Stucco is a surprisingly hard surface and fastening anything to it can be a huge hassle if you are not properly prepared. A lot of questions that come to mind include things like, "can I screw into stucco" and "if so, what kind of screws should I use" and other related questions.
This is a pretty easy topic to cover though and there are a few things I wanted to point out, so let's dive in!
Can I Screw Into Stucco?
The answer to that question is, yes you can screw into stucco if you have the right type of screw, a screw gun and a drill bit. It is easier to drill into the stucco first and then drive the screw in with either a drill or a screwdriver/nut driver.
What Types Of Screws Will Work For Stucco?
Stucco is a lot like concrete so you will need screws that are specifically made to bore through these harder surfaces. These types of screws will have a different thread to them, compared to a wood screw and are usually a lot harder.
These types of screws will also usually require you to drill a pilot hole that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw and then drive the screw into the pilot hole.
In order to screw into stucco and have the screw hold, you will need to drill a pilot hole first using a masonry drill bit, which is usually included with the recommended screws I like to use (below).
The Types Of Screws I Like Using...
I have used a couple of different kinds of screws in the past and they have worked well for me but each one has certain advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of.
I like these because they are a more natural tan color, compared to the Tapcon type screws but they do not have a sharp point on them, so once you start to get into the wood it will spin for a little while and then finally start to penetrate the wood.
They have two different head sizes (3/16" or 1/4") and three different head configurations, one having a round head, a flat head and a hex shaped head. All three types will work for just about anything but you will want to think about what you are going to mount and chose the best head style for that.
The stucco anchors also come in a few different sizes from 1 1/2" to 2 7/8" and I would recommend the shorter 1 1/2" screws for lighter objects and the longer ones for heavier ones, but be sure to read the directions as there are weight limits that the manufacturer states.
The 1 1/2" screws should work for most 3 coat stucco systems but if you have foam installed underneath the base coat, then a 2 1/8" screws is better suited for the job.
Measure your weep screed or plaster stop around doors (if possible) to see how thick your stucco is and get a screw that is longer than that to get a good bite.
Tapcon Anchors: Tapcons are also a great choice of screws for stucco walls and they are noticeably blue in color which can be a downside for some people if exposed, as you can see in the image.
Notice that the threads are pretty aggressive and these screws have a sharp point to them, unlike the Bildex stucco anchors which makes it a little easier when you pass through the stucco and hit wood.
Tapcon screws come with a couple of different head styles, including the hex head and the flat head and the lengths range from 1 1/2", all the way up to 3 1/4". You can also find these in packages with quantities of 8 - 225!
Both types of screws are close in price and both work equally well, so choose one that is available or you like better for one reason or another!