The types of materials used for nails are shown in the Table 3 below. The most common nails are made of low or medium carbon steels or aluminum. Medium-carbon steels are sometimes hardened by heat treating and quenching to increase toughness. Nails of copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel, monel and other special metals are available if specially ordered.

Uncoated steel nails used in areas subject to wetting will corrode and result in staining of the wood surface. In addition, the naturally occuring extractives in the cedars react with unprotected steel and with copper and blued or electro-galvenized fasteners. In such cases, hot-dip galvanized nails or stainless steel or copper nails should be used.

Sheathing Nailing

Nail popping may occur if a sheathing material is applied to lumber with a high moisture content. As the lumber shrinks, the depth of the hole in which the nail sits reduces and the nail head is pushed abovethe surface of the plywood. This tendancy can be reduced by:

  • Using dry lumber whenever possible. If unseasoned lumber is used, allow time for on site drying and reseat nails which project from the sheathing.
  • Using ringed nails and driving nails at a slight angle or using screws. Set all nail heads prior to laying resilient flooring.
  • Using a length of fastener which gives the minimum acceptable depth of penetration in the framing member.
Material Abbr Application
Aluminum A For improved appearance and long life: increased strain and corrosion resistance.
Steel – Mild S For general construction.
Steel – High Carbon Sc For special driving conditions: improved impact resistance.
Stainless steel, copper and silicon bronze E For superior corrosion resistance: more expensive than hot-dip galvanizing.


Finishes and Coatings Abbr. Application
Bright B For general construction, normal finish, not recommended for exposure to weather.
Blued Bl For increased holding power in hardwood, thin oxide finish produced by heat treatment.
Heat treated Ht For increased stiffness and holding power: black oxide finish.
Phoscoated Pt For increased holding power; not corrosion resistant.
Electro galvanized Ge For limited corrosion resistance; thin zinc plating; smooth surface; for interior use.
Hot-dip galvanized Ghd For improved corrosion resistance; thick zinc coating; rough surface; for exterior use.