How to put a nail in a concrete wall

You maу haᴠe ᴡondered ᴡhether it’ѕ alᴡaуѕ neᴄeѕѕarу to drill a hole into ᴄonᴄrete to attaᴄh ѕomething. Drilling a hole iѕ often the firѕt option that ᴄomeѕ to mind, but iѕ it the beѕt? Hoᴡ do уou attaᴄh ѕomething to ᴄonᴄrete ᴡithout drilling, are there otherѕ?

There are manу tried and teѕted methodѕ for attaᴄhing ѕomething to ᴄonᴄrete ᴡithout drilling, inᴄluding maѕonrу nailѕ, and poᴡder-aᴄtuated faѕtenerѕ, aѕ ᴡell aѕ ᴠariouѕ tуpeѕ of adheѕiᴠeѕ. The attaᴄhment method ᴡill depend on the ѕiᴢe, ѕhape, and ᴡeight of the item уou’re attempting to attaᴄh.

Thiѕ artiᴄle ᴡill diѕᴄuѕѕ a range of alternatiᴠeѕ to drilling for ѕuᴄᴄeѕѕfullу attaᴄhing itemѕ of ᴠarуing ᴡeightѕ, ѕhapeѕ, ѕiᴢeѕ, and ᴄompoѕitionѕ to ᴄonᴄrete.

Common Waуѕ to Attaᴄh Something to Conᴄrete

A feᴡ methodѕ method ᴡill probablу ᴄome to mind for anуone ᴡho haѕ hanged a piᴄture, like uѕing hard ᴡall hangerѕ, maѕonrу nailѕ, or adheѕiᴠe ᴡall hookѕ. Hoᴡeᴠer, there are alѕo more poᴡerful optionѕ like poᴡer-aᴄtuated faѕtenerѕ.

Hardᴡall Hangerѕ

A ѕimple hardᴡare hanger ᴡill haᴠe ѕeᴠeral pinѕ built into a plaѕtiᴄ hook that уou ᴄan driᴠe into a ᴡall. Theѕe uѕuallу are intended for ᴡood or drуᴡall, but ѕome are ѕubѕtantial enough to hammer into a pitted ᴄonᴄrete ᴡall. Moѕt are not ᴡell-ѕuited to anуthing oᴠer 20 poundѕ, though.

Maѕonrу Nailѕ

Maѕonrу nailѕ are an elementarу option made of ѕteel that уou hammer into the ᴄonᴄrete. Theу are quiᴄk and eaѕу to do, alloᴡing уou to hang piᴄtureѕ ᴡithout anу fuѕѕ, although ѕome ᴄonѕider them to be a ѕloppу fiх.

Hoᴡeᴠer, the objeᴄt уou’re hanging ᴡill uѕuallу obѕᴄure the nail from ᴠieᴡ, ѕo thiѕ iѕ not a ѕignifiᴄant ᴄonᴄern for moѕt people.

Theу’re primarilу uѕed to faѕten ᴡooden furring ѕtripѕ or floor panelѕ to ᴄonᴄrete. You ᴄan alѕo purᴄhaѕe ᴡedge-ѕhaped ѕtub maѕonrу nailѕ, but theу’re deѕigned for uѕe ᴡith form tieѕ.

Depending on the grade of уour ᴄonᴄrete, a ѕingle maѕonrу nail ᴄan uѕuallу ѕupport around 20 poundѕ.

Adheѕiᴠe Wall Hookѕ

Adheѕiᴠe ᴡall hookѕ require a ᴄlean, ѕmooth ѕurfaᴄe. Onᴄe уou peel the paper baᴄking off, applу preѕѕure againѕt the ᴄonᴄrete for 20 to 30 ѕeᴄondѕ to ѕeᴄure the bond. The maхimum ᴡeight ѕupported bу adheѕiᴠe ᴡall hookѕ iѕ onlу eight poundѕ.

Both adheѕiᴠe ᴡall hookѕ and hardᴡare hangerѕ ᴄan be uѕeful for plaᴄing hookѕ to hang ᴄoatѕ at doorᴡaуѕ or roᴡѕ of keуѕ for eaѕу aᴄᴄeѕѕ.

