When and How to Install a Cement Anchor

What You'll Need
Drill or hammer Drill
Masonry Drill Bit
Wedge Anchor

If a piece of equipment or machinery needs to be attached to a concrete floor and must be held very securely, a concrete anchor must be used. Installing an anchor is an easy process that requires some specific equipment and only a little bit of time.

Step 1 – Decide Which Type of Concrete Anchor to Use

There are many different types of concrete anchors on the market, but two types of anchors are used more often than the rest: cast-in-place anchors and wedge anchors. Cast-in-place anchors are used only for the toughest of anchoring jobs such as connecting a wall to a foundation or securing huge machinery of incalculable weight to the ground. These anchors must be sunk into the concrete before it dries and then cannot be moved. If an object needs to be attached to concrete that has already dried, it is likely a wedge anchor will be needed. To learn more about how to install wedge anchors, keep reading.

Step 2 – Drill the Concrete

First, a hole for the anchor to rest in will need to be drilled into the concrete surface. A masonry bit in a regular drill will usually do the trick, but if there are going to be a lot of anchors or if the concrete is especially hard to puncture, a hammer drill may be needed. Hammer drills bounce up and down on the concrete to crush it to bits while the spinning threads on the drill kick out the debris. Regardless of the type of drill that is used, the hole should be the same size as the diameter of the wedge anchor. As far as depth is concerned, an anchor can be installed in any hole that is deep enough to cover up at least a quarter of an inch of its bolt threads. It is wise to check the minimum embedment of the anchor itself. This is the minimum depth that the vendor of the anchor recommends using. If this depth is not met, there is a chance that the anchor may be pulled out of the concrete and it may or may not take a sizable chunk of concrete along with it, creating a bigger problem. Also, be careful not to hit any rebar while drilling or another hole may have to be drilled in another location.

Step 3 – Insert the Anchor into the Hole

Once the hole is drilled and cleaned out, place the wedge end of the anchor into the hole. Next, use a hammer to pound the anchor down until all but a quarter inch of its threads are below the surface of the concrete or it has reached its minimum embedment.

Step 4 – Apply a Washer and Nut

Lastly, place a washer and nut on the exposed end of the anchor. Screw the nut down by hand until it reaches the surface of the concrete. Then, using a wrench, continue to spin the nut. Rather that continuing to spin downwards, the nut should be drawing the anchor upwards. This motion will force sleeve of the anchor to widen, securing the anchor.