I'd like to drill into poured concrete basement walls to set some
modest anchors to secure the tops of some freestanding shelving units
against tipping on top of small curious nephews and nieces who might
decide to climb on em.
Anything I should know/avoid? I guess my primary concern would be
opening a water infiltration path, but I'd have to think there are
tons of anchors drilled in other walls behind the finished portion of
I assume a hammer drill is the tool of choice for this task?
TIA for any shared experience!
A hammer drill and a carbide-tipped masonary bit would be best,
although you might be able to get by with a regular drill.
I doubt you're going to drill deep enough to "puncture" the wall and
let water in.
BTW have you heard of Tap-Con or Pro-Con fasteners? They are screws
that go directly into the concrete without anchors. You drill a hole
with the proper size bit for the screw you will be using and then drive
the screw in with a power driver. One thing to remember: They are
typically used for permanent installations. In most cases, if you take
one out, you can't reuse the hole (unless you upsize the screw).
Todd H. wrote:
The painless solution for this problem is to buy some 1x6, cut it into 3 or
4 foot lengths, and lag-screw one end into the sill plate high on the wall.
You can then screw or bolt the shelving units to those. (Fasten the shelf to
the 1x6 at a couple of points a foot or two apart, and don't put the upper
lag screws in the last inch or two of the 1x6.) No muss, no fuss, no need
for a hammer drill, and easy to remove when you rearrange the basement.
It'll be plenty strong for kid or mild earthquake tip resistance. Other
alternative is to go straight up, and belay the shelves off to 1x straps
attached to the joists.
The painless solution is to teach the nieces and nephews not to screw with
stuff. I've got five grand-daughters and have never done anything to
my house. Even 35 years ago with my own kids.
Apparently we are raising a generation of jerks with no respect for others
Kids have been killed by pulling bookshelves down, TVs off stands,
etc. You must not have kids or you would know that they do stupid
things and it is _not_ a matter of training. A toddler _will_ do things
Don't forget a SHARP bit. I put a laundry tub in the
garage a while back. I went through all my bits before
I finally found one that would actually drill 4 holes
in the floor. Before I do any more concrete drilling
I definitely need some new bits.
Thanks to all for the input! The top fastening option looks like it
will actually work vs going into the concrete.
Originally I didn't think the shelves in question would be tall enough
for that to be practical without a long awkward run of cable or
something, but there really isn't that much distance between the top
and the sill plate on these 72" shelves. Now that they're up, they
also hold together vertically better than I originally envisioned.
Statistically unlikely in Chicagoland, but you can never be too sure!
If I can find a friend with a hammer drill to borrow, it'd be fun to
put in real anchors. Otherwise, some cable to the sill plate will be
the way I think.
Thanks again to all who responded--very helpful!
I can just see the commercials after the nuclear explosiion. "We're
in the basement of Todd H. Tell us, Todd, did our Miracle Anchors
hold your shelves in place during the recent unpleasantness?" "Yes
indeed, Joe. I"d recommend Miracle Anchors to everyone with a
Go to the local rental place and get a hammer drill & bit. You won't be
going nearly deep enough to cause problems with anything. I'd guess that,
at most, you'd be drilling 2" into the concrete.
As someone else said, TapCon screws are the best, but you must use the
proper size drill bit.
Perhaps you can drill into poured concrete with a regular drill and a
masonry bit, but you'll spend hours doing it. With a hammer drill it's only
minutes. A dedicated hammer drill too, not the "all-in-one" regular
drill/hammer drill/screwdriver things. The kind you find at the rental
stores are good-sized beasts but get the job done quickly.
You said it!
My "main" drill is a 12VDC DeWalt drill/hammerdrill. It is what I usually use
for drilling masonry - just a couple of screws here and there. It does a
pretty good job with a FULL CHARGE.
For bigger drilling jobs, I get out a heavy extension cord the Hilti. The
difference is amazing. The Hilti is probably 3-4-times faster - and easier.
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