Poᴡder-Aᴄtuated Faѕtenerѕ

Poᴡder-aᴄtuated faѕtenerѕ uѕe a poᴡder ᴄharge to fire nailѕ or pinѕ into the ᴄonᴄrete. Theѕe uѕe gunpoᴡder and ᴄan be dangerouѕ. You ѕhould onlу uѕe them on poured ᴄonᴄrete and ᴡear the proper eуe and ear proteᴄtion during uѕe (ѕourᴄe).

Poᴡder-aᴄtuated faѕtenerѕ and ᴄonᴄrete nailgunѕ are frequentlу uѕed to faѕtened ᴡooden frameѕ to ᴄonᴄrete ѕlabѕ. Some of the faѕtenerѕ uѕed ᴄontain plaѕtiᴄ fluteѕ on the head to preᴠent them from baᴄking out onᴄe theу’re in plaᴄe.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Image bу U.S. Fiѕh and Wildlife Serᴠiᴄe Northeaѕt Region ᴠia Fliᴄkr

Inѕulating Conᴄrete Formѕ (ICFѕ)

The unique Inѕulating Conᴄrete Formѕ are uѕer-friendlу molded ᴡall ѕуѕtemѕ that fit together, muᴄh like lego bloᴄkѕ. Theѕe are uѕuallу holloᴡ bloᴄkѕ of foam ᴡith polуѕtуrene or metal tieѕ that уou ᴡill reinforᴄe ᴡith rebar and pour the ᴄonᴄrete into (ѕourᴄe).

The foam on either ѕide ᴡill ѕerᴠe aѕ inѕulation betᴡeen the ᴄonᴄrete and ᴡhateᴠer ᴡall faᴄing уou put on it.

The grid pattern of tieѕ ᴡithin theѕe bloᴄkѕ often ѕerᴠeѕ aѕ hardpointѕ that уou ᴄan attaᴄh itemѕ to bу ѕᴄreᴡing them into the polуѕtуrene or polуpropуlene inѕtead of the ᴄonᴄrete. Theѕe hardpointѕ are marked on the foam inѕulation ѕo that уou knoᴡ ᴡhere to plaᴄe уour faѕtenerѕ.

Concrete nails are made of hardened steel and have fluted shafts that help them sink into the concrete. You can also use masonry nails, which have a square cross-section and are tapered from the head to the tip. Even with this heavier hammer, you will need to drill pilot holes for the nails.

What tool drives nails into concrete?

A concrete nail gun is a dead-simple tool consisting of a hollow metal barrel and a firing pin. Actual gunpowder from a modified. 22-caliber shell propels specially designed nails through the wood and into the masonry.

How do you hang things on a concrete wall without drilling holes?

Hardwall hangers are picture hooks intended specifically for difficult surfaces like concrete block and brick walls. The plastic hook attaches to the wall with small metal nails that pound into the wall surface with a hammer.

How do you drill nails into concrete?

The quickest, easiest way to drill into concrete is with a hammer drill, which uses both bit rotation and concussive blows to bore the holes. If you don’t own a hammer drill you can use a standard corded electric drill or cordless battery-powered drill, but it’ll take at least twice as long to drill each hole.

How do you attach wood to concrete without drilling?

If you are willing to make holes in the concrete but do not want to buy the particular drill bit needed, then the simplest solution is to get nails for your project. Standard nails will not work on concrete, but some nails are made specifically for nailing wood to concrete. Cut nails will also work for this as well.

Will Brad nails go into concrete?

They will go in the concrete but it will take accurate striking with the hammer. I have seen and used them. Another way to nail which has been done before, but is still hand nailing, drill the concrete with 1/2″ diameter holes, blow out all dust and glue in wood pegs.

Will masonry nails go into concrete?

Drive the masonry nails directly into concrete walls with a hammer. Masonry nails are hardened and have grooved shafts and flat heads. Masonry nails should penetrate the surface of the concrete wall to a depth of 3/4 to 1 inch for a solid hold.

Can command strips be used on concrete walls?

Hanging stuff on a cement wall is simple with the right supplies. Brick hooks and Command Strips make the job as easy as hanging stuff on drywall. If you are hanging something that isn’t too heavy, Command Strips may work best. If you have something like a heavy mirror or piece of art, use brick hooks.

How do you hang something heavy on a concrete wall?

