A Novice’s Guide To Concrete Anchors

Whether you are a homeowner or a construction business owner, you will encounter one thing at various points, wood or metal fastening options for concrete. In case you are wondering which one suits your needs, follow along.

For ease of understanding, the fasteners have been broadly categorized into light, medium and heavy-duty fasteners. However, there are no hard and fast rules for these and the terms may be used interchangeably. If you’re looking for a source of many of these anchors and other construction components, check out the selection at BACO Enterprises.


In the first category, we have three kinds of anchors, these include:

Plastic Anchors

Plastic anchors are suitable for a weight of fewer than 50 pounds. Common uses include towel bars, shower doors, and shelf brackets. To fix these, you need a hammer drill and masonry bit to create the hole. Then you’ll need to deepen it for the screw to penetrate. The package will contain details about the hole and screw size.

Soft Metal Shield Anchors

These were the popular thing before plastic anchors became available. These are best suited for softer materials like brick and mortar. To use these, drill a hole, get the shield into the hole, then screw the part or component into the structure.

Hammer-Set Anchors

These are installed quickly, without relying on any nuts and washers. All you need to do is drill the right hole size and hammer in the anchor. It will expand at the back of the hole to create a hold against the concrete surface. These anchors are best suited to hang ¾ inches metal straps and brackets, and furring strips.

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The medium-duty anchors are further categorized into:

Sleeve Anchors

Sleeve anchors are used to mount railing brackets and grab bars into soft masonries such as brick and concrete block. Available in varied sizes, sleeve anchors are capable of holding up to 200 pounds of weight. You just need to drill the hole through both the meta or wood and the concrete surface. Then you will place the sleeve anchor, hold the desired object in place over it, and tighten the screw or bolt.

Concrete Screws

These are the slightly more heavy-duty fasteners, suitable for fixing electrical boxes, doors,  windows, and furring strips. A specialized bit and sleeve assembly are required to affix these. Once the hole has been drilled, use a power screwdriver to drive in the screw. For relatively lightweight jobs, you may require a 3/16 diameter screw, whereas for heavy duty jobs ¼ inches diameter screw is required. One of the best things about these anchors is their easy removal process; all you need to do is back out the screw.


These are some of the most common anchors used in more demanding jobs:

Sleeve Anchors

These anchors are best suited to secure more heavyweight objects such as the ledger boards. For this purpose, 3/8 – ½ inches diameter anchors are well suited. You need a more heavy-duty and specialized equipment to install these. Drill the hole and use a depth stop to get the right depth. Use a vacuum or turkey baster to remove the dust. Put the anchor in place and tighten the washer and nut to secure.

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Wedge Anchors

 These are very strong anchors, meant to attach framing components in the concrete. Their sizes range from ¼ – ½ inches diameter. They are also available in types that offer added resistance such as stainless steel and zinc-plated wedge anchors. These are one of the permanent types and cannot be easily removed once installed. To get them in place, you need to slip them through the drilled hole before threading a few turns on the nut and finally hammering them in.