How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Drill a pilot hole into the concrete wall, using a drill and masonry bit. The hole should be the same size in diameter as the masonry nail anchor. Drive the masonry nails directly into concrete walls with a hammer. Drive cut nails into concrete block walls along the seams.

Can you put a nail in concrete?

Concrete nails are made of high-carbon hardened steel and have fluted shafts that help them sink into the concrete. You can also use masonry nails, which have a square cross-section and are tapered from the head to the tip. Masonry nails are cheaper than concrete nails and are less likely to break or bend.

How do you hang things on a concrete wall without drilling?

Adhesive hooks are a fantastic way to hang a picture on concrete because they don’t require drilling any holes. Instead, they have an adhesive backing which sticks firmly to the wall. If you want a solution that’s non permanent and won’t damage the concrete then these are what you should use.

Can you screw directly into concrete?

Can you screw directly into concrete? Concrete screws are a quick and convenient way to fasten to concrete. The best thing about these screws is that you can screw directly into concrete without any need for hammering or an anchor or shield to install. All you have to do is drill a hole and drive in the screw.

Can you hammer a nail into mortar?

You can also drill a hole in the mortar with a masonry bit. Use a bit just smaller than the width of the nails. If the nails are too loose for the holes, just mix then push a little mortar in the hole with your fingers and hammer the nails in. When the mortar dries, the loose nails will take hold.

Will command strips stick to concrete walls?

Hanging stuff on a cement wall is simple with the right supplies. Brick hooks and Command Strips make the job as easy as hanging stuff on drywall. If you are hanging something that isn’t too heavy, Command Strips may work best. If you have something like a heavy mirror or piece of art, use brick hooks.

What is masonry screw?

Concrete screws or masonry screws as they’re also commonly known as, are specially designed to fix materials to masonry surfaces such as concrete or brick. They feature a full thread from head to tip, which is deeper than a normal screw thread to ensure a high pull out resistance.

Is there a glue for concrete?

Concrete glue is an adhesive designed for adhering porous concrete to other surfaces—a difficult task without the right product. In fact, you can use a construction adhesive for gluing metal to concrete, fixing up crumbling roadways, and even garden stones. Whatever the job, there’s an adhesive to help you get it done.

Is it OK to put nails in wall?

It’s always dangerous to hammer a nail into a wall, you could hit a water line or worse yet a electrical wire. If your going to hang a picture don’t use anything longer then 2″ most wiring is in the center of the stud. Finding the stud is the least of your problems.

What is a concrete nail?

Definition of concrete nail : a nail usually of hardened steel for use in masonry.

What is the best screw for concrete?

The 3/16-in. diameter screws are plenty strong for most home tasks like installing furring strips, screwing down walls to concrete floors, and attaching hardware to block or brick. And since they’re a little cheaper and the smaller hole is easier to drill, the 3/16-in. size is usually the better choice.

Can I hammer a nail into brick?

Inserting nail into a brick wall requires the correct procedure and tools. The nail can be used to hang a picture or to secure decorations, such as Christmas lights. Using a hammer to pound the nail into the brick is not an option because the nail will chip the brick and will not hold.

What are masonry nails called?

Annular-ring nails have sharp ridges all along the nail shaft, providing greater holding power. Masonry Nails: There are three types of masonry nails designed for use with concrete and concrete block: round, square, and fluted. Masonry nails should not be used where high strength is required.

Can you attach drywall to concrete?

You can glue drywall sheets to a concrete block wall. Drywall is usually attached to wall studs with 2-inch drywall screws using an electric drill with a driver bit installed. This process is much less time-consuming than attaching wood furring strips to the concrete block to which the drywall can be screwed.

What will stick to cement walls?

7 Ways to Attach Things to Cinder Block Walls 01 of 07. Mounting Putty. Mounting putty is a sticky, clay-like material that comes in sticks or cubes. 02 of 07. Hardwall Hangers. 03 of 07. Hot Melt Glue. 04 of 07. Self-Adhesive Hooks. 05 of 07. Landscape Block Adhesive. 06 of 07. Concrete Screws. 07 of 07. Expansion Bolts.

What tape will stick to concrete?

Masking tape is one of the best tapes to use on concrete blocks. Normal masking tape will have minimal effectiveness, but there are many variations to masking tape, and some of them are designed specifically to work on surfaces like concrete block.

Can you hang things on cement walls?

Three Easy Methods Of Hanging Art on Concrete Walls There are 3 go-to methods of hanging picture frames and art on a concrete wall. Depending on the weight and size of your objects, you can use Adhesive Wall Hooks, Hardwall Hangers, and Masonry Screws.

If you had asked me what I thought would be challenging about living in Italy before we moved here, I would’ve said something like, “Getting too fat from eating a lot of pasta,” or “learning how to drive in what is essentially a daily commute of Mario Kart” (all things that turned out to be valid concerns). What I did not expect would be difficult, among many others thing (i.e. how to pee in a squatty potty or how to get mundane tasks done around the Italian nap schedule), was hanging shit on walls.

Italian homes, at least where we live in northern Italy, are made of concrete, not the soft, friendly sheetrock walls from back home. Initially, this doesn’t seem like an issue, until you go to hang a beautiful photograph of you and your husband on your honeymoon, go to drive a nail into the wall, and are met with the wall crumbling around your now bent-beyond-usability nail. This is what happens when you try to hang stuff up the American way into concrete walls — the wall literally just falls apart.

Because I have an aversion to white walls and Pinterest dreams of gallery walls on every bare surface, this was not going to do. Over the years, I’ve honed a few ways to hang things on these walls — everything from tiny calligraphy prints to giant maps to heavy shelves filled with books. And because this is a question I’m constantly asked from visitors of my home, who have met the faults of their concrete walls with disappointing results — well, I wanted to help y’all cure the white wall blues, too.


for unframed things

  • washi tape

for light things

  • very tiny nails or concrete nails
  • hammer

for heavy things

  • screw
  • anchor
  • drill (hammer drill works best)
  • masonry drill bits
  • screwdriver or screwdriver bit for drill
  • optional: wall spackle/putty & spackling knife, plus pliers if you mess up for the anchors


Washi tape tips: I like to buy decorative washi tape, but because concrete walls are textured and cold, it can sometimes take some trial and error to find some that will actually stick. Function over form is sometimes key here — find a brand you like and literally stick with it.

