I'm ready to start strapping my ceiling in the basement from which to hang drywall (using 1x3s). I don't have a nail gun and would like to use screws to secure the strips.

What kind of screws should I use? I have a bunch of drywall screws hanging around, are those ok? Also, is 1 screw enough for each joist?

  • Tip: use a 1x4, as you’ll have an easier time getting screws in at the edges. May 2, 2023 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


I would use 2" or 2.5" construction screws. I don't trust drywall screws in any application except drywall; they are just so brittle...

One screw per joist is sufficient.

  • True they are plenty strong enough, but if the joists are aged hardwood drywall screws may snap, construction screws in the same application will try to break your wrist. (the drill I was using to drive them had more toque than my arm could handle)
    – Jasen
    May 2, 2023 at 2:00
  • I thought so too, but Drywall screws prove BETTER than my most expensive wood screws! I've had them snap while driving many times, but that just means you need to run in another one, not that they're too weak for the job. They never break after driving.
    – isherwood
    May 2, 2023 at 12:41
  • @isherwood Interesting video. It still seems like drywall screws wouldn't be the best option in the furring application, but from the video that seems caused by the head design more than the actual sheer strength. May 2, 2023 at 13:47

Anything 2" or longer, really. You won't be putting enough load on it to matter. They just need to be long enough to pull in flush. Shorter screws will strip and stand proud of the wood surface. If they do pull flush, they'll hold. One screw at each strap/joist intersection should be just fine.


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