How to Attach Wood to Masonry
You can attach wood to masonry in several different ways. The method depends a great deal on what you’re attaching and for what purpose. Remember that masonry is a very hard material, so a normal wood hammer won’t work particularly well.
WARNING: You also need to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from small chips of brick or concrete that might fly around while you're working.
Glue is the simplest method and the cheapest, but it should generally be used for only a temporary hold, or used in conjunction with another method.
Step 1 - Ensure Both Surfaces are Clean and Dry
First, make sure both the wood and the masonry are clean and dry before you begin. Scrub with a scrub brush and a little soap and water to ensure that all dirt and debris is removed. Then, allow them to dry overnight. Take care not to soak the wood or you can cause it to warp.
Step 2 - Measure and Mark
Measure and mark exactly where the wood will join the masonry. You don't want to have to remove the wood and potentially damage it because of a miscalulation.
Step 3 - Apply the Glue
Place beads of glue onto the wood, and then stick the wood to the masonry. You will need to either hold the wood in place until the glue dies or use masonry nails to hold it in place.
You can nail wood to concrete, although you need to be aware that it’s not going to make the most perfect bond. As long as you’re looking for nothing more than a temporary connection or one that’s not especially solid, nailing will work. You will need to use special masonry nails, which you can buy at hardware stores. These come in two different styles—cut nails or hardened concrete nails—both of which work best either in mortar or concrete that hasn’t yet cured.
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Step 1 - Measure and Mark
Measure and mark where you will attach the wood to the masonry.
Step 2 - Hammer the Nails
Hammer the nails into the wood until the point barely protrudes. Use a heavy hammer, up to four pounds, for the job.
For an alternative with extra adhesion, apply a thin bead of glue on the surface of the wood that will be against the masonry. Holding the wood in place, use the heavy hammer to drive the nails all the way home into the masonry.
Using Pre-drilled Fasteners
To use a pre-drilled fastener, you’ll need to drill a hole into the concrete or masonry with a special hammer drill. You can either buy or rent one. The alternative is to use your normal drill and fit it with a carbide bit. However, this method will require you to spend several minutes drilling each hole. If you have a lot of drilling to do, this time can rapidly add up.
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Step 1 - Mark the Holes
Again, measure and mark where you need the holes in the masonry.
Step 2 - Drill and Mark Again
Use your drill to bore into the surface. Make the hole almost as deep as the length of the fastener. Next, mark exactly where the wood will line up with the holes.
Step 3 - Apply Glue
Apply a bead of glue to the wood for extra bonding before you secure the fasteners.
Step 4 - Drive the Fasteners
Hold the wood in place, ensuring your mark lines up with the hole. Then, using the heavy hammer, drive the fastener through the wood into the hole you’ve drilled. This should hold the wood securely against your stone or brick.
Using Expansion Fasteners
Expansion fasteners are possibly the easiest and one of the most secure ways of attaching wood to masonry. You will need a hammer drill for this method as well because you have to drill deep into the masonry.
Step 1 - Drill the Hole
Measure your wood and use the hammer drill to make a hole in the masonry that is a quarter of an inch deeper than the thickness of the wood.
Step 2 - Mark the Wood
Mark the wood on the spot you’ll insert the fastener and make sure it lines up with the previously drilled hole.
Step 3 - Insert the Fastener
Insert the expander part of the fastener into the hole you’ve made. Then, using the heavy hammer, drive the fastener through the wood. Tighten the fastener in the hole, and it will grip the expander, which will hold it firmly. If it ever loosens, you can tighten it again.