Shelving brackets and hooks that are constructed of strong steel mean little if the anchor which fastens them to the concrete wall is too weak to bear the weight. Installing strike anchors that expand inside the concrete is one of the best ways to secure heavy things on concrete walls.

How do you stick things to concrete walls?

Sticky putty, or sticky tack, is a cheap adhesive that is strong enough to support the weight of a poster on a painted concrete wall. Take a small pinch of the sticky tack out of the container and apply it to each of the corners of the poster. Then, press each corner of the poster against the wall to hang it up.

Will drilling into concrete crack it?

Drilling, nailing and screwing can all cause concrete to crack if they’re not done properly. Although it seems like a very tough material, concrete is in fact extremely brittle and prone to cracking.

How do you anchor into concrete blocks?

When drilling into a cinder block to place a concrete anchor, a hammer drill must be used with a drill bit that has a carbide tip. Drilling into the solid section does not create many problems when using a masonry bit. The hammer drill will drill the hole easily into the cinder block.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Attaching wood to concrete is one of those projects that occasionally comes up during remodeling projects. For example, if you are building partition walls in the basement or in a home with a slab-on-grade foundation, you will need to attach wood sole plates to serve as the base for the wall studs. Professional carpenters often use a powder-actuated nailer for this—a tool that fires special nails through the wood and into the concrete, using 22-caliber gunpowder cartridges. If you expect to be doing a lot of concrete nailing, you may want to consider investing in a powder-actuated nailer.

But if you have only a few nails to drive, driving them with a hammer is much more cost-effective. There are special hardened nails to use for this application, which are quite different than the nails used with a powder-actuated nailer. Concrete nails are made of high-carbon hardened steel and have fluted shafts that help them sink into the concrete. You can also use masonry nails, which have a square cross-section and are tapered from the head to the tip. Masonry nails are cheaper than concrete nails and are less likely to break or bend.

Before You Begin

When hammering concrete nails or masonry nails, it’s best to use a framing hammer, which is heavier and more substantial than a standard claw hammer. With its added weight and milled face (checkerboard ridged head), a framing hammer makes the job easier. Even with this heavier hammer, you will need to drill pilot holes for the nails. This is best done with a hammer drill and a masonry bit that is the same diameter or slightly smaller than the nails you’re using.

When nailing lumber to concrete, make sure to use pressure-treated wood. Standard lumber can rot due to moisture that wicks through the concrete over time.

Safety Considerations

Many DIYers fail to use hearing protection and eye protectors when using hand tools, feeling that only power tools warrant this level of caution. But any time you are using a hammer or other impact tool, it's a good idea to use basic safety equipment. A hammer can easily break a nail—especially the brittle, hardened steel of a concrete or masonry nail—and send it flying through the air. There are also instances where the face of a hammer can chip and send a shard flying. The sound created when pounding nails can also damage hearing over time, so don't overlook hearing protectors for all phases of the work—not just when drilling pilot holes.

Make sure to wear a particle mask when drilling in concrete, as cement dust can be damaging to the lungs.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

It is a simple process to knock a nail into wood, but to nail concrete is a completely different matter. Concrete is a hard-set substance which is firm and durable. It will not take invasion easily, and hammering into concrete requires the right tools and process.

Tip 1 – The Right Nails

Use the correct nails when you intend on hammering them into concrete. Proper masonry nails (or concrete nail) are specifically designed to withstand the pressure of being hammered into a hard-set surface.

Tip 2 – The Correct Hammer

Use at least a two pound hammer. A heavy hammer will give the right amount of power and leverage behind it and create the exact force needed for the nail to penetrate the concrete.

Tip 3 – Powered Nail Gun

High air-pressured or electric nail guns will definitely get the job done. Before beginning, mark the area where the nail will be set and use the powered gun to force the nail into the concrete.

Tip 4 – Shanks

Choose the proper nails for your job. There are different lengths of concrete nail shank, and you should purchase the right type. The shanks have spiral patterns ingrained in them that help the nails penetrate and stay in the concrete.

Now you are all set to nail you next DIY project. That concrete will be no match for your new skills!