Tips for hanging light things: When I say tiny nails, I mean really tiny nails. The problem with pounding nails into the concrete walls is that they crumble away, but the tinier — and especially shorter — the nail is, the less likely you’ll have a problem since you hammer less. You can also find what we call “concrete nails” in the hardware store, which are plastic hooks with a tiny nail that you drive through it. The only downside I’ve found to this is that the hooks often aren’t very functional, and can’t really hang most picture frames up. The concrete nails can actually hold quite heavy things, but good luck finding a hook that will clip into the back of anything you own.

Fastening to concrete looks difficult, but with the proper tools and techniques, its a snap.

There are many home-improvement projects that require you to screw or nail into concrete, such as when affixing shelf brackets to a concrete basement wall, screwing down a 2×4 sole plate to a concrete floor, fastening metal conduit
to concrete surfaces, or securing steel post anchors to a concrete patio. Unfortunately for many DIYers, using concrete screws or fasterners can be a frustratingly difficult and almost impossible task. But when armed with the correct tools and a few specialized fasteners, anyone can learn to fasten almost anything to concrete.

Here, we’ll explain four different techniques and types of concrete screws and fasteners specifically designed for attaching to concrete, and most can also be used to fasten into brick, stone, and concrete block as well. Note that before installing most concrete fasteners, you must first drill a hole with a carbide-tipped masonry bit. The quickest, easiest way to drill into concrete is with a hammer drill, which uses both bit rotation and concussive blows to bore the holes. If you don’t own a hammer drill you can use a standard corded electric drill or cordless battery-powered drill, but it’ll take at least twice as long to drill each hole. It’s also important to always blow or vacuum out the concrete dust from the hole before inserting the fastener. That’s because concrete fasteners grip much more securely in clean, dust-free holes.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

When you’re attaching something that’s relatively small and lightweight to concrete, it’s hard to beat the speed and ease of hammer-set anchors. Each anchor consists of an unthreaded pin set into a metal sleeve. Simply drill a hole into the concrete, hold the fixture you’re fastening over the hole, then use a hammer to tap the anchor into the hole. As you drive in the pin, the sleeve expands outward, trapping the anchor in the hole.

Most hammer-set anchors require a 1/4-inch-diameter hole and come in lengths ranging from 1 to 3 inches. A 100-piece box of 1-1/4-inch-long anchors costs about $23.

Hammer-set anchors, also known as nail anchors, are perfect for attaching metal electrical boxes, wood furring strips, metal conduit, and shelf brackets to concrete, block, and brick. Keep in mind that hammer-set anchors aren’t easily removable.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

The soft-metal shield is one of the oldest and most effective concrete fasteners available. It’s little more than a ribbed, slightly tapered hollow metal sleeve that fits into a hole. The shield is made from soft, almost lead-like material that accepts a sheet-metal screw.

When installing a soft-metal shield, it’s important to drill the proper-size hole. If the hole is too large, then the shield will spin in the hole. If it’s too small, the shield will crush when you tap it in. Also, you must clean all the dust out of the hole prior to hammering in the shield.

Soft-metal shields are commonly available in lengths ranging from 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches, and in three different diameters for accepting screw sizes from No. 6 to No. 18. Expect to pay about $15 for a box of 100 No. 6-8 shields; you must purchase the sheet metal screws separately. Soft-metal shields are suitable for fastening to concrete, block, and brick.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s another type of soft-metal shield, called the lag shield anchor. Lag shield anchors are larger than soft-metal shields and accept big lag screws for extra holding power for heavy objects. A 20-pack of 3/8-inch-diameter x 1¾-inch lag shields goes for about $14. Items secured by either soft-metal shields or lag shields can be easily removed, if necessary.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Concrete screws provide a quick, easy and incredibly strong way to fasten to concrete. And best of all, there’s no hammering required or anchor or shield to install. All you do is drill a hole and drive in the screw. That’s it. You don’t even have to blow out the hole.

Concrete screws, commonly known by the tradename Tapcon, look like wood screws, but feature high–low threads that bite tightly to the sides of the hole. To ensure a solid attachment, it’s important to use the drill bit recommended by the screw manufacturer, and bore the hole about 1/4 inch deeper than the screw length to avoid bottoming out when you put in the screw.

Concrete screws come in 3/16- and 1/4-inch diameter, in lengths up to 3-3/4 inches. Both hex-head and Phillips-head styles are available. They can be used in poured concrete, concrete block, and brick. Expect to pay about $15 for a 100-count box of 1¾-inch-long screws.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

If you don’t think fastening to concrete can be fun, then you’ve never used a powder-actuated fastener. This tool is essentially a .22-caliber pistol that fires hardened nails into concrete. How cool is that? (Some tool manufacturers also offer .25- and .27-caliber models.)

Powder-actuated fasteners are ideal for securing 2×4 sleepers to floors, furring strips to walls, and plywood subfloors to concrete slabs. They provide an incredibly strong and fast way to attach to concrete—but you can’t remove the nails once they’ve been fired in.

The gun accepts a wide range of nails, called pins, ranging from about 1/2 to 3 inches, and various charges, also known as loads. The larger the load, the more gunpowder it contains. Loads are numbered and color-coded for easy identification, ranging from Gray No. 1 (least powerful) to Purple No. 6 (most powerful). Which load to use depends on several factors, including the nail length, thickness of material being fastened, and hardness of the concrete.

Warning: A powder-actuated fastener is a potentially dangerous tool. Use it only to fasten to poured concrete—never to concrete block or brick. Keep people well clear of the work area, and always wear safety goggles and hearing protection.

Powder-actuated fasteners come in a wide range of prices, starting at about $85. You can also rent one for about $40 per day, not including pins and loads. Expect to pay about $12 for a 100-piece box of 2-inch pins, and about $12 for 100 Yellow No. 4 loads.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that for about $30 you can buy a manual powder-actuated fastener

How to put a nail in a concrete wallConcrete is not the easiest material to work with, especially if you’re trying to build a structure (like a house) that involves the use of both concrete and wood products. Fortunately, there are many ways to make the transition from concrete floors and wall frames to wood floors and drywall. Most masonry contractors have their favorites when it comes to attaching wood to concrete, but the newer members of the crew might not. The following is a breakdown of the pros and cons of four versatile fasteners most often used for attaching wood to concrete. How to put a nail in a concrete wall Cut nail


The easiest approach is simply to nail the wood to the concrete. Two common nail options are shown below: the cut nail and the concrete nail.

