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How to Install Concrete Anchor

Attaching other materials to concrete is problematic because it is rock hard, cracks easily, and is very hard to drill into. But it is possible to do so quickly and safely with tools like concrete anchors.

Concrete anchors are metals or bolts used to hold other materials to concrete. From fastening things to concrete to hanging objects on the wall, concrete anchors come in handy.

Concrete anchors let you quickly fasten heavy things like electrical boxes, shelf brackets, and frame members to concrete. There are various concrete anchors and several ways to install them. This article will cover those various anchors and how to install them.

Types of Concrete Anchors

Concrete anchors are available in several sizes and types and can hold up to 200 lbs. Some of the different concrete anchors are as follows:

Wedge Concrete Anchors

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Like most anchors, a wedge anchor comprises a male thread and a shielded wedge at the base. Unlike drop-in and sleeve anchors, which consist of two parts, the bolt and the protected wedge make up a single unit.

Wedge concrete anchors are simple to install and provide a firm grip on concrete. You can’t remove wedge anchors after installing them, but you can take off the nut.

Drop-in Concrete Anchors

Source: Pinterest

Drop-in anchors are used by just placing them into an already drilled hole. They can be mistaken for wedge anchors because they both expand when a nut is turned.

A setting tool, a steel rod with one end cut down, is used to set the expander plug at the anchor’s base.

The slim end of the setting tool is inserted into the drop-in anchor; then, a hammer is used to tap until the anchor’s lip meets that of the tool.

Sleeve Concrete Anchors

Source: Pinterest

A sleeve anchor comprises four parts: a bolt with a threaded end, a metal tube with large slots and narrow crosscuts, a nut, and a washer.

The slots and crosscuts in the sleeve let it grow when the bolt makes it tighter. Also, a smooth wedge at the end of the threaded bolt pulls up to make the bottom of the sleeve grow.

Materials to Use for Concrete anchor installation


There are different ways to install concrete anchors, and they are:

How to Install Wedge Concrete Anchors

  • Make a hole: Use the hammer drill to make a hole and the shop vacuum to clean up the mess.
  • Position the Wedge Anchor Correctly: After making the hole, insert the end part of the wedge into it.
  • Hit the Wedge Anchor with a Hammer: Guide the wedge anchor into the hole using a hammer until the bottom of the thread is level with the surface of the concrete.
  • Put on the washer and nut: make a hole in the material you want to attach over the anchor bolt, and put the washer and nut on the wedge anchor’s threaded end.
  • Close the Nut: Turn the nut clockwise with an open-end wrench until it tightens against the washer. This makes the wedge bigger, which keeps the anchor in the hole.

How to Install Drop-in Concrete Anchors

  • Make a Hole: Make a hole and use the shop vacuum to clean out the hole.
  • Put the Sleeve in the Hole: Insert the female threaded sleeve (slit end) into the opening made.
  • Put the Set Tool down: Put the set tool’s narrow end into the sleeve.
  • Hit the anchor with a Hammer: Use the hammer to hit the top of the setting tool several times until the sleeve is entirely in place.
  • Put on the Bolt: Put the bolt with the threads and the washer on the sleeve. Turn the bolt clockwise with a wrench until it is firmly in place.

How to Install Sleeve Anchors

  • Make the hole: Use the hammer drill to make a hole in the concrete. Then, clean out the hole.
  • Attach the Sleeve Anchor: First, drill a hole in the object to be attached to the concrete and insert the sleeve anchor through it. Then, push the rest of the anchor into the hole you drilled in the concrete.
  • Hit the Anchor With a Hammer: Strike the top of the anchor using a hammer.
  • Turn the screw: Place the washer and nut on the bolt’s protruding end, then turn the nut clockwise until it’s tight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Necessary to Pre-Drill for Concrete Anchors?

If you use concrete screws, you must drill a small hole first. Give your drill hole a little additional depth to allow for any dust that may accumulate while the concrete screws are threaded.

How Do You Know What Drill Bit to Use for an Anchor?

The drilled hole should be slightly smaller in diameter than the screw. For example, if you’re using a 3.5 mm screw, use a 3 mm diameter drill bit.

How Deep Should Concrete Anchor Bolts Be?

The hole should be made 0.25″ to 0.5″ deeper than the anchor will go into the bottom material. This allows any object to drop when the anchor is inserted into the hole.

Trisha Mae Raymundo
Trisha Mae Raymundo

Senior Writer and Editor of The Home Spot.