Masonry Anchors and Concrete Screws
Self Tapping, Expansion Anchors, and More for Use with Masonry Materials
Masonry Anchors are used to attach fixtures to hollow walls, concrete, brick, block, or other masonry materials. There are many different kinds of anchors, each with different functions or methods to anchor themselves to materials. Most anchors involve expansion anchoring or threading the material being fastened into. The most notable masonry anchors consist of Wedge anchors, Sleeve anchors, and Concrete Screws or "Tapcons" as they are more commonly known.
Masonry and Concrete anchors vary in strength and how much weight they can support. They usually fall under light-duty (for up to 50 pounds), medium-duty (for up to 200 pounds), and heavy-duty (for structural applications and weights over 200 pounds). Keep in mind that the exact weight a given anchor can support can vary based on the type of anchor, the material it is made of, and what the anchor is being installed into. An anchor will have different holding values if it's installed into crumbly old concrete over newer concrete.
With many types of masonry anchors available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your job. Below we've listed and broken down the types of masonry anchors we carry to help you determine which will work best for your application.
Wedge Anchors are extremely popular and are one of the strongest anchors for hold strength. Often used in structural applications, these heavy-duty anchors can support the greatest loads of all the anchors we have available. Measured from end to end, they are installed in solid concrete or masonry materials for maximum effectiveness. They are nearly impossible to remove once installed.
Sleeve anchors are the medium-duty cousin of wedge anchors, working in much the same way with a similar expansion mechanism. They are ideal for brick and block and are measured from the washer to the end of the anchor. There are two common types of sleeve anchors: the nut drive, which is commonly used for extra strength, and the Phillips/Slotted combo flat head, which is used when a flush surface is required.
Masonry Concrete Screws
Otherwise known as "Tapcons" after the brand that popularized them, are probably the most common concrete fastener used. Concrete screws are considered light to medium duty, depending on size. They are easy to identify based on their bright blue coating and are used for fastening wood or metal to different masonry materials. Available in both Phillips flat head (for flush finishes) and hex head (for ease of installation).
Masonry drop-in anchors are medium-duty anchors mostly used in solid concrete. They are used in high strength applications by fastening a bolt into the anchor's internal threading and are used for flush-mount applications in solid base materials. They require a setting tool for installation.
Lag Shield Anchors
A lag shield concrete anchor is a medium-duty anchor used with a lag screw to create an anchor in the concrete. They are very similar to drop-in anchors but are designed specifically to take a lag screw instead of a machine screw. Lag shields do not require a setting tool to install Read more About the lag shields installations.
Machine Screw Anchors
Also known as caulk-in anchors, these medium-duty anchors work much like drop-in anchors but are used with machine screws to securely anchor fixtures to masonry materials. The malleable sleeve helps the anchor fill imperfections in the hole as it expands and distributes the load evenly across the anchor. After installation, the anchor remains in the material, allowing fixtures to be removed or replaced without sacrificing holding power. Machine screw anchors are frequently used with sidewalk bolts to secure hurricane shutters.
Also known as a hammer drive pin anchor, this light-duty anchor is easy and quick to install, only requiring a pre-drilled hole and a hammer to hammer it into place. They are mostly used to fasten plywood to concrete. They have a lip over the head, making it compatible with holes that may have accidentally been driven too far into the material. Can be used in concrete, brick, block, and mortar.
Double Expansion Anchors
Double expansion shield anchors are medium-duty anchors that distribute themselves to the pre-drilled hole walls evenly. This makes double expansion shields the best choice for preventing cracking in brick and block. These expansion shield anchors are well suited to resist shear loads and side pressure or vibration with its high gripping power.
Toggle Bolt Anchors
Intended for hollow wall applications, these light to medium-duty toggle bolt anchors use their toggle wings to brace against the backside of the hollow material to secure it into place. Not limited to hollow blocks, these anchors also find use in drywall, sheetrock, or gypsum board. The Kaptoggle versions are specially designed to keep the toggle wings in place after installation so you can reuse the hole multiple times.
The Types of Masonry Anchors & Screws
Masonry Anchors and Screws Transcript
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Bob: Welcome back to Albany County Fasteners - Fasteners 101. I'm Bob and today we're gonna talk about masonry fasteners. So let's get started.
