This article will discuss a range of alternatives to drilling for successfully attaching wood to concrete in a few common ways. A few methods will probably come to mind for any person who has hanged a picture, like using a hard wall hanger or adhesive wall hooks. However, there are also more powerful options for certain home projects like attaching a wall frame to concrete walls, building a new deck, etc.
Here you will be provided different techniques to attach wood to concrete without drilling to execute for your home improvement project. Unfortunately for many DIYers, using these techniques is quite difficult and almost impossible but when armed with the correct tools they can more easily complete the task at hand.
It is not easy to work with it like other materials since it is heavy, dense, and solid, so you need to try a certain way to attach wood to it. As drilling is the most common option that comes to mind but there are a few tried and tested methods for attaching wood to concrete, depending on its size, shape, and weight if you attempt to attach.
Things you will need to glue wood to concrete:
These are the things that you need for this project:
- Caulk gun
- Epoxy glue systems
- Glue Applicator
- Concrete screws
- Hammer drill
- Masonry drill bit
- Construction adhesive
Attachments and Concrete Types
There are different variations of concrete that influence the mechanism needed to hang an attachment. For example, ultra-lightweight concrete is soft enough to drive nails into it whereas regular concrete requires some tool for attachment of wood to it.
Attaching wood with epoxy
A common way to secure wooden items to concrete without drill is by using epoxy glue systems. This glue is specifically manufactured for these problems.
Before opting for this method, you need to thoroughly clean off and dry the wood for them to bond correctly. Make sure that the dust, grease, and dirt from the surfaces are removed. It is sometimes solid in applicator guns that have syringes on the ends.
You need to cut the syringe end to the same thickness that you desire for the bead stream. Then tilt it upward and push out the air from chambers. You can apply the glue in thin, vertical stripes to the areas you need to glue together. Set your wood and concrete surfaces on a flat surface and apply the epoxy. Then press them together tightly and wipe away the excess glue with a piece of cloth, or in case it hardens use a putty knife to chip it off.
The curing time for this is 72 hours but you should check the manufacturer's instructions to be on the safe side, and after application use, something to brace the wood tightly in place until enough time has passed for the glue to dry.
This is another method, as a simple hardware hanger will have multiple pins built into the plastic hook that you can drive into the walls. These usually are intended for wood or drywall but some are enough to hammer drill into a pitted concrete wall. Most are not well-suited to anything over 20 pounds, though.
These are made of steel that you hammer drill into the concrete. They are quick and easy to do, allowing you to hang pictures without any mess, although some people think of it as a sloppy fix. However, the object that you are hanging will usually obscure the nail from the view, so this is not a significant concern for many people. They are usually used to fasten wood furring strips or floor panels to concrete. They are mainly used to fasten wood furring strips on floor panels. They come in various shapes but the most common ones are the wedge-shaped ones. It can support around an item of 20 pounds.
Adhesive Wall Hooks
This method requires a clean and smooth surface. Once you peel the paper backing, apply pressure against the concrete for 20 to 30 seconds to secure the bond. The maximum weight supported by adhesive wall hooks is only eight pounds.
This method uses a powder charge to fire nails or pin in the concrete. These use gun powder and can be dangerous. You should only use them on poured concrete and wear the proper eye and ear protection mask during use.
They are mostly used to fasten wooden frames to concrete walls or concrete slabs. Some of them contain plastic flutes on the head to prevent them from backing out once they are in place.
These commonly known as ‘tapcon' provide a quick, easy and strong way to fasten wood to concrete. For this, no hammering is required neither it requires the installation of a shield or anchor. They look like wood screws but feature high-low threads that bite tightly to the sides of the holes.
These come in 3/16 and 1/4 – inch diameter lengths up to 3 3/4 inches in depth. They can be used in poured concrete, concrete block, and brick.
You can easily find nails that are specifically designed for nailing wood into concrete. Look for nails that go to about an inch wide depth into the concrete wall, then pound them into the concrete with a sledgehammer. The shaft is surrounded with striations to improve the power of holding, the steel is hardened so that it won't bend when it hits the concrete. These are easily affordable, hold well, and difficult to remove.
When hammering, make sure that the nail is straight. You can also use an air-powered nail gun, but this can be hazardous if you are not experienced or if the concrete is brittle and likely to crack when pressure is applied.
You can also use concrete screws for this purpose. But keep in mind that if you are using nails or screws then you will be making holes in the concrete.
Using cut nails is an easy approach for attaching wooden items to concrete without a hammer drill. The cut nail has a square, tapered shape with a tip pa. These are driven through a board into the concrete underneath, much like nailing wood to the wood floor.
These nails are cheap, hold well as they penetrate at least 3/4 of an inch wide depth into the concrete, and are extremely hard to pull out. They also require stout, shear strength of 500 to 600 pounds, and accurate hammering.
Using construction adhesive
You can attach both hardwood and softwood successfully using construction adhesive. This category of adhesives caters to various thermal expansion coefficients of wood and concrete, allowing small movements within the wood.
Normally, wood can easily be attached without any initial support but if it begins to slide, temporary support is advised. Despite all this, using adhesive to hang attachments to concrete is widespread. The types are designed specifically to suit different applications such as pressure adhesives for light objects, acrylic spray, resins for a multitude of uses, and polyurethane adhesives.
Good adhesive bondage requires proper wetting properties meaning the adhesive should not merely bead on the surface but be capable of spreading along the surface. The ability to flow into the pores of the concrete is necessary to create a fairly mechanical locking to the surface.
The very surface of the concrete must be clean and have a solid layer. Loose particles in concrete will compromise the bondage. The same principle applies to the long-term quality of the concrete to sustain the bondage over a while.
Molding the concrete to accept the wooden attachment
By molding the concrete into specific shapes to accommodate attachments, you can establish a much firmer hold. The advantage of this is that it can be done using a framework or shuttering.
Shuttering is made of wooden boards bolted together to form a mold. Before pouring concrete into the mold rebar is added as a reinforcement. For additional details, read about forming a concrete slab on our blog.
This is one of the oldest and most effective concrete fasteners available. It is a little more than a ribbed, slightly tampered hollow metal sleeve that fits into a hole. The shield is made of soft, almost lead-like material that accepts a sheet-metal screw.
You need to clean all the dust before hammering the shield.
How to Attach Wood to Concrete Without Drilling – Our Verdict
Concrete is not one of the easiest materials to work with especially if you are trying to build a structure or something that involves the use of attaching concrete to wood part. Fortunately, the above-mentioned way makes the process of attaching wood to concrete without drilling more easy job that can be successful multiple times.