What Size & Type of Nails to Use for 105 Wood Siding

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Determining the right nail size is important for hanging siding.
Determining the right nail size is important for hanging siding. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The installation of siding on a home is never a simple process. To pull off a siding job most effectively, you must have the right materials. Wood siding comes in a variety of different cuts or styles, one of which is style 105. This style goes by names such as German Lap, Dutch Lap or Cove Lap siding. Whatever you decide to call it, style 105 wood siding requires a certain type of nails -- nails that will best support its weight and thickness.

Nail Type

The type of nail you select to hang your siding with is just as important as the size of the nail. Nails used for siding purposes need to be corrosion-resistant above all else. Corrosion-resistant nails will last longest and won't have a detrimental effect on the wood. Aluminum and stainless steel nails tend to be the best choices for such work. Stainless steel nails will be the most durable, and aluminum will be the most economical. Get hot-dip galvanized nails.

Size

The size of the nail you need to use with your siding depends on the thickness of your siding and the thickness of the insulation and sheathing behind the siding. A good rule of thumb to use when determining proper nail size is to determine the thickness of the hung material and add at least 1.25 inches to allow for deep penetration of the nail into the wood stud. According to the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, the minimum recommended nail for wood siding is either a 6d or 7d nail of 2 to 2.25 inches in length.

Shanks and Points

Because siding tends to shrink and expand with the changes in temperature, you should avoid using nails with smooth shanks. These will loosen over time as the contraction and expansion process repeats itself. Instead, siding nails should have spiral or ring shanks that increase the holding power of the nail. The point of the nail is also important. Avoid needle-point nails, since they can cause splitting of the wood. Instead, you should use either diamond-point or blunt-point nails.

Materials to Avoid

It is possible to secure siding with other types of fasteners, but avoid any that are not corrosion-resistant. In particular, those made of copper tend to corrode over time and will eventually stain your wood. Electro-plated nails and staples may also have this effect.

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