The cut nail has a square, tapered shape with a square tip. These nails are driven through a board and into concrete underneath, much like nailing a wood board to a wood floor. These nails are cheap, hold well (as long as they penetrate at least ¾ inch into the concrete) and are extremely hard to pull out. How to put a nail in a concrete wall Concrete nail

Concrete nails are shaped like thick common nails. The shaft is surrounded with striations to improve holding power, and the steel is hardened so that it won’t bend when it hits the concrete. Like cut nails, these are affordable, hold very well and are difficult to remove. Both types require stout, accurate hammering and have a shear strength of 500 to 600 pounds.


Hardened screws can be driven into concrete as long as you first drill a proper-sized clearance hole. These screws come in a wide variety of shank diameters and lengths, along with several head designs, including Phillips, slotted and heavy-duty hex. Typically, a package of these screws comes with a masonry drill bit sized to the screw diameter. How to put a nail in a concrete wall Toggle Bolts

To install them, position the wood part in place. Drill a clearance hole through the wood and into the concrete using a masonry drill. This is usually a much easier job than driving nails by hand. The shear strength is much higher, too — about two to four times as much, depending on diameter and length.

Toggle Bolts

Because of the prevalence of concrete block construction, hollow wall fasteners come into play on many jobs. They are installed by drilling a hole into the block until a void inside the block is reached. Then the two side wings on the bolt are squeezed together and pushed into the hole. When they enter the block void, the wings spread out again and can’t be pulled from the hole.

These bolts are also used for hanging wood parts (along with light fixtures and shower curtain rods) in areas between wood framing members inside walls. Toggle bolts are stronger than nails, with a shear rating between 550 and 1,700 pounds, but they’re not as strong as concrete screws. How to put a nail in a concrete wall Steel anchor

Heavy-Duty Anchors

When fasteners are used to support horizontal beams on vertical surfaces, such as ledgers that support deck framing on the side of a concrete wall, they need to be strong. The best option for this work is to use steel anchors and matching lag screws.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall Matching lag screw

These fasteners have shear ratings much higher than other choices — in some cases, up to 7,000 pounds. The anchors are installed in predrilled holes in the concrete that match the size of the lag screw being used. The anchor packaging identifies the correct screw size.

Because these anchors have relatively large diameters, a standard VSR drill with a concrete bit doesn’t match the job. A ½-inch hammer drill is a much better choice. These tools outperform regular drills because they have a hammering feature that makes the bit reciprocate in and out while it turns. This hammering action helps break up the concrete in the bit’s path, which makes it easier to drill away the extra concrete when attaching wood to concrete. How to put a nail in a concrete wall Spiral concrete bit and 7-inch cordless drill

Boring Holes in Concrete

A concrete drill bit and a typical VSR drill are all that’s required to install concrete nails and screws — and even some small-diameter toggle bolts. The fastener packaging will explain what diameter bit should be used for the fastener to work properly. How to put a nail in a concrete wall Large-diameter masonry bit and ½-inch hammer drill

Large-diameter holes are required for big toggle bolts and almost all anchors. Typically, these bits have carbide tips to prolong tool life and are driven with a heavy-duty hammer drill. This tool turns the bit as other drills do. But, it also has a percussion feature that makes the concrete easier to drill.

The fastest and easiest way to attach most wood parts to concrete is to use a powder-actuated gun. To use it, load a special gun nail and a .22 caliber gun shell into the barrel. Press the nose against the workpiece, pull the trigger and the shell will drive the fastener directly into the concrete. No predrilling or elaborate measuring and layout are needed to position the fastener — just hold the board against the concrete and fire the tool.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall Gun nail, gun shells and powder-actuated gun

This gun costs more than a decent drill (as much as $200 more), but it makes light work of most jobs. Before you reach for this tool, read the operators’ manual carefully. This will ensure you’re using the correct amount of powder and the right size fasteners. Always wear eye goggles and ear protection when using a powder-actuated gun.

With the right tools and fasteners, it’s easy to fasten wood to concrete in home construction projects.

Nowadays, the walls of many new buildings and modern office blocks consist of concrete or cement. If you want to hang a picture on such a concrete wall, the question of how to puncture the wall arises inevitably. Some things need to be considered if you intend to knock a nail through a massive concrete wall or if you use a hammer drill to gouge a hole without damaging the wall.

There exist different possibilities hanging a picture on concrete wall without damaging it. Here, we are going to introduce the most important tips and tricks on how to hang your pictures on a concrete wall or cement walls.

Our picture hooks for concrete wall

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

How to hang Pictures on a Concrete Wall by using the right Nail

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Concrete is a massive building material that consists mostly of minerals. Therefore, it is more difficult to hang a picture on such a wall by using nails. While mounting the nails, you have to avoid cracks and splitting pieces in the wall. There exist countless types of nails. However, only a few are suited to knock a hole through a concrete wall. We recommend using nails made of steel with a length of one to two centimeters to nail a concrete wall. To avoid rusty nails, we suggest using galvanised nails or nails consisting of brass. Thereby the nails are less prone to humidity and lend themselves to be used outdoors.

Some craftsmen swear by using an air nailer gun to knock nails through a wall. And yet others consider a simple hammer. But no matter which of both methods you decide to use, you should always allow for other alternatives, which make it easier to hang pictures on concrete walls. We have listed the best alternatives to hang pictures on a concrete wall. You can either screw, nail or glue them.

Our recommendation: First, use a small drill to gouge the marked hole in order to avoid slipping when gouging bigger holes. Also, the marked position can be hit perfectly. Once the marking and gouging are finished, you just have to push the rawlplug into the wall, turn the screw into the rawlplug and hang your picture on the wall. Only keep turning in the screw until you can feel light resistance. Thereby the rawlplug is braced and your picture is fixed safely on the wall. However,

many drills and boring heads fail to drill through extremely hard concrete or a cement wall. In order to avoid borrowing or buying a hammer drill, you should take more simple alternatives into consideration.

How to hang pictures on cement walls – Alternatives

There exist some alternatives to, at least partially, waive unaesthetic holes in your wall. Have you ever thought about hanging your picture frames or art by means of a picture rail on concrete wall? Not yet? After the one-time montage of the picture rail (unfortunately, you will not be able to avoid holes in your wall using this method), you can change the position of your pictures and avoid drill holes in your wall.

When installing your picture rail, please use a spirit level to make sure your pictures can be hung straight later. A picture rail works similar to a curtain rail. Ropes or wires have to be threaded at the lower end of the picture rail to attach the picture hanger. The wire can slide along the picture rail and the level of the hooks can be adjusted.

