Anchoring in Masonry Walls
COPYRIGHT 1999 G.G. ALONZY
I want to install a mantle on a brick fireplace. Do you recommend plastic or metal wall anchors? Should the holes for the anchors be drilled into the actual bricks or the mortar between the bricks?
RA from Milpitas, CA
The plastic anchors work just fine as long as they fit tightly into the holes. Because the anchors act as a wedge to hold the screws into the very hard cement or brick, you can use a larger screw than you would use if installing the same anchor in drywall. In other words, if you are using a #6-8 anchor, use either an #8 or #10 screw.
There are special purpose anchors designed to be used in masonry, made from lead and steel, but for all but the most heavy duty jobs the plastic anchors will work just fine. In fact, even a tightly fitted wood dowel would expand enough to firmly hold a screw in masonry, provided the dowel is not too much larger than the screw. Again, the principle is that the screw when installed will expand the anchoring medium so that it is tightly wedged against the sides of the hole in the masonry. As an aside, this is why plastic expansion anchors do not work well in drywall... the drywall is fairly soft, so that the anchor cannot wedge tightly against it. Instead, the drywall deforms slightly, providing a very minimal amount of holding strength.
Back to your question, you may drill into either the brick or the mortar. However, I prefer to fasten to the mortar for cosmetic reasons... it is easier to touchup holes in the mortar if you someday take down the mantle. You cannot do too much to disguise the holes in the brick face unless it is painted or you are very artistic. In that case the holes can be filled with virtually any filler suitable for wood or cement prior to being touched up with paint.
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here www.naturalhandyman.com/aitikia
For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links www.naturalhandyman.com
If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page www.naturalhandyman.com/friends
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles www.naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library www.naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop www.naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at www.naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at www.naturalhandyman.com/contest
Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information is located at www.naturalhandyman.com/copyright
Also In This Week's Issue
- 5 ways your house can make you go broke
- How to regain storage space and cut the clutter
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- 12 ways to lower heating bills
- Free fireplace logs
- 8 kitchen remodeling projects for under $500
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 6 hazards your home insurance won't cover
- How to save on mortgage as rates rise
In The Dollar Stretcher Community
Get free money-saving articles in your inbox each week!
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter Surviving Tough Times.