Tapcon Screws Not Holding? : Anchoring It Right!

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Introduction

“I tried to come up with a way to install my shelf on a brick wall. I hear Tapcon screws are great for such tasks.

But then, once I started threading them in, I felt they were not seated properly.

Ultimately, my suspicions became true as I tried to mount the shelf. It just wasn’t the perfect fit. What am I supposed to do now?”

We’re pretty sure many of you are facing similar issues regarding Tapcon screws not holding.

And frankly, the blame isn’t yours entirely.

During DIY projects, it is possible that you may have missed a few crucial steps of installation. As for the matter with Tapcon screws, we strongly believe they have pretty decent quality.

Overall, it all just comes down to basic workmanship.  

And that is what we will be trying to teach you today. Throughout the discussion, we will talk about how you can mount Tapcon screws to your cinder wall in the proper way.

We believe the steps we will show will help you out, regardless of your background.

It’s time we get started!

Tapcon: Some background info about the brand

Tapcon is one of the leading brands when it comes to concrete anchors. As a matter of fact, there are very few brands that have gained the level of trust that they have.

Introduced back in the ’70s, these concrete anchors had a few distinct features. Among some of its key offerings, 20-30% less torque with a 20% increase in the holding power made a great impact in the professional community.

Not only that, the Tapcon anchoring system, which also included it’s high-precision drilling tools, came out as a great concrete anchoring eco-system. The tools were reliable with pinpoint accuracy and usability.

Moreover, their customer support added more to their cause, slowly making them one of the best brands in the market. As of right now, they are one of the more dependable and consistent options for homeowners and professionals because of their solid product design.

Tapcon-Screw

Concrete Screws: Where they don’t fit?

The title of this part of the discussion is pretty self-explanatory.

There are certain scenarios where a concrete anchor just won’t work. Some of the unfit states include:

  1. Sandy bases aren’t suitable for concrete anchors. The screws just won’t sit properly because of the surface type.

  2. Too hard of a base will not work either. The screw threads won’t be able to seat themselves properly, which is something you wouldn’t want.

  3. The same goes for abrasive materials as well. If the material isn’t up to the required point, then the thread may stop gripping. As a result, there won’t be enough clasping force to go on about.

  4. There is a maximum embedding value for almost all concrete fasteners. A standard measurement of such an is around ¾-inch of the total length of the screw. If you try to push it further down, then there is the possibility of the screwing getting sheared off.

Installing concrete anchors: Doing it right

This is the part you’ve all been waiting for eagerly.

In order for our readers to understand, we will be dividing the steps into three major parts. So, without any further delay, let’s get started:

Pre-installation

  • Determining the screw length

This is the very first thing you should do.

In order to find out the length, you need to find out the material thickness plus the minimum embedding length of an inch. Add the material thickness to 1-3/4 inches, and you have the proper length.

  • Prepping the drill

A hammer drill is pretty much the right way to install a Tapcon screw. It helps to get the right amount of tolerance you need.

The hammer drill must be in the ‘hammer and rotation’ mode. This will allow the concrete material to be cleaned properly. Also, using the proper tip is a necessity as well.

Another thing to make sure is that the ANSI standards are met. This will help you with the tolerance issue.

  • Choosing the correct diameter

It’s a very important step for the proper seating of the screw.

For example, for a 3/16-inch screw, the carbide bit diameter is 5/32-inch.

  • Getting the correct hole tolerance

If the hole tolerance is correct, then the screw will sit properly. In order to do this, you need to maintain proper ANSI standards.

Hole depth and installation

  • Getting the hole depth right

The hammer drill must have the proper setting to reach the proper depth. As the maximum embedding range is around 1-3/4 inch, it is crucial that the bit is seated in a proper way.

The minimum depth should be 1-1/2 inches and the maximum depth should be 2-1/2 inches.

  • Ge the debris out of the way

You may want to use a wire brush for this part.

Twist and turn the wire to get the best possible results. The hole has to be as clean as you can get for proper insertion of the screw.

  • Sit the screw into the hole

It’s time to get the Tapcon screw into the concrete hole. You can use a rotation drill for this purpose.

Try to be as precise as you can.


Post-installation tips

  • Over torquing may be the cause of integrity loss as a whole. We would recommend you use your hand to get the screw in place.
    But if you are using a rotation drill, then be gentle with the process.
  • Shearing of the head is a common problem among diy enthusiasts. Keeping the hole clean and going to the proper depth is the right remedy.
  • Always check the embedding depth and then insert the Tapcon screw. This is more of a safety check for proper installation.

Conclusion

There’s plenty of things that can contribute to Tapcon screws not holding.

And it’s not always about getting the right tools. As a matter of fact, it’s often about doing the job in the proper way.

The steps we showed you today is just one way of doing it right. We’re sure there are other methods out there as well.

For good measure, you could check them out and combine the knowledge for a better outcome.

That’s all for today. See you again sometime!

James Keifer

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