anchor-bolts are installed in concrete bases to hold something in place such as a stair railing, a pool cover, as an anchor for an outdoor tent along with many other objects. Masonry anchors usually consist of at least a bolt and sleeve for the anchor bolt to fit into. Concrete anchor-bolts or more commonly referred to as masonry anchor-bolts are made of lead or some other soft metal while the sleeve is made of plastic or a plastic-like material. Concrete anchor-bolts are designed for the bolt to tightly fit into the sleeve and split the sleeve apart thereby forcing it into the surrounding concrete or masonry.

Many homeowners installing railings or creating a point to hang an object to, often wonder what to use to secure the object to the concrete. They may also wonder how to install the anchor so the railing, pole or what have you will stay where you want it to stay securely.

Safety First, Last and Always

Wear safety glasses, gloves and a dust mask when drilling holes in concrete or mortar.

Avoid breathing in masonry dust because it is very irritating to your lungs and can cause other respiratory issues from the silica dust.

Do not drill into a masonry surface when children are in the area.

Make sure any helpers are protected from masonry dust and flying debris.

Choosing the Correct anchor-bolts

When you buy the achor bolts, bear in the mind the load you need the bolt to hold safely and securely. Usually, the package the achors come in will have load bearing information printed on the outside.

Heavier objects require bigger bolts and smaller objects require  smaller concrete anchor-bolts. Masonry anchor-bolts are available at hardware stores, home improvement stores and masonry supply stores.

If you are installing anchor-bolts in brick, it is best to install the bolt in the mortar joint rather than the brick itself because the brick will more than likely crack. Brick is very dense and will not stand up to holes being drilled into it.

Drilling Into Masonry

 Mark the concrete or moratr with a permanent marking to designate where the hole will be.

Use a carbide tipped masonry drill bit with a regular power drill.

Drill a hole the same size as the concrete anchor bolt into the masonry surface.

Drill slowly and steadily keeping direct pressure on the drill, do not deviate from side to side, as the hole has to be straight into the masonry surface.

If you do not have a power drill, use a star drill. A star drill is a type of chisel that has an "X" or star pattern on the end.

Hold the star drill in place and hit it with a hammer to create the hole. Again, it is very important to stay straight and not deviate from side to side. In between each hit of the hammer, turn the star drill 1/4 of a turn in order to bore a round hole into the concrete.

Setting The Anchor Bolt

Use a shop vac to remove the masonry dust and debris or blow out all off the masonry dust.

Insert the anchor bolt sleeve into the hole.

Place any required brackets or other types of hangers in place.

Place the bolt into the sleeve and begin tightening. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN. If you over tighten the sleeve will come right back out of the concrete.