How to hang pictures on concrete walls without drilling

If you do not want to use tools like hammers, drills or spirit levels neither having to drill holes into your concrete wall with nails, screws and rawlplugs, we have got a solution for your problems. You can hang your pictures on concrete walls without drilling, stress or mechanical skills:
Our picture hangers made by GAEKKO are created for all people who wish to hang pictures on concrete walls but who do not know if hammers, nails or screws are the appropriate tools.

There are many alternatives by now which can be used to avoid those ugly holes in your wall. The same applies to attaching your artworks to wallpapers or render. Also, in these cases, there exist methods to avoid ugly holes.

Many companies offer adhesive tape, adhesive nails or a special kind of adhesive tape therefore you do not have to nail or drill anymore. Assembling these adhesive tapes or nails is really easy: Adhere them to the wall according to the manual, hang the picture – done. However, be aware of the adhesive nail because it requires the correct frame and an appropriate loop thereby it can be hung up. According to Command, the weight of your picture plays a decisive role when using the adhesive tapes.

How to hang pictures on concrete walls without nails – This Method will always work

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Usually your picture should not weight more than two kilos, whether it is framed or on a foam sheet, if you want to stick it on a wall using a hanging system. Especially small adhesive nails or hooks are not suited for permanent stability.

If you want to hang pictures on concrete walls without nails than we have the solution for you: The GAEKKO picture hanging kit provides you with the opportunity to nail, drill or stick your pictures on concrete walls without using a hammer or a drill machine and it is completely stress-free. It is your choice, which of the three methods you use, depending on your picture and the surface structure of your wall.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Exterior and interior brick surfaces provide a low-maintenance and durable building material, but hanging decorative items requires special nails and correct installation procedures. Masonry nails have grooved shafts that cling to the brick joint masonry so that they don’t slip or loosen under the weight of the hanging object. These nails are simpler to install than masonry screws and usually leave behind a smaller hole. Properly install these nails so that they remain sturdy and don’t cause permanent damage to an otherwise attractive brick surface.

Mark the location for the nail with a pencil. Select a location in the masonry joints between the bricks, not into the actual brick because the brick may crack or shatter.

Select a masonry drill bit slightly smaller than the diameter of the nail shaft. Drill a hole in the joint with the masonry bit.

Place the masonry nail into the drilled hole. Hammer it into place, keeping the nail straight throughout the process. Use a nail that penetrates 1 1/4 inch into the joint.

Pull down on the nail after installation to ensure that it’s in the masonry firmly and doesn’t wiggle.

Things You Will Need

Masonry drill bit

You can repair the nail hole later if you must remove the nail. Simply fill the hole with a masonry repair filler after removing the nail.


Wear protective goggles when drilling and nailing into brick masonry. Cement shards can cause injury.

Concrete makes a tough, durable surface, and securing anything to it typically requires special tools. If you're planning to build a wall on top of a concrete slab, you'll need to use a specific type of fastener to anchor the wall in place. To help you decide which wall fastener to use on concrete, we've outlined all the options that can help you successfully secure wall framing to the slab. Each method has its own set of tools and difficulty level, but most fasteners can be attached in just a few minutes.

No matter which fastener you choose, consider 1 inch of concrete penetration as the minimum. To increase holding power, choose a fastener that burrows deeper into the concrete or has a larger diameter. For example, a screw with a 1/4-inch diameter has more than twice the pullout resistance of a 3/16-inch screw when both are driven 1 inch deep into concrete. Driving the fasteners 1-3/4 inches deep more than triples the pullout resistance for the 3/16-inch screw, and the 1/4-inch one is nearly three times stronger. In shear strength (its ability to resist forces perpendicular to the long axis of the fastener), the 1/4-inch screw is nearly twice as strong as the 3/16-inch version.

If you're looking for the quickest way to fasten walls to concrete, powder-actuated fasteners ($199, The Home Depot) offer the most speed. But unless you've already invested in this tool, you'll have to factor in the time involved in two trips to the rental center or home improvement store, as using this tool requires filling out paperwork for a license. If you're finishing an entire basement, you'll save enough time to make the rental or purchase process worthwhile, but it's a questionable call for installing a single wall. In that case, consider the following types of fasteners to securely attach a wall to concrete.

I got concrete nails, hammered the shit outta this thing, and they either fly out when I'm striking the nail, or it barely gets in there.

In for some tips!

If you're only going to hang things, 3M's Command strips are really reliable to my experience. They wouldn't stick that well to bare concrete but they are sure a blessing for someone like me that's living in a dorm! 🙂

Sticky hooks are ok, but sometimes they dont grip textured wallpaper too well, and end up falling off in a few days

Where do you get in Korea? I want those for pictures.

Instead of nailing it, try screwing it.

If that doesnt work, best thing to do is those sticky putties for whatever you are hanging on the nails.

My cordless drill wasnt able to get the job done.

Sticky putties are weak sauce. I might as well put up chewing gum.

Am I missing something? How is this related to Korea? Not trying to be snarky, I am genuinely confused.

Homes in Korea are built differently than in the States. So general DIY stuff has to have a different approach.

Some folks who have lived here for a while know the work arounds or how to ghettofy things.

This being one of em 🙂

I've done that for the concrete wall outside in the veranda but the interior walls seem to be made of a different concrete. I have a hammer drill and used a bit for concrete. It only goes in a couple of millimeters and stops. I have a lot of construction experience back from my uni days but I can't figure it out. Drill, hammering, nothing seems to work. I'm at a loss.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Despite what many people might think, it is possible to hammer a nail into your wall without damaging it or leaving it covered in unsightly marks.

Some people avoid putting up shelves, paintings and other decorative objects altogether, for fear of damaging their walls. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are techniques that will allow you to hammer nails into your wall without making a mess.

In this next section, we’ll show you the right way to hammer in a nail. Follow our advice, you’ll be able to decorate your walls to your heart’s content.

It’s normal to make mistakes

If you don’t have any experience using nails, it’s normal to make mistakes. The nails never stay straight, and you end up using more than you originally thought. It’s also normal for paint or the top layer of cement to peel off. You may even find that cracks appear here and there.

If you don’t choose the right place, you may find that some of the paint or cement around the nail may crack and fall off, leaving large holes in your wall. This makes it all the more important to learn how to hammer a nail properly. Though it may seem like mission impossible, all you need is the right technique.

How to hammer a nail without damaging the wall

Firstly, it’s important to pinpoint the exact spot you want to hammer your nail, marking the point with a pencil. After that, all you’ll need are a few handy tips.

