Paul Bianchina: An easy solution for bolting into concrete
Bolting framing, fixtures, equipment or just about anything else down to concrete has always been a tough task.
There are a variety of anchors on the market for doing the job, but a lot of them are difficult to install correctly, can’t be used near the edge of a concrete slab or foundation wall, or lack sufficient strength to meet building code requirements.
There is, however, one anchor that’s designed to solve all those problems, and is easy for the DIY'er to install with no special tools. It’s called the Titen HD Heavy Duty Screw Anchor, made by Simpson StrongTie, a company long known for its wide selection of steel hangers and other fastening and connector supplies for construction. I’ve personally used them on several projects with excellent results.
The Titen HD looks somewhat similar to a conventional lag bolt, but all similarity stops there. These bolts are designed for installation directly into a predrilled hole with no additional shields or other types of anchors, and are simply screwed into place without any kind of epoxy. For tool and equipment installations, they’re also easily removable if the equipment needs to be relocated.
Titen anchors have widely spaced carbon steel threads with serrated edges, allowing the threads to actually cut into the sides of the hole. The standard-size hex heads can be driven with conventional sockets, and the bottom of the head flares out into a washer that provides a clean finished appearance. The underside of the washer has small ratchet-style teeth that provide additional protection against the bolt working loose if subjected to vibration.
Installation of the Titen HD anchor is quite simple. First, drill a hole of the proper size and depth in the concrete; correct diameter and depth information is provided with the anchors.
Drilling into concrete requires the use of a carbide-tipped drill bit designed specifically for use in masonry. If you only have a couple of holes to drill, you can use a conventional cordless or electric drill. However, if you have a lot of holes to drill or if the concrete is old and hard, you’ll have much better results with a hammer-drill, which combines a circular drilling motion with an in-and-out hammering motion. Hammer-drills can be rented at most rental yards, and you can get the necessary drill bit there, as well. After drilling, use an air compressor to blow accumulated dust out of the hole.
Next, position whatever it is you’re bolted down over the drilled holes. Insert the Titen anchor bolt through what you’re bolting down and into the hole, and then tighten the bolt using either a socket wrench or an impact wrench.
For framing installations, the Titen anchors can typically be used in place of conventional anchor bolts for many types of installations. Check with your local building department for specific information and requirements.
The original Titen HD is available for use in cracked and uncracked concrete, as well as uncracked masonry. It’s intended for use in dry, interior, non-corrosive environments, and you can also use them for temporary outdoor applications. Sizes range from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inches in diameter, and 1-3/4 to 15 inches in length.
There’s also a version with a countersunk head for use in interior, noncorrosive applications where a flush-mount finish is required, such as setting steel doors or installing certain types of fixtures. Sizes in the countersunk line include 1/4 and 3/8 inch diameters, in lengths of 1-7/8 to 5 inches.
For outdoor and corrosive environments, Simpson also offers the Stainless Steel Titen HD in a couple of different versions. Type 304 is a lower-cost series, designed for less extreme applications where the environment may just be wet or moist. For corrosive or chemical environments, or for use around salt water, the Type 316 is even more corrosion-resistant.
The more common sizes of Titen anchors can be purchased at most lumber yards, home centers, and hardware stores. More uncommon sizes and types may require a special order, or can be ordered online.
Have a home repair or remodeling question for Paul? He can be reached by email at email@example.com.