There are 21,000 nails used to build a new average-sized home, which consists of 13 different types of construction nails.
When building a house, each type of construction nail will serve a specific purpose. For example, nails used by roofing professionals will differ from nails used by flooring installers.
The cost of all nails used to build a house is between $750 and $1000.
A construction nail may seem like a standard material used in home building, but there is a lot to consider as a builder. Each type of nail used in construction will serve a specific purpose in the build. It’s important to remember that nails can be made from a variety of materials too.
Most construction nails are made from steel, such as galvanized steel (this prevents corrosion).
13 Types of Nails Used in Home Construction
When a home plan is reviewed by the structural engineer, there is an assumption that the right types of nails will be used for the build. If you’ve ever wondered where builders buy their materials, you should read our post on this topic. There are many different types of nails in the market, but we will look at the 13 different types of nails used in home construction.
In the home construction process, a common nail is used for framing. It is fastened to the framing using a nail gun, as several thousand nails need to be anchored. This common nail is sometimes known as the construction nail, and it has a flat head and long straight body. A box of 3.5-inch common framing galvanized nails with 150 pieces will cost $16.50. Most builders will purchase common nails from the local home improvement store or wholesale supplier.
The most common use for box nails in home construction is for installing trim work, pine clapboard siding, and other elements that require no structural strength. A box nail brings no structural strength and is meant to hold things in place. These nails are thin enough to prevent materials from splitting or cracking.
Box nails are more expensive than common nails.
Casing nails are large thin nails, and they are used to install casings around windows, doors, and certain profiles. These types of nails are used when additional holding strength is required for trims and casings. They are mostly used in conjunction with finishing nails and brad nails.
Nails that are driven into trims, baseboards, and casings that go past the surface are known as finishing nails. Finishing nails do not stick out on the material’s surface due to their small head. These nails are fastened using a nail gun.
Brad nails provide the best protection against splicing and splitting. These are thinner than finishing and casing nails, and offer optimal holding power for crown molding, trim work, and baseboards. Some builders will also use brad nails for other finishing work in kitchens and bathrooms. When working with thin materials, a brad nailer is the best tool to use.
Cut Flooring Nails
These are specialty nails made using metal sheets and are commonly used in flooring installations. Installers will typically use flooring nailers and flooring nail guns with these types of nails. These types of nails are sometimes referred to as Flooring L Cleat Nails.
Spiral Shank Flooring Nails
When working with hard materials such as plywood or hardwood, spiral shank flooring nails are the best option. These nails have spiral shanks which give the nail a screw-like design. When a spiral shank nail is hammered into hardwood, the grooves create a stronghold keeping the floor down and in position.
Annular Ring Nails
These nails are similar to the previously mentioned type of nail, but instead of spiral shanks, you will notice parallel rings along the shank. Annular ring nails are used for installing panels, certain softwood materials, shingles, and even underlayment.
Annular ring nails are best used with softer materials because the material gives way for the nail to pass through. Once the nail is in its final position, the material will surround the grooves locking the nail in place.
Often referred to as concrete nails, these masonry nails are used for driving structures into concrete, cement, or stone. The larger and thicker profile of these concrete nails allows for greater penetration into hard surfaces. There are three types of masonry nails – fluted, round and square masonry nails. The choice to use one over the other would be dependent on the purpose. If high holding strength is required, masonry nails would not be recommended.
When temporary construction is involved in a home build, such as temporary staircases – a double-headed or duplex nail would be used. A duplex nail has two heads, which makes nail removal much easier. These nails can be removed using a nail puller or hammer. A duplex nail is sometimes referred to as a scaffolding nail and is available in multiple lengths.
Roofing nails have larger than normal heads which ensures that roofing shingles are kept in place. These nails have regular shanks but would either contain a larger steelhead or plastic head.
The best roofing nails have short shanks, and large heads, and come galvanized.
As the name suggests, drywall nails are best used in installing drywall due to the multiple rings on the shank. Drywall nails are built to hold material together. The most common nail lengths used for drywall are 1.25-inch or 1.375-inch.
While drywall nails are common in home construction, drywallers still prefer the strength offered by drywall screws.
The best deck nails are stainless steel nails because they offer greater protection against rusting, discoloration, and strength. These deck nails are commonly found at all home improvement stores, and chosen by most deck builders. During installations, nail guns drive down the deck nails into the deck boards.
We’ve created an infographic of the 13 types of nails used to build a house which you can see below.