Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. How we test gear.

For Hanging or Mounting on Concrete, Use Tapcons

A recent project reminded us how these simple, effective anchors are as fast as they are easy to use.

close up of tapcon congrete anchor threads
Bradley Ford

The Takeaway: My decades of experience owning old stone and masonry homes came in handy recently, when the Popular Mechanics video crew needed to hang a pegboard in our new office to organize a rat’s nest of cables. There are many anchoring systems, but Tapcon Screw Anchors are my go-to solution for most situations, due their simplicity and effectiveness. While other systems employ multi-part anchors, or use epoxy that needs time to cure, all you have to do with a Tapcon is drill a hole and screw in the anchor.

  • For anchoring to concrete, brick, and masonry
  • Diameters available from 3⁄16 inch to 1⁄2 inch, and lengths up to 5 inches
  • Available with hex heads, as well as Phillips and star-drive tapered heads, for flush, counter-sunk mounting
  • Some kits include the required-size masonry drill bit

    Buy Now

    How They Work

    Unlike wood, masonry is unyielding. When you drive a screw into wood, with or without a pilot hole, the fibers get pushed out of the way and compress. This pressure is what keeps the screw tight. Naturally, that doesn’t work with masonry.

    Tapcons treat masonry more like metal, which requires a precise hole drilled slightly smaller than the screw. In metal, you have to then tap threads into the hole with a separate tool. Except Tapcon Screw Anchors don’t require a separate tool to cut threads into the masonry—they have a special serrated, raised thread that removes just enough material to wind itself into the hole tightly.

    What You Need To Know

    clean hole drilled in concrete block
    The hole for the anchor needs to be round, clean, and free of debris.
    Bradley Ford

    There are two critical points to successfully employing Tapcon Anchor Screws:

    • The hole needs to be drilled precisely perpendicular to the surface. To do this, you should use a hammer drill, which helps drive the bit into materials like concrete, brick, and masonry. In mortar or brick, which are softer, you might get away with a standard rotary drill. However, it may take a lot of pressure, and the bit can wander if it hits a hard spot. If you don’t hold the drill steady and it wobbles, the hole may get enlarged, and the Tapcon may not screw in tightly. If I’m in doubt about the right size of drill bit, I’ll buy the Tapcon package that includes the necessary masonry bit.
    • Be careful not to overdrive the Tapcon. An impact driver works great for screwing the Tapcon into the hole, but do not to overtighten as the fastener seats. Once seated, it can be easy to spin it and strip too much material from the hole so the Tapcon no longer holds tight.

      How To Install Tapcons

      tools needed to install tapcon anchors
      A cordless hammer drill with a Tapcon masonry drill bit (top), and an impact driver with nut driver bit.
      Bradley Ford

      The two tools you’ll need to drill and install Tapcon Anchor Screws are a hammer drill and an impact driver. The hammer drill is critical for this—or any other concrete anchor system for that matter. They all need holes in concrete to work.

      The whole job took about 35 minutes, including gathering tools, pre-drilling the pegboard, drilling eight holes in the concrete block, installing the Tapcons, and cleaning up. Other than requiring a hammer drill and masonry bit for the concrete block, it really isn’t much different from mounting a pegboard on drywall—except we didn’t have to locate studs.

      Tapcon Concrete Anchors
      ITW Brands
      This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at
      Advertisement - Continue Reading Below