Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tapcon Quick Tip

As part of our preparation of the house, we're firring out the brick walls to accommodate wiring and spray foam insulation. This also gives us a chance to make sure the walls are plumb for the 5/8" drywall. Fortunately, they are, for the most part.

But, one has to be aware of how much the heads of the tapcons rise above the face of the 2x stock, as this will interfere with the dry wall. Additionally, we need to be concerned with tightening the screws in too much. If we over-tighten the anchor, it will strip out of brick and masonry leaving nothing for the tapcon to hold onto.

So, if you drive the tapcon in hard in order to make the head flush with the firring strip, you stand a high probability of boring out the hole and causing the anchor to fail. So, what to do?

Since the boards are pre-drilled (a masonry bit won't do well with wood), one can purchase a and use a counter-sink bit which will allow the head of the screw to drive flush with the boards without excess tightening. Fair enough, but if you don't want to stop what you're doing to mess around with that, I've found that often the drill "head" can be simply driven down against the board until it cuts about 1/16" into the board, which will allow that tapcon head to be sunk to board level. We'll try to provide a picture of this.

Just remember, don't over tighten your tapcon anchors and countersink your anchor holes in firring strips (be sure to check out the link to Confast.com for cheap tapcons, too).

Our prior post on tapcons is here.


Anonymous said...

i need to know how hard or easy it is to drive Philip head Tapcons into brick. I always used the hex head and it seemed hard. many times I sheared off the heads even when I predrilled using the supplied masonry bit.

Anonymous said...

luck you though. I have true cinder block walls (not the gray cement block stuff) that i need to screw into. this stuff is horrible. it's low density and tapcons usually crush the block to the point where there's no holding power at all. even our mortar joints are of poor quality.

The Wife said...

Predrilling your brick is the key. You MUST pre-drill the tapcons, otherwise you'll render the tapcons useless. You should also make certain you're using the right masonry bit for the tapcon size you're using. Sounds like your problem is the material, not the drilling.

Your cinder blocks may take some special assistance, and I'm not qualified, but I know who is.


Call bob at the place where we bought our tapcons (Confast.com)at 888.498.5747 and ask him about your specific application.

He was very helpful with us. (I even placed an order online that was for tapcons too short for our project and I called him up and he personally corrected our order. )

Good luck to you!