  • Take a sheet of acetate or cardboard and carefully push the nail through it. You don’t need to push it all the way through – the idea is simply to use the cardboard to hold the nail steady. The nail should now stay firmly in place, and you’ll be able to avoid hitting your own fingers.
  • Instead of cardboard, you could also use a comb, clothes peg or a hairpin, especially if you’re using small nails. If you’re using larger nails, you could use pliers to hold them in place instead.
  • Place the cardboard and nail directly over the point you’ve marked on the wall.
  • Hold the hammer near the center of the handle (never by the head) and tap the nail lightly.
  • Once the tip of the nail is far enough into the wall that it can stand on its own, remove the sheet of cardboard. Then, continue to hammer until the nail is firmly in place.

Drills and anchors

In some cases, you may need to use a drill to make a pilot hole first. This will make it easier to insert the nail into the wall. Once you’ve made the pilot hole, use your fingers to push an anchor into the hole until the head is flush with the wall. Then, insert the screw or nail into the anchor. Anchors are a great way to ensure nails or screws stay in place, and are especially useful when putting up shelves or other heavy objects.

Remember, you can always add a few extra nails for reinforcement if you want to make sure whatever you’re hanging up won’t fall down.

It’s important to buy good quality nails that don’t bend out of shape easily. Similarly, it’s best to analyze the wall material before you get started, as it can determine which tools will be most suitable.

How to hammer a nail – some final advice

If your walls are very thick, take a wine cork and push the nail into it, leaving the tip visible.

Once you’ve hammered the nail into the wall, carefully remove the cork with a knife. Don’t try to pull the cork, as it will simply drag the nail out the wall along with it.

Another way to avoid damaging thick walls is to coat the nail with a small amount of soap or olive oil. This will help make it easier to hammer it into the wall.

And what happens if your walls have wood paneling? In this case, you have to be particularly careful so as not to split the wood. We always recommend making a pilot hole first and lubricating the nails thoroughly. Plus, blunting the tip of the nail can make the wood less likely to split. Experts also advise hammering the nail at a slight angle to help it grip the wood better, providing greater strength and durability.

Hammering a nail doesn’t require brute strength, just a little extra thought. Use the tips and tricks mentioned in this article and you’ll easily be able to decorate your walls with paintings, shelves, and other objects without damaging them.

Situation: Appartment in a panel building. Very hard concrete walls — all, thick or thin. No plastic hooks (like these on alibaba that usually work for people around do not work for me, the little nails band when hammered in, and so does the larger nail.

So far, I have been hammer-drilling everything, even a hook/nail/screw for the clock, drilling 5mm hole and using wall plugs.

However, this is very inconvenient (dusty, I have to borrow the hammer drill from my family every time and it’s not a cheap thing, I get big holes in the wall if I remove any picture or alike).

Is there any other option? I thought that maybe a small hole could be created at an angle and then a small nail inserted. If the hole had 2mm in diameter and the nail had 2.2mm in diameter, it could work. However, I have no idea how to create such a small hole. Or something like that. Any suggestions are welcome.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

5 Answers 5

Try using some 3M Command strips. For hooks, you can use something like these (it uses the same adhesive. I have hung pictures larger than 22 inches with the command strips and hang my (very large) on the 3M command hooks every day. These are available at Target, Walmart and most similar retail outlets.

These come off the walls easily if/when you move and instead of leaving behind a bunch of large holes, they leave the walls clean which will help you get any security deposit back. It sounds like these will be convenient in your case too. The hooks come in a variety of colors including white, clear and brushed nickel.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall How to put a nail in a concrete wall

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

There are nails made for concrete. However it can be hard to find small ones. I have had no luck with the bigger ones, and I never see small masonry nails for sale. However, the nails on these little coax clips, which are available at most hardware stores –

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

are usually pretty easy to drive. Suggestion, don’t try holding it with your fingers, you’ll smash them for sure. Hold the plastic part with needle-nose pliers or something and hammer in the clip.

You could try using the clip to hold the wire, or you could cut the plastic off and drive the nail in a little further for more strength. I’ve only used these things as cable clamps – no idea how well they’ll work for pictures – experiment and see how it works for you.

No concrete hard enough with a standard Hammer Drill with a masonry bit.

Just drill a hole, then use one of those cheap plastic wall anchors. With the plastic anchor in place, you now have a screw-friendly hole.

Unfortunately, this is the only reliable solution.

How to put a nail in a concrete wallI have faced this problem before. Several years ago, I remember resorting to use of a hammer drill as well. Well I’m in a new place at the moment and didn’t want to resort to that. Just wanted to use the tools and screws I have on hand. In my case, the plaster is 1 cm thick, so I could only make the hole about 10 mm deep before hitting concrete. I drilled through the plaster with a Dremel bit (about 2mm wide). I love this tool, I use it for drilling and cutting all kinds of stuff. When the bit hit the concrete it would go no further. I ended up cutting a 30 mm wood screw, and its companion raw plug in half, i.e. the top half of the screw ended up measuring about 15 mm in length. I cut the screw by pinching it with plyers (top left), and then hitting the plyers with a hammer (while the plyers and screw were in a paper bag – to stop the two halfs flying off somewhere). I was then able to firmly secure the top half of the wood screw into the bottom half of the rawplug. I only needed the screw to protrude a few mm from the wall, enough to hang the string on the back of a wood carving measuring about 62 X 32 cm X 1cm . It seems fairly secure. Hope this helps!

I live in a concrete hi-rise and there is just one interior wall in my living room and kitchen which is concrete. and I have always used a device I buy from Dollar Stores! – yes Dollar Stores. You can also buy them on Ebay and Amazon. They are hooks that come in different sizes from very small to very large – they are cheap as well. There is a hook at the top and a is round under that with small special (I guess) nails – usually 2 or 4. They’re specially made for concrete and work SO well. Because they are so cheap I recommend you buy a bunch and be very careful to hammer in straight and don’t hammer your hand. If you mess one up you’ll know, so just try another. For a large picture I usually use 3. When you take them down you can hardly see where they were. Want your security deposit back? ——don’t start drilling holes!. Hope that helps.

If you don’t need too many nails in your concrete ground or floor, then constructing some pilot holes then hammering the pins by hand will be enough.

On the other hand, if you have a small project that needs wall mounting will call for a nail gun for concrete to securely drive the nails into the hard surface and maintain the wood-to-concrete placement.

Most of our homes have a hammer but for the powder actuated nail gun case, that’s debatable. If you have one, then you know how easy it gets when working on furring strips or lathe masonry tasks.

The following information suits anyone who needs to know how to use a masonry nail gun for wood/concrete nailing and some of the recommendations in the market.