So I have here a variety of masonry fasteners that I'm going to run through. I'm just going to work straight across the table here. This is this basically education for you of different types of fasteners that are used in masonry products.
The first one I have here is a masonry drop-in anchor this is mostly used in poured concrete. These are commonly installed for high strength applications. Where you're using a bolt to actually drive into the threaded drop-in. You can also get these in coil thread. So if you're a masonry contractor and you want to use coil threaded rod, which is a more coarse type thread, we have those also.
This tool is a set tool to set the drop-in anchor. I should also note that these drop-in anchors you can also get them with a lip on them. This particular one, it has no lip and the reason for the lip would be to prevent the drop-in anchor from dropping too far into the concrete. A lot of contractors like that type of a drop-in anchor.
Once you have the drop-in anchor in the hole, you put this tool (in), you hit it with a hammer and it sets it in position. Then you can drive in or put your bolt in; whatever you're fastening to the concrete.
The next masonry fastener; I have an anchor which is a lag screw anchor (lag shield). So this anchor this is almost the same as putting in drop-in. It's just another type of drop in. Once you have this in place in the concrete you then can screw in the lag screw and then you can see the anchor starts to spread on both sides. Basically, you're looking at pressure on the walls of the concrete hole.
Both of these fasteners require you drilling a hole that is equal to the circumference of the drop-in. So if this was a 1/2" inch outside diameter you drill in a 1/2" inch hole. Same thing with this drop-in, not the size of the bolt that you're going to put in there.
The next (anchor) I have are a masonry, or a term used: Tapcon, concrete screws. For fixing wood to a block wall, wood to a concrete floor, metal, whatever you want to fasten. Angles, metal steel angles, many different applications. These are the probably the most used masonry anchor out there. You can get these in hex head and Phillips. I'm showing you Phillips head, Phillips flat head. Obviously if you use a Phillips flat head you can countersink these into the the wood so that the head doesn't stick up if you have that type of application. These are the most used masonry anchors on the market.
Next I have what they call a threaded rod Sammy (Sammys screw). Sammy's are used for overhead application typically. You would put these, drill a hole in your deck above, you would drive this in with a driver: a nut driver or a socket into the concrete and then you would put a piece of threaded rod in here and it would hang down. You cut the threaded rod to the size that you're trying to hang to and that would be the use of a sammys. Sammy is a brand name out there but there are many other companies that make this product.
The next we have is a hammer driver pin. This is mostly used (as I've seen these used) for fastening plywood to a concrete floor. If you have a basement you want the wood flooring down, you want to put a sub-floor down, well you can use this anchor for that purpose. How this anchor works is that you would drill a hole to the size of this anchor diameter and then right through the wood to the concrete, drop this until it's flush to the plywood and then hammer down the nail, that nail becomes flush with the top, and you're done. It's anchored to the concrete. It's a very quick way to fasten plywood to many different surfaces, to walls, many other things. It's a very handy anchor.
The next one I have is a toggle wing for hollow wall. If you know you have a hollow block wall and the block is not filled with concrete, you can use one of these in a hollow wall. These are also widely used in dry wall. Hanging different products, this is not a heavyweight anchor. I would not use this to hang your TV off a drywall wall. If you have a flat screen TV that weighs, you know, I'm just gonna use a number, 60 pounds or 70 pounds this is not the proper anchor for that. It'll probably just rip the drywall right off the wall. And that has a combo Phillips (Slotted) head so you can use a flat screwdriver or a Phillips screwdriver to drive that in.
The next one I have is a double expansion shield. This is made for brick and block. I think mostly this is used in brick. How this works is you put the screw in. When you drive the screw in it starts to pull on the two ends and then you could see there it expands and it'll only expand so much. The reason why they use these in brick and block is not to crack the brick. A lot of times if you use a wedge anchor or a sleeve anchor the brick will crack and the end result is you don't have a good holding anchor. So possibly the anchor could pull out depending on what you're hanging on the substrate. You can see how that works. To give you an idea, if you have a brick wall in your house and you want to hang something from it, this is a good anchor to use for that.
