit flush or less than flush. Since your plates are already nailed in, you will need to pop them off to do it, but it is much easier that trying to hog out the back of the plasterboard.

  • An electric hand plane would make sense easy and quick but I have carried a wood chisel for so many years I would have it chipped out before I could get my electric out of the box. A strike above and below then one at an angle and that thickness pops right out. But is a good idea for those that have one (and are not set in there ways. Lol).
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 0:30
  • Thanks for all the advice! I won’t be painting a gloss finish, so it may not be visible. There will be a tall pantry in one location which I am afraid won’t set flush against the wall if there is a bulge.
    – KVL
    Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 2:03

Do you need those ? 1-1/4 from the face they are not required.

I usually will use a chisel and take the thickness of the plate off the 2x. As the plate will make a slight bulge some don’t do anything. But it is not often they are required.

definitely Not need on this side for the one on the left.


It looks like you've got way more than 1-1/4" space between the face of the stud and the wires, so your plates may not be necessary by code.

Having said that, 6" up and down for screws will work, and you probably won't see a bulge. (Unless you run around with a straightedge, drywall is surprisingly forgiving. Out of plane studs are usually more of a problem than plates.) You can whack the plates a little with a hammer to force them a little more flush.

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