In This Page:

Concrete Nail Gun Basics

Some will call it the twenty-two nailer or a pneumatic concrete nail gun. Whatever you call it, it refers to a simple tool that drives nails into concrete or wood with a gun’s mechanism.

Regardless of the model, they all come with a barrel and a connected firing pin. Actually, there is even some gunpowder chambered on .22 shells. Well, it is not responsible for shooting anyone.

The shells are used to propel the nails into the concrete/masonry after fitting the nails correctly and pulling the trigger. The firing pin will bang the bullets’ back, but apart from the nail going to the solid material, nothing else comes out.

The explosion is contained in the tool’s chamber. You will see some gas escaping from the barrel, but all nail guns can handle that appropriately if you know how to do it.

Safety First

You are using a tool that uses gunpowder in it. That means you can get hurt while you are on top, in case you are using a ladder or get some shock out of it not to mention damaging your eyes accidentally. To make sure that you are attentive and protected, observe the following:

How to Nail a Concrete by a Nail Gun?

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Do you have the nail gun with you? Check the following step-wise process to use it well from the first time. As you read, be aware that they are general instructions to all guns.

It is a good idea to compare them with the manual that came with your pneumatic concrete nail gun.

The nail distance

Here, you are not driving the nails into the concrete yourself using a hammer so, there are no pilot holes here. That is the first advantage of using a masonry nail gun.

You just take it to the wood or wall, point, press, and shoot. You are advised never to drill any pilot holes since it’s not necessary and missing it can be fatal.

Now that you don’t need a guiding penetration, then the other factor to look at is how deep the nails will go into concrete. On the gun, you have the nail length, the power load and the nature of the material you are pursuing.

Some nail guns will allow you to adjust the striking force depending on the hardness while others will require some testing. You can use a hammer and nail method to hit against the material. If the nail kind of penetrates, then the surface is easily penetrable.

On the other hand, if it bends, then you need to use a powerful nail gun when working on it later.

How to load a nail gun

You need to wear the safety goggles first. With the tool pointed away from you, towards the surface and at 90 degrees if it’s all flat, make sure that the chamber is not power loaded.

Now, put the nail in the barrel carefully, with the head first. Do it at the front as opposed to the side like what we do on guns. The side is for the shells. Push the nail until the pointed end is inside the barrel and don’t push any further.

In our recommendations, we already have nail guns with magazines so, make sure you have that secured before loading the tool with nails at the front.

Strike the surface

The current guns are made in such a way that if you accidentally pull the trigger, the nail will not fire. That is a safety mechanism. After everything is all set, go to the surface, and point to where you need to nail.

Apply some pressure on the area for a tight hold and nail guiding. When you are ready, pull the trigger, and that’s it.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Concrete nails and screws are the most popular types of fasteners used in securing objects to concrete walls and blocks. These two types both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few things to remember when choosing which to use for your project.

Concrete Nails


The nail is made of case-hardened steel that has a spiral built into the shaft. This spiral gives it holding power when driven into the concrete.


A concrete nail is best used when you are joining wood to a concrete surface. This is mostly found when finishing off a basement, building, or garage on a poured slab. The nails can be driven through the lumber plate and into the concrete.

It should be noted that concrete nails are not to be used to hang things like shelves, brackets, or frames. The concrete screw is better-suited for this job as long as anchors are used.


In the event that you need to attach some lumber to concrete, the nail can be driven into the concrete with a heavy construction hammer. However, one possible disadvantage is if the nail is not hit straight on, it can bend to one side. This will loosen the entire shaft and cause it to slide out of the hole easily. A special concrete nail gun can also be used to securely attach concrete nails by “shooting” them into the slab or wall.

Concrete Screws


The concrete screw is also hardened, but it has tighter spirals in order to dig into the concrete.


Screws are better used with other materials such as plastic, metal, and aluminum.


When working with concrete screws, you need two items to install them correctly. A hammer drill is essential to the process, as it is needed to pre-drill a hole for the screw. Unlike drilling into wood, the screw cannot be driven into the concrete and expected to hold. If the area around the concrete chips, the screw can become loose.

Also important for installing a concrete screw is a concrete anchor. This piece acts as a sleeve that the screw can tighten and press against the concrete to a secure hold.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

WHEN the average homeowner thinks of using nails to fasten things in place, he thinks only of fastening one piece of wood to another. He often forgets – or does not know – that nails can also be used to fasten wood or metal objects to concrete and masonry.

For example, nails can be used to fasten wood furring strips or studs (2×3's or 2×4's) to a basement wall or floor, they can be used to secure shelf brackets or hanging supports to a brick or concrete wall, and they can be used to fasten down a heavy appliance that you want firmly anchored on a concrete floor.

You cannot just use any nail for these jobs – you must use special steel nails that are made for driving into masonry. These often have fluted or spirally threaded shanks and are much harder than regular steel nails. They will not bend, but they will break if not hit square on the head and driven straight in.

Driving nails into masonry requires a lot more force than driving into wood, so an ordinary carpenter's hammer often will not be adequate. It is best to use a heavier hammer such as a small sledgehammer or special impact-type hammer (impact hammers are small heavy hammers that are designed to eliminate rebound when used for heavy pounding).

Because masonry nails are brittle and break easily if not hammered straight, it is important to wear safety goggles as protection against flying pieces, even when not working overhead. Also, make every effort to hit the nail square on the head and not allow blows to slant off at an angle.

When there are a number of masonry nails to be driven in, it is best to buy a special tool made for the purpose. Often referred to as a stud driver or hammer-in masonry anchoring tool, this consists of a rubber or plastic covered steel handle that has a hollow center into which special masonry nails (often referred to as drive pins) or threaded studs can be inserted (the studs are fasteners that look like a nail at one end but are threaded like a bolt at the other end).

The pins or studs are pushed in from the bottom with their pointed end sticking out. A snug fitting steel rod (called the anvil) fits down through the center of the tool with one end resting on top of the nail or stud to be driven in. The other end of the anvil sticks up from the handle so it can be struck with a hammer.

In use, the stud driver is loaded with the appropriate nail or stud by pushing it in from the bottom (with the pointed end sticking out). Then the front of the tool is held against the wood or metal to be penetrated as shown in the drawing. The top of the projecting anvil rod is pushed in until it presses down against the top of the nail head inside the barrel. Then, while gripping the body of the stud driver firmly with one hand, you use the hammer to pound on the projecting end of anvil rod with the other hand. It is best to drive the pin or stud in with a few strong blows, rather than with a lot of less powerful blows.

