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Installing Tapcon Masonry Screws

How To Install Masonry Screwsinstalling masonry screws

Masonry screws are used to fasten materials to different masonry materials (usually concrete). Tapcon is a brand that has become a generic term for these screws over the years, often referred to as tapcon screws.

Tapcon screws can be identified by their blue coloration. Most of them are fully threaded but some longer screws will have a smooth shoulder. This shoulder is designed to disperse the heat built up by the screw. If the shoulder was absent the screw would heat up exponentially and expand it the hole. This expansion plus the heat of the screw can compromise its integrity causing the screw to snap.

Now that we know a bit about masonry screw lets begin installing one.



Getting Started

What you will need:

  • Concrete Drill Bit
  • Drill
  • Painters Tape
  • Tapcon Screws
  • Various Driver Bits depending on which head style you choose
  • Safety Gear!installing tapcon screws

Step 1

The first thing we need to do is take the screw we are going to install and mark the end of the drill bit with painters tape. We do not want to drill an excessive hole in the concrete it only needs to be long enough.

Once we have our drill taped, its time for the most important part of our drilling into concreteinstallation. Putting on our safety gloves and glasses to make sure we protect ourselves.

Step 2

With our safety gear on and drill in gloved hand we can begin drilling our hole into the concrete. Even short concrete screws will hold very well in concrete. These masonry screws cut their own threads and will only need to be installed a little over an inch to have some true holding power. Once you reach the desired depth marked by the tape, you may remove the drill and carefully wipe any extra debris away from the hole.

Step 3

screwing in tapcon masonry screws

This is the home stretch for installing a concrete screw. Find the appropriate bit driver. We decided to use the hex head slotted Tapcon screws due to their popularity. Simply drill the screw into the hole until the head reaches the surface of the concrete and you are done!

 

finished tapcon screw install

 

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How Do You Protect A Door From a Hurricane?

Hurricane Protection For Doors

With a number of record breaking hurricanes striking North America in the past few months, we’ve had many customers call in or email asking us what kind of equipment, hardware and fasteners they should buy to protect their doors during a hurricane. After some research, we set out with our fastener expert to demonstrate how to and build a temporary emergency hurricane barrier for our door.  We built this door cover with materials you may have handy in your garage, basement, or workshop.

tools for hurricane protection

The Tools & Materials

The first thing we had to do was get the tools we needed for the job. We decided on a list (see below) of simple tools that are common and not some fancy “hurricane protection kits” that we have seen popping up. We’ve also linked them to our website so you can find out more about them.



Step One

Now that we have all of the tools we need assembled, our first step was to cut our 2 x 4s to length. We recommend having two pieces running down each side and one piece on top to prevent anything from falling in from the top.

frame for door protection

The 2 x 4s, our fastener expert explained, are there to add space between the door and the plywood because the handle and lock stick out too far. This means we cannot simply press the plywood against the door archway as it will not sit evenly. This method allows you to cover the door without needing to remove the hardware you will use to lock it.  He then proceeded to flip the plywood on top and align the boards beneath to the edges. The Wood screws were then places around the edges of the plywood roughly 3 feet apart. He told us these screws actually aren’t very important as they are only holding the 2x4s to the plywood so we can properly install it.

Step 2

Hammer Drilling frame into door

The next step was to press the plywood over the door with the 2x4s facing the door. The added extra space in front of the door which in turn allowed the door knob to fit nicely. Taking the Hammer Drill and SDS Concrete Drill Bit, he then proceeded to drill 3 holes into each side of the plywood (directly through the 2×4’s). We recommends 10 or more per side. But use as many as makes you comfortable.

Step 3

Now that you have your holes you can take your impact drill and hex driver to work. Use the hex driver to drive the Tapcon screws through the wood into the concrete. We recommend at least an inch and a half to two inches of length be placed into the concrete for a proper and secure hold.  It is important to always comply with local building code, we also recommend researching if your town or city has specific requirements, however keep in mind that this is a temporary fix and would not be installed as a permanent hurricane shutter or guard.

screwing masonry screws into the hurricane protection

Aftermath

Once the hurricane is over, these Tapcon screws can be removed easily with the hex driver. Then the wood fixture can be stored for the next hurricane or simply used for other projects you may have.