The toughness and durability of concrete makes it a popular building material for walls. Concrete walls can also add a modern, industrial aesthetic to a room. However, their strength and durability can make it difficult to drive nails into them. Fortunately, there are specialized tools and materials you can use to make the job easier. To minimize the risk of cracking the concrete, you’ll want to use a hammer-set anchor nail. You could also drive masonry nails into the wall for an easy and convenient option.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

  • You can also order hammer-set anchor nails online.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

  • You could also tie a scarf or bandana around your mouth and nose to avoid breathing in the concrete dust.
  • You can find safety glasses and face masks at hardware stores, department stores, and by ordering them online.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

  • Look for hammer drills and carbide-tipped masonry bits at your local home improvement or hardware store. You can also order them online.
  • Carbide-tipped masonry bits are strong enough to drill into concrete without cracking.

Tip: If you don’t have a hammer drill, you can use a standard power drill, but you must use a carbide-tipped masonry bit and it will take much longer to drill into the concrete wall.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Any number of home remodeling projects may require that you attach wood framing members to concrete or masonry surfaces. For example, if you are building a new partition wall in a basement or on a concrete slab, you’ll need to anchor the sole plate to the concrete floor. This can be a tedious process if you are driving nails by hand, requiring you to drill pilot holes with a hammer drill and masonry bit. But the task becomes exponentially easier if you use a powder-actuated concrete nail gun.

If you have more than a couple of concrete nails to drive—or if you just like using gadgets designed for specialized tasks—you should buy or borrow a nail gun designed for concrete. Officially known as a powder-actuated nailer, this tool goes under different names, including gun nailer, .22 nailer, power nailer, or by the trademarked brand name Ramset.

A concrete nail gun is a dead-simple tool consisting of a hollow metal barrel and a firing pin. Actual gunpowder from a modified .22-caliber shell propels specially designed nails through the wood and into the masonry. Either with a hammer blow or a trigger pull, a firing pin strikes the back of the shell, setting off a controlled explosion safely contained within the tool. Gas from the detonation escapes through the barrel and drives a nail that has been placed there.

There are several manufacturers of this tool, including Ramset, Dewalt, and Hilti. Some styles work by striking a hammer to the end of the tool, which sets off the gunpowder charge; others have a trigger that is pulled to fire the cartridge.

Margaret glue will be your best friend (liquid nails) but you can rent a nail gun made to shoot nails into concrete. Depending on the weight of the ship lap you’re planning on using will determine whether or not you’ll need to rent a concrete nailer.

I have a nail gun that is supposed to work on concrete but still find it difficult for it to hold a nail. Unfortunately, the condo is all concrete and so hard to hang things on walls, I’m afraid glue wouldnt hold, but thanks for your reply

Hello Margaret! Here’s one person who put up furring strips and then a plywood wall over their concrete wall. You could use water proofing on your concrete wall first and then insulate as well if you did it this way.

Thank you so much, not sure I am that handy but it looks like a great solution

here is another idea for you

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

alt=”Mogie” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Mogie on Mar 24, 2020

How To Install Shiplap Over A Concrete Wall

You would need to fir the wall out with 1X2 firing strips. Add foamboard insulation if you want. Then nail the ship lap to the firing strips.

alt=”Craft Invaders” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Craft Invaders on Mar 25, 2020

Here’s some tips

alt=”Betsy” width=”43″ height=”43″ /> Betsy on Mar 29, 2020

Hi Margaret: You could use Liquid Nails or QUIKRETE® Polyurethane Construction Adhesive if you don’t want to nail the furring strips to the walls, then proceed with the foam board and nail the ship lap to the furring strips. Before attaching the foam board, make a mark where the centre of the furring strip is, above each furring strip on the ceiling, or on the floor, so you will know where to nail the ship lap. Good luck

I would like to put a wooden board on the concrete wall of my basement so that I can easily mount and dismount electronic equipment to the board with drywall screws without creating concrete dust.

My electrical main breaker panel board is mounted this way, but I can’t tell how the wood is attached to the concrete.

Is chipboard ok in this application? I think it would help “hide” holes from removed screws better than plywood.

And how should I attach the board to the wall? Epoxy, concrete lags, nails fired from some sort of gunpowder powered tool?

Including electrical tags because I know that main breaker panels are mounted this way.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

3 Answers 3

Concrete screws are fine, but they don’t have great pullout strength in concrete block. If properly installed in poured concrete they’re quite strong.

