How to Use Masonry Screws

What You'll Need
Hammer Drill
Screwdriver or Nut Driver
Carbide Drill Tip
Masonry Drill Bits
Screws and Anchors
Protective Goggles
Dust Mask

Masonry screws are used to fasten fittings to masonry or concrete. They are used in conjunction with anchors and work by inflating the anchor against the sides of the hole. Whilst masonry screws are not that difficult to fit, to ensure a successful attachment they do require some specialized equipment and knowledge of the procedure. Follow these steps in order to successfully use masonry screws. 

Step One - Consider what you will be Fastening

It may sound obvious but before you embark on using masonry screws, you need to reflect on what material your fastener is made out of, how much it weighs and the weight and size of the load it will bear. Generally speaking, masonry screws are most effective for attaching lightweight objects that will not be bearing a heavy load.  

 Step Two - Drill a Hole

Before you start to drill a hole, always ensure you wear safety goggles and a dust mask which will protect you from the inevitable dust that drilling causes and from drill pieces which may shatter. Proceed to drill a pilot hole. Whenever you are doing any masonry drilling jobs, it is advisable to use a hammer drill. Whilst a normal drill will complete the job, a hammer drill has a specifically designed clutch which, at the same time as drilling, crushes the masonry by hammering in and out. 

Step Three - Be Accurate 

Accuracy is the essence of completing this job successfully and the level of success in using masonry screws is mainly determined by drilling the right size pilot hole. It is therefore vital that you use the drill size which is recommended by the fastener manufacturer as drilling a hole that is too big will cause the fastener to become loose and unstable and it will not work properly.  Also, use a sharp and pointed drill piece as opposed to a blunt one as rounded drill bits can result in oversized holes. It is also advisable to use a carbide tip drill piece to guarantee an accurately drilled hole.

Step Four - Clear Hole of Dust and Debris

Keeping the protective goggles and dust mask on, blow out the dust and debris which will have gathered in the hole. Any fragments left inside the hole may make the fastening of fixtures more difficult.

Step Five - Drill a Clearance Hole

Some fasteners require a clearance hole in the fixture to enable the fastener to work properly. If this is the case, drill a clearance hole which is typically 1/16 of an inch larger than the anchor size.

Step Six - Secure the Masonry Screw

If you are using a one-step anchor, carefully position the fixture over the pilot hole. Take the hammer and slowly tap the -anchor into the pilot hole. If you are using a twostep anchor, the process is slightly different. First, tap the anchor into the pilot hole and point the fixture into place. Take the hammer drill and proceed to drill the fastener into the anchor. Secure the masonry screw by forcing it into the pilot hole with the use of a nut driver or screwdriver.