Fastening to Masonry Guide

To secure most items to a concrete, brick, or cinder-block wall, you will need to drill a hole and insert a wall fastener. Use lead anchors for most loads and expansion shields for exceptionally heavy ones. Use plastic anchors and fiber plugs for very light items.

To drill a hole in masonry, use a carbide-tipped bit on an electric drill, preferably a variable-speed model that will let you drill at a low speed. As you drill, move the bit in and out rather than pushing hard and continuously on it. If the drill begins to stall, release the trigger or you will burn out the motor.

Bear in mind to always wear safety goggles and work gloves when drilling into a masonry.

If your drill lacks the power to drive a big bit into solid concrete or brick, try drilling a small hold first, then a larger one. Or rent a half inch variable-speed drill.

On a cinder-block or a hollow-tile wall, another good fastener is a toggle bolt. Drill a hole for it with a carbide-tipped bit. Then install the fastener as you would on a hollow wall. Drill a test hole first to make sure the block’s hollow interior has enough space to accommodate the bolt’s wings.

You can attach boards that will carry light loads with either cut nails or masonry nails. Because these nails tend to split wood, first drill a hole in the board for each nail. Make it slightly smaller than the widest part of the nail. If a wall is very hard, drill holes for the nails in the wall too.

Cut nails and masonry nails can chip a claw hammer, causing flying metal particles. Always drive them in with a ball peen hammer or light sledgehammer.