What's best for anchoring in cement walls?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by coach606, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. coach606

    coach606 New Member

    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Illinois
    I'm putting up some wall mounted shelves in my basement tool room. The walls are painted brick and what looks like cinderblock.

    What's my best bet for an anchor? Tapcon?

    Thanks.
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    7,337
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Tapcon certainly will work, but I would suggest you consider lead ferrels and screws.
  3. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

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    I used those Spring loaded doohickeys that close up to insert into the hole and then spread out when inside. Name escapes me at the moment.

    Cinderblock maynot support the lead ferral and lag bolt. Concreteblock would do a better job, but might be questionable too.

    Well, how much weight on shelves?
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    I think Lakee911's doohickeys are Molly (tm) bolts. Only problem with them are they're one-way - once they're in, you can't take the bolt out and reuse them. If the shelves are wall-mounted on rails of some kind, the lead shield/lag bolt combo will work well, since the load is almost 100% shear. Probably nylon anchors would work OK as well.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    Molly bolts would work. Ensure you get them spec'ed for the wall thickness. This is assuming they are hollow cinderblocks. If you find you get into one of the hollow areas (most likely), some of the plastic anchors are split such that they can either act as just the compression anchor of say a plastic sleeve type, or if the wall thickness is right, they will act like a molly bolt by unfolding inside of the wall.

    www.wingits.com has some neat anchors if the shelves will be holding large amount of weight.

    Tapcons may not have enough bite on a cinderblock although they are great into poured concrete.

    Most of the load would be in shear, but depending on how deep the shelf is, you start to increase the tension loads, and that is where the toggle bolt or molly bolt starts to excel.
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Location:
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    Make that most poured concrete. My slab was poured ca. 1973, and apparently the job went to the high bidder. Tapcons just snap off after burrowing in about 1/2" (yes, I'm using the correct drill). I tried a .22 cal powerhead driver and couldn't get a nail in that way either. Lead anchors seem to work the best...

    One thing about Tapcons I didn't know until late in the game is that if you're putting them into a masonry wall, put them in the joints, not the blocks or bricks themselves - especially if the wall is made of relatively soft material, like cinder blocks or bricks.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2006
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Location:
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    I doubt the the wall of the basement are cinder block. Cement block most likely. I tried Tapcon and while the work, they do not sink into concrete easily. I have also used 1/2" expansion bolts in a retaining wall to support part of my deck. They also worked very well. I've used the lead ferrells in the floor and walls of my basement and find them the best thing I've tried. If you have cinder block, you might want to use toggle bolts instead of a Molly. The wings will unfold to really cover a wide surface behind the wall. The wall does have to be hollow for these.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,937
    Location:
    New England
    From the limited experience I've had with Tapcons (generally good), if you get all of the dust out of the hole, they seem to work fine going into poured concrete. I guess if they used a really hard aggragate, it could be tough for it to cut threads into it as you install it. But then, you'd have potentially had trouble drilling the hole first, too.

    The stuff at wingits.com seem rated quite high. A toggle bolt is usually not that expensive, so if you end up buying a new one if you remove it, no big deal. How often do you expect to do that?
  9. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    Not a fan of Tapcons. You gotta drill a perfect hole - not too big, no dust in it. In my experience, it's just a pain. Expanding ferrules are easier, IMHO. If you're walls are block, though, be careful when you take a hammer to the ferrule. Drill the hole large enough so the ferrule goes in with a light tap. The sides will expand plenty with the screw.
  10. hi coach,

    Whatever works best for each screw hole.

    Once you plan out where to put your shelf support screws, what will each screw go into ? Brick, cement, grout, or something else? Try out all the options; none of them requires more than a drilled hole.

    Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable using Tapcons as a primary or first priority approach in a cement block and especially not in the hollow part. Too thin for my liking, considering that the tapcon threads are going to stress the hole's surface which was made of a material designed only to be part of a continous surface of a hollow brick. It's not as bad as putting a tapcon into Durock (or any other CBU backerboard), it's just that I wouldn't use tapcons as a "first line of attack/defense."

    The stress a shelf puts on the wall is shear. A wall shelf will have several fasteners; stress is spread out over all of them.

    I would use some toggle bolts and some lead anchors. Both systems.

    Why? My approach is to diversify instead of concentrate on one method alone, as that helps ensure that the strengths of each type compound together and the possible weakness of a type do not become a weakness throughout the whole system.


    That is the idea for using different fasteners.

    DAvid
  11. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Wingits are great, but pricey, and even a modest size requires a 3/4" hole.

    Hotels are buying these by the truckload. Wingits makes a double fastener specifically to work on the mounting bracket for some curved shower rods. Many hotel chains are specifying conversion to curved rods, so there are a lot of brackets to put up!
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