When you are trying to attach something to a masonry wall, you need to use masonry screws. Whether you are hanging shelves in your basement, a street number sign to brick, or putting up a towel rack, you need the right fasteners. Most masonry screws are screwed into an anchor that is inserted into a pre-drilled hole. Know the weight of the object you are securing to the wall. Check the amount of load a fastener is supposed to hold on the package. Only assume it will hold one fourth of that weight. Check the package to see what kind of drill bit you will need. Normally, you will need a drill and hammer to install masonry screws.
A concrete screw can be used in any kind of masonry wall. The screw has two types of threads and notches that make it more secure. Some are corrosion resistant. Normally, they come with the drill bit that should be used to drill the pilot hole. One advantage of these kinds of screws is that they can be easily removed with a screwdriver.
Plastic Wall Plug
If you are hanging something as light as a towel bar, a plastic wall plug is sufficient. You simply drill a hole, insert the plastic wall plug by tapping it in with a hammer, and then put the screw in and turn it. The plug has tapered ribs to prevent twisting.
If you are attaching something to a wall that is of medium weight, like a handrail in a stairway or a mirror, you can use a sleeve anchor. Drill a hole and insert the sleeve anchor into the masonry. The sleeves push against the pilot hole to make the hole tighter as the screw is inserted and turned.
If you are hanging something that is a light to medium load in a concrete block wall that is hollow inside, you can use a toggle bolt. Drill a pilot hole to match the size of the toggle bolt. The toggle bolt goes into the pilot hole, and once inside, it has two arms that open as you turn the screw. These arms push against the back of the wall to provide a strong hold.
Lead Screw Anchors
Lead wood screw anchors can be used in solid masonry. These work well for shallow hold anchoring. A pilot hole must be drilled into the masonry first. When the screw is inserted, the lead in the screw expands, filling in the hole.
Wedge anchors can hold a heavy load when inserted in a solid masonry or concrete block wall. These are used in construction and to anchor heavy machinery. Unfortunately, once inserted, they cannot be removed.
When deciding which fastener to use, consider the type of masonry you have, the weight of the object to be hung, and the tools needed to install the fastener. Using the right fastener will ensure that whatever you hang up stays put.