Safety Considerations

Albany County Fasteners wants to help make your house as safe as possible during a hurricane.  Hurricanes are unpredictable and mother nature is not a force to be taken lightly. You should always follow the directions given by leaders, law enforcement and the government and evacuate or leave the area during a hurricane and go somewhere safe until it has passed.

While we have shown you a way we believe to be sufficient to protect your doors, it is impossible to know what is going to happen and we can only prepare for the worst. If the storm coming your way is strong, add additional plywood sheets or thickness to your installation to make it as durable as possible and resist penetration.

temporary hurricane protection door - DIY

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Installing Wedge Anchors

Installing Wedge Anchors in Concrete

Wedge anchors are fasteners designed for use in masonry materials (most commonly concrete) and used to secure materials and equipment. Concrete wedge anchors are designed to go into a pre-drilled hole and expand, creating a grip so they cannot be “pulled out” or removed. Today we will be reviewing the proper installation of a post base into a concrete floor.



What will you need?

Before we begin let’s make sure we have the proper tools for the job.

Step One

The first thing you need to do when installing a wedge anchor is choose the proper anchor material. Wedge anchors come in many materials and all serve different purposes. Stainless steel and hot dip galvanized are two very popular wedge anchor materials, but the correct material varies by application. Not sure what material you need? Check out our Material Guide to learn about all the different materials available.

wedge anchors

Step Two

Once you’ve chosen a material, its time to get your drill ready. When installing a wedge anchor, it’s important to have a minimum of 2-1/2 inches embedded into the concrete. There should also be at least an inch exposed, enough for the attaching material to grab onto. To measure ours, we placed the wedge anchor about an inch below the tip of the SDS drill bit and then used blue painters tape to mark off the drill where we should stop drilling.  Marking the stop point with blue tape will allow you to drill consistent holes and prevent you from over/under drilling.

Step Three

drilling into concrete

Now that we’ve applied our drill bit with tape, its time to begin the drilling. BUT NOT SO FAST. First we need to put on our safety goggles and gloves, always wear safety gear when cutting. Now that you are safe and ready to work, simply apply pressure to the place you want to drill and let the bit begin to do its work. Once your drill bit reaches the blue painters tape, you will know that the hole has reached the necessary depth and you can stop drilling.

Step Four

hammering in wedge anchorsCarefully brush away any of the debris from drilling to clear the hole and begin installation of the anchor. The next step is to insert the masonry anchor into the hole. It should be a very tight fit and will need to be hammered into place. The end result should leave about an inch (or more depending on how much room you need) above the surface to allow for anchoring.

wedge anchor ready for post base

Now that the anchor is installed we can apply the post base, square washer, and nut to the wedge anchor. After placing them on, you screw the nut onto the wedge anchor creating a strong, sturdy anchoring station. Now that you’ve completed the installation, take a step back and admire your handiwork. This post base is now ready for the next step in your building project.

ratcheting on postbase                     Anchored postbase

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Tapcon Masonry Screws

Tapcon Masonry Screws

Tapcon Masonry Screws

What are Tapcons?

Tapcons are a type of masonry anchor used for light duty fastening to concrete, brick, block and other masonry materials. They are commonly called Concrete Screws or blue screws because of their appearance and how they function. Like all Masonry Anchors, Tapcon Concrete Screws are installed into a hole drilled into the material. They are available in both Slotted Hex Head and Phillips Flat Head varieties.

Tapcon Screws work by tapping threads into a pre-existing hole with advanced thread-form technology. The threads of the screw cut into the material surrounding the hole, ensuring a strong and snug fit. The diameter of the pilot hole is determined by the diameter of the screw. It is important that the hole be slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw so that the threads can tap properly. For 3/16″ diameter Tapcon Screws, a 5/32″ drill bit is used for the hole and for 1/4″ Tapcons a 3/16″ masonry drill bit is used. Tapcon Concrete Screws are removable, however it is not recommended to reuse the same hole because the cutting threads can compromise or destroy the holding power.

Tapcon Masonry Anchors

Slotted Hex Head


Tapcons are most commonly seen in the Blue Climasealâ„¢ ceramic coating finish. This blue coating is uniquely applied to the alloy steel fastener in multiple stages through dip-spin technology. The coating provides extended protection against corrosion and rust for the fastener, making the concrete anchors suitable for exterior and long-lasting applications.

Check Out Our Selection of Tapcon Concrete Screws Today!

In This Video

Our Fastener Expert shows us how to install concrete screws.

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