Using a stud driver is not only more effective than hammering in plain masonry nails, but it also enables them to be driven in much faster. One reason is that the tool drives the nail (or stud) straight in without bending or breaking it because the fastener is supported by the barrel of the stud driver. Another is that all the power of each hammer blow is directed straight onto the nail head by the steel anvil rod inside the tool so none is wasted by glancing blows or by vibration. There is also much less chance of chipping the surface of the masonry – a common problem when trying to drive in ordinary masonry nails.

The drive pins or nails come in various lengths up to about three inches. The pin should be long enough to go completely through the wood and into the concrete about one inch. When fastened to a brick wall, the pin should go into the mortar joint, not the face of the brick, and it should penetrate about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches. When fastening to cement blocks, penetration of at least 1 1/4 inches is advisable.

Studs are sometimes used instead of drive pins when fastening metal brackets, pipe supports, metal plaques and signs to masonry. These leave a 1/4-inch-diameter threaded stud sticking out that will take a standard 1/4 by 20 threaded nut, so it permits removing brackets or signs without damaging the anchor. Studs also hold better when thin metal or plastic is being fastened to a concrete or brick wall.

Answering the Mail Q . We have a brick patio that is continually shaded by large trees so it never gets any sun. The brick has a lot of green mold on it that is making it very slippery and dangerous. How can I clean this mold off? – M.L., Roslyn Estates, L.I. A . Wash the brick off with a solution of laundry bleach (such as Clorox) and water. Or use one of the fungicides that are sold by swimming pool supply companies. If you use bleach, mix one part bleach with four parts water, then throw in a little powdered detergent. Scrub on, let dry on the surface, then rinse off with lots of water. Q . Water has left a stained ring on the top of our butcher block table. How can I remove this stain? – N.K., New Rochelle, N.Y. A . I assume the table has a finish on it, but you don't say what kind, so it is hard to be specific. With some sealer-type finishes, just rubbing more of the same sealer on with very fine steel wool will do the trick. Usually if the stain is white, the stain is only in the finish; if the stain is dark, the stain has gone through the finish into the wood. White stains can often be removed by rubbing briskly with a small piece of cloth and some toothpaste – the kind advertised as having ''extra brighteners'' in it (these contain a very mild abrasive). Rub until the stain is gone, then bring back the luster with wax or polish.

If the stain is a dark stain that is caused by a discoloration of the actual wood, you will have to strip all the finish off and sand or bleach the wood till the stain is gone (sometimes both sanding and the use of a two-part wood bleach is required). When the stain is gone, refinish with several coats of a penetrating wood sealer.

Nail (fastener) — A pile of nails. In woodworking and construction, a nail is a pin shaped, sharp object of hard metal or alloy used as a fastener. Formerly wrought iron, today s nails are typically made of steel, often dipped or coated to prevent corrosion in… … Wikipedia

Nail gun — Pneumatic nail gun in use A nail gun, nailgun or nailer is a type of tool used to drive nails into wood or some other kind of material. It is usually driven by electromagnetism, compressed air (pneumatic), highly flammable gases such as butane or … Wikipedia

nail — nailless, adj. naillike, adj. /nayl/, n. 1. a slender, typically rod shaped rigid piece of metal, usually in any of numerous standard lengths from a fraction of an inch to several inches and having one end pointed and the other enlarged and… … Universalium

Concrete saw — A concrete saw being readied for use. The man in the background is preparing the hose to deliver water to cool the saw, whilst the operator is moving the saw to the required position. A substantial engine powers the unit … Wikipedia

Nail clipper — A variety of nail cutters; the cutter on the left is in the plier style, the centre and right cutters are in the compound lever style … Wikipedia

nail — Synonyms and related words: Gibraltar, abduct, adamant, agonize, articulate, at once, attach, bag, batten, batten down, be correct, be precise, be right, biff, bolt, bone, brick, buckle, butt, button, cabbage, capture, carry off, catch, cement,… … Moby Thesaurus

Types of concrete — There are many types of concrete, variations of installation, composition, finish and performance characteristics. A highway paved with concrete … Wikipedia

Mechanical Concrete — A Mechanical Concrete tire derived cylinder A Mecha … Wikipedia

steel nail — strong nail which can go through concrete walls … English contemporary dictionary

Landslide mitigation — Landslides can be triggered by many often concomitant causes. In addition to shallow erosion or reduction of shear strength caused by seasonal rainfall, causes triggered by anthropic activities such as adding excessive weight above the slope,… … Wikipedia

Hanging drywall in a bare room, where you’re down to the studs, it’s simple: You hang it on the studs. You can also hang drywall over paneling – you just have to make sure to hit the wall studs.

An exterior wall, though, presents another opportunity. When you attach drywall to a cinderblock or cement wall, you’ll need something called hat channel, so named because it is shaped like a hat when viewed from the side. Here’s how to attach the hat channel to the cinderblock walls and then install drywall:

Materials and Tools:

safety glasses
ear protection
hat channel
concrete nails
concrete-nail gun
automatic screw gun
faux top and sole plates
rigid board insulation
heavy-duty adhesive


1. Use concrete nails and a concrete-nail gun to attach the hat channels to the wall after drawing a plumb line to make sure you’ve spaced the hat channels properly for the size of drywall and insulation you’re using. Drive three concrete nails, spaced at even intervals, through each side of each hat channel.
Safety alert:
When using a concrete-nail gun, or any other tool that’s propelled with a gas cartridge and a battery, make sure you wear eye and ear protection.
2. Frame out the rest of the wall by adding faux top and sole plates, dropping the top a bit for a drop ceiling – if that’s an issue – and framing around any plumbing.
3. Add some rigid board insulation between the hat channels. It won’t insulate a lot, but it will provide some reflective heat. Use a thick zigzag bead of heavy-duty adhesive to glue on the insulation. Cut around any electrical or plumbing you come across.
4. Attach the drywall, starting with the ceiling and then moving down the walls. Mark plumb lines on the drywall that correspond to the hat channels below. Ask someone to hold the drywall in place while you screw it into the hat channels with an electric screw gun.
5. To finish the wall, proceed from here with the taping and mudding, or hire a professional to do the finishing.

Drywall is the most common type of finish for walls and ceilings. It’s made from gypsum (calcium sulfate), which is ground up, made into plaster and pressed between paper in the factory. Drywall is available in different thicknesses up to 5/8 of an inch. It usually comes in 4-, 8- or 12-foot lengths. Long sheets create fewer seams, and the 5/8-inch thickness is more soundproof than the thinner versions.

