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I'm trying to figure out what type of staples are pros using for fastening fanfold XPS insulation? Most of the specs mention staples, but not the type, length or what sort of stapler. Fanfold XPS is usually only 1/4" or 3/8" thick.

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3 Answers 3

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Around here I don't see fanfold used much anymore except by slapdash vinyl siding installers. The new standard is 1" XPS and house wrap over sheathing, with R-19 fiberglass in the walls. I don't know why anyone would do less than that in a retrofit.

Anyway, here are some fasteners I've used or seen used:

  • Slap hammer (1/2" x 1/2" staples)
  • Old-school pneumatic roofing staples (1" crown)
  • Plastic cap nails
  • Roofing nails

You just need to keep it on the wall until the siding is installed and while you tape the seams (if applicable). All the siding fasteners hold it permanently.

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  • Just enough button caps (plastic cap nails) to keep it from blowing off before the siding goes on.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 17:41
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I put a vertical bead of PL300 adhesive behind it every 16-24 inches and use Stinger 3/8 cap hammer with a pretty loose stapling schedule (maybe 1 staple every few sqft). The 3/8 staples are a bit too short, you have to hit swing the cap hammer HARD. But it is stupid fast. The stinger isn't intended for this application, but as others have mentioned, you are just holding the fanfold up until the siding is installed.

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A quick google search resulted in Owens-Corning recommending the sheets be attached with adhesive or screws. No staples were mentioned. I have to assume that the same would go for any similar product. Shooting staples through foam would most likely result in the staples going right through the sheet or compressing it so far that the staple has little holding power. If the sheets are thicker, (1/2- 1") a staple makes no sense. If there is a specialty stapling tool made for this product I am unaware of it.

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  • Screws? Eep. That's expensive and slow. I've never witnessed it.
    – isherwood
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 16:14
  • yep...agree. Just Quoting the manufacturer.
    – RMDman
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 16:17
  • Well, a link to what you found would be great. For one, screw type is a big question mark.
    – isherwood
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 16:20
  • It is easily googled, the type of screw wasn't mentioned. As I said I quoted the manufacturer. Don't shoot the messenger.
    – RMDman
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 16:22
  • No shots were fired, but citations are a standard expectation for internet documentation.
    – isherwood
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 16:22

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