If you happen to have a block wall I’d use an expanding anchor of some sort. Plastic plugs, togglers, and expanding sleeves would all be appropriate.

Finally, size and quantity are important. I wouldn’t use 1-1/2″ #8 screws to mount 3/4″ plywood, for example. 2″ x 3/16″ would be more suitable, and with a quantity of at least 6, with more depending on your sheet size and load. Post more details in your question for a more specific recommendation.

I would use high-quality plywood (BC grade or better) of at least 5/8″ thickness. Anything less won’t hold enough of a screw’s threads for any significant load. 3/4″ plywood is ideal, and doubled would be excellent.

3/4″ OSB would be ok, but it tends to release “strands” when screws are run in, resulting in a rougher surface. It is plenty strong, though, and is often more dimensionally stable than plywood.

Don’t use particle board or MDF as moisture is likely to be present, if only in small amounts. Neither is great for holding screws anyway.

Moisture Management
If you have regular moisture on your wall, seal it first with a suitable paint-like coating, or apply 4 mil or heavier poly sheeting behind the board. This will reduce mold and rot.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Generally concrete screws (eg, Tapcon) into holes drilled with a masonry bit/hammer drill.

I ended up completing this project, and was extremely satisfied with the result so I thought I’d share.

I used plywood for the board material for its strength and aesthetic. 3/4" seemed an appropriate depth for screws to get a good bite EXCEPT often, the tip of a screw doesn’t have much to do with holding and it would be taking up part of that 3/4". I don’t want to waste the back 1/4 inch of whatever material I use.

I used lathe boards that were 1/4" or maybe 5/16" thick to create a gap behind the plywood. I used trim nails to attach the lathboards around the perimeter of the plywood, and across its midline for support.

The concrete surface was not perfectly even, so I decided to use ‘great stuff’ on top of the lathe boards and on the plywood inside their framing to create an air tight seal so bugs can never set up a nest in the void I created.

To physically attach the plywood to the concrete, I balked at tapcons. I’m putting up a lot of board and tapcons are tedius. They’re also slow and with great-stuff in play I have to work fast. I went with a borrowed Ramset, and I have to say it worked Pretty darn good. I used 2 1/2" ramset nails that came with a washer.

One yellow cartridge was enough to start them, Usually a green cartridge or two was needed to get the nail all the way in.

WARNING: DO NOT use a yellow cartridge for ‘followup’ shots, as it can more easily overdue it and blow the nail clear thrugh the wood! I would have been happy to find brown cartridges as they’re even lower power than green, but after much searching, I think they’re a myth…

I attached temporary handles to the plywood to make lifting easier, and i intalled temporary hooks to the ceiling to help hold the heavy plywood up and near position straight and a few inches out from the concrete. This was important because all greatstuff has to be applied before any point on the panel is fixed to the concrete. I didn’t want to smear the great stuff all over the concrete by attaching one corner and then raising/rotating it to attach another.

Levels were used to make sure each panel was straight. Chalk line was used before putting any panel up to create a clear line on the front of the panels for all nails to follow and a neat line. Making the chalk line over the center latheboard is essential before the board is up on the wall as that latheboard is not visible once mounted.

WARNING: When attaching two adjacent panels side by side, do NOT install a ramset nail in the corner of both of them. Leave a good 8-12 inches in the concrete between each nail to manage the ‘stress’ you create in the concrete with each shot. If you nail every corner, then the adjacent corner nails will be only 2-3 inches apart and it will cause unnecessary damage to the concrete.

WARNING: DO NOT use ramset at any angle other than 90 degrees. It will wildly blow out chunks of concrete.

Instead, to get around obstructions like large vents, ignore the perimeter lathe board, and add another horozontal piece that is in an area not obstructed.

All ramset nails should/must go through plywood AND latheboard to prevent creating a depression in the finished surface.

It’s also a good idea to start by scraping or hammering the concrete surface as flat as you can before you begin if there are imperfections (seams) that stick up from the surface.

Wear eye protection for sure when using Ramset and hammering concrete. Ear pro is not a bad idea either. Gloves and paint suit are wise to prevent clothing damage from greatstuff.

Moisture was not a concern as the concrete wall is one of two interior sides of a garage slab, so there is little opportunity for moisture to get behind this wall and it’s never happened since the house was built.