The next (masonry anchor) I have here is a sleeve anchor. This one has a nut. There are different varieties of sleeve anchors. These are just the parts separating the different parts to a sleeve anchor this is the complete one. So this would just slide on to here and it's put back on. All right, that's how it goes together. This application also is made for brick or block and can be used in concrete. It is not as strong as using a wedge anchor. So the strength of this is for lightweight, not heavyweight, materials.
This here is another sleeve anchor. This here is a combo head. You have basically a Phillips or a flathead screwdriver you can drive this in and this is basically countersunk so if you have a piece of wood that you're fastening something to a concrete surface this will be flat on the surface versus having a sleeve anchor with a nut on the top protruding on the top of the wood or metal or whatever you are fastening.
And the last one that I have here is what we call a wedge anchor. This is also a very highly used anchor out there. Basically you drill a hole in the concrete to the circumference of the wedge anchor. If it's 1/4" inch you drill a 1/4" inch hole, if it's 3/8" you drill a 3/8" hole. How this works is when you drill the hole in the concrete and you lock down on this nut, it starts to pull up this wedge here, that goes around the bottom diameter, starts to wedge in to this end, and then it tightens up and it doesn't pull out. This is the strongest concrete anchor to be used. As far as pullout goes and that's our demonstration of wedge anchors, different hollow wall anchors for masonry product.
What are Lag Shield Anchors?
Lag Shield Anchors Transcript
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Bob: Welcome back to Albany County Fasteners - Fasteners 101. I'm Bob, today I'm going to talk about installing a lag screw in concrete with a lag shield. So let's get started.
So I have here a lag shield which is made for concrete. We've gotten many requests about how to install a lag screw into concrete. So it's pretty simple you would have to have a lag shield. In this case, this is a 3/8" lag bolt or lag screw and here is a lag shield, which is made for concrete. For the lag shield, you would drill a hole the size of the diameter of the lag shield. In this case for a 3/8" and if you're using a lag shield for 3/8" so it would be 5/8" outside diameter.
You would drill a hole in the concrete for the length of, 5/8" (diameter) by the length of the lag shield and just a little bit more than that and then you would hammer in the lag shield into the concrete. How this works is you'll see I'll take this apart. It's two pieces that comes apart. OK, there are these two clips on here that go into the top area here.
I'm gonna put it back together and I put it back together and then after you put it in the concrete and you put the lag screw in, you'll start to see, once you start to screw it in, you'll see the bottom part start to spread. That's how it locks into the concrete.
If you're taking a 2x4 or a piece of plywood or whatever you're fastening to the concrete, that's the product you would use for doing that.
This lag shield, when you put it into concrete, the top of it should be flush with the top of the concrete. So you'll take a hammer, you'll hammer it into place, and that'll finish off at the top of the concrete and then if you're having a piece of 2x4 and Plus whatever length you want to go into the lag shield, so for instance if you had a 2x4 it would be an inch and a half plus the amount of area you're going to screw into the lag shield shield which would be about another inch to inch and a half so you use a three inch lag screw and you would just fasten it down. Torque it down and it would stay perfect in there forever depending on your environment that you're installing this in.
These are zinc products. There are lag shields that are available in stainless also for high corrosion areas and you can find those on our website
Thanks for watching.
How much weight can a masonry anchor hold?
The amount of weight a masonry anchor can support depends on the size of the anchor, the type of anchor, and the material it is being fastened into. Generally speaking, masonry anchors fall into either light-duty (up to 50 pounds), medium-duty (up to 200-pounds), and heavy-duty (over 200-pounds). Consult a given anchor's specifications to see if it has enough holding power for your application.
What anchors to use in brick?
Double expansion anchors are best suited for brick and are the least likely to crack the brick on installation. You could also use masonry screws, sleeve anchors, lag shields, and machine screw anchors.
How do masonry anchors work?
Most masonry anchors expand against the sides of the pre-drilled hole to firmly grip the concrete. This expansion occurs during the installation of the anchor into the application material.
Do masonry screws need anchors?
No. Masonry screws just need a pilot hole drilled to be installed. In these applications, masonry screws ARE the anchors.
What is the strongest concrete anchor?
Wedge anchors are heavy-duty anchors and are the strongest concrete anchors in terms of hold strength and load capacity.