A simple, permanent repair for a leaking crack in a basement wall.

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Concrete consists primarily of cement, sand, gravel and water. As the water in the slurry evaporates, the remaining ingredients cure into a hard, monolithic slab. Unfortunately, the curing process causes the concrete to shrink slightly, often resulting in hairline cracks.

Do Cracks in Walls Indicate a Structural Problem?

Larger stress cracks occur when a house settles or the ground beneath it shifts. These types of cracks typically don’t threaten the structural integrity of the house, but they do create an entry point for groundwater, insects and radon gas. Here, we’ll show you a simple, effective way to patch cracks in poured concrete walls.

If you notice large, recurring cracks or bulging walls at your house, don’t try to fix these conditions yourself. The cracks might indicate a more serious structural problem; call in a structural engineer for an in-depth evaluation.

Several masonry patching products, such as hydraulic cement, do an adequate job of filling cracks in concrete walls. However, these products can fail after a few years if your foundation or retaining wall continues to move slightly, leaving you with little choice but to chip them out and start all over again.

Before Your Begin

Before you start, check to make sure the crack is dry. If the crack is slightly damp, dry it with a blow-dryer, then wait 15 minutes. If it remains dry, proceed with the repair.

However, if the dampness returns, water is still seeping into the crack and you’ll have to wait for it to dry out on its own.

Concrete Wall Crack Repair in 8 Steps

Use an Epoxy-Injection System for Basement Wall Crack Repair

We repaired a foundation wall, which had an 8-ft.-long crack that leaked water into the basement during periods of heavy rainfall. To permanently patch the crack we used an epoxy-injection system from Polygem, called the Liquid Concrete Repair Kit ($60).

Each kit contains a two-part epoxy crack sealer, two 10-oz. tubes of Liquid Concrete Repair (LCR), a viscous epoxy that comes in a caulk-type cartridge, and seven plastic injection ports that deliver the LCR deep into the crack. There’s enough material in each kit to repair a 1/16-in.-wide x 8-in.-deep x 8-ft.-long crack.

Step 1: Scrub it Clean

First, scrub the crack clean of any loose concrete, paint or old filler using a wire brush. Remove all dust and debris with a shop vacuum.

Step 2: Use a Nail to Align Injection Points

Tap 3-in. (10d) finishing nails partway into the crack, spaced 12 in. apart. You’ll use them to align the injection ports with the crack.

Step 3: Mix the Two-Part Epoxy Crack Sealer

Open up the two containers of epoxy crack sealer and scoop out equal amounts of Part A and Part B; use two separate sticks to avoid contamination.

Mix the two parts on a scrap board using a clean putty knife; blend until you achieve a uniform gray color.

Step 4: Spread the Sealer onto Base

Spread some sealer onto the base of one of the plastic injection ports, being careful not to plug up its hole. Slide the port over one of the nails sticking out of the crack and press it to the wall.

Install the remaining ports in a similar manner.

Step 5: Mix and Apply a Larger Batch of Epoxy Sealer

Next, mix up a slightly larger batch of epoxy sealer and apply it to the entire crack using a 1 1/2-in.-wide putty knife or margin trowel.

Spread the sealer about 1/8 in. thick and 1 in. on either side of the crack. Also, cover the entire flange of each injection port with crack sealer, leaving only the extended neck portion showing. Smooth out the sealer and feather its edges with a paintbrush dipped in mineral spirits.

If the other side of the wall is accessible, see if the crack goes clean through. If it does, seal it up with crack sealer, too. Allow the sealer to cure for 6 to 10 hours before injecting the epoxy.

Step 6: Dispense the LCR Epoxy

Thoroughly mix the LCR epoxy using the plunger rod that comes with the kit. Place the LCR cartridge into a caulk gun. Starting at the lowest injection port, dispense the epoxy into the crack.

Step 7: Fill Up the Ports

Continue squeezing the trigger until epoxy begins to ooze out of the port directly above. Remove the gun and plug up the port you just filled.

Now insert the cartridge tip into the port that’s oozing and squeeze the trigger to dispense the epoxy. Repeat this procedure for the remaining ports; plug up each one before moving on to the next.

Step 8: Cut Necks of the Ports

Allow the LCR to cure for five days, then cut off the necks of the ports with a hacksaw. If desired, you can patch the severed ports with a little crack sealer.

Where To Find It

Box 609
Dept. TH700
W. Chicago, IL 60186

Knowing how to attach wood to concrete without drilling holes in the concrete can be an essential part of making a project work. This is a beneficial skill to learn and can apply to large projects such as a deck or gazebo or to small projects like a dog house or an arbor.

Concrete is durable and can be a valuable part of a structure to work with if you only know how to use it properly. Even if you wouldn’t mind drilling holes into your concrete, ordinary tools that you use on the wood are not cut out for working on concrete.

Even without using a drill, you will still need to get some specific tools that can handle working with concrete depending on the method you choose.

Different methods to attach wood to concrete

If you are willing to make holes in the concrete but do not want to buy the particular drill bit needed, then the simplest solution is to get nails for your project.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

Standard nails will not work on concrete, but some nails are made specifically for nailing wood to concrete. Cut nails will also work for this as well.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

To do this, you will need a sledgehammer and a nail that will go almost an inch into the concrete. However, you should be aware that nails are very hard to pound into concrete. This is because boards tend to “bounce” as you try to nail them. They can also come loose over time, especially when there is any movement on the part of the wood.

When using this method to attach wood to concrete, you should do your best to hit the nail straight down and not at any angles. The reason for using a sledgehammer instead of even a regular heavy-duty hammer is because the concrete nails are most often made from steel.

Since most hammers are made with steel-hardened tips, this can potentially cause sparks or even small shards of the nail to fly when you strike.

Air-powered nail guns can do this quickly and easily but can be dangerous if you are unaccustomed to using them. Before you decide to go with this route, you should first check the concrete. Some kinds of concrete are too brittle for the high power of a nail gun and will crack if you use one on it.

Another option is to use epoxy glue which is made explicitly for wood-to-concrete applications, or you can use a type of construction adhesive.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

To use this method, you must first make sure that both the wood and the concrete are clean and dry or else they will not bond properly. Once glued, you will need to have some brace or clamp to keep it in place until it has dried completely.

If possible is an excellent idea to combine both of these methods. If you are doing this, then first apply the adhesive and then nail the wood into place. The glue will help keep the board from bouncing as much as you nail it in, while the nail will keep it firmly in place while it dries and will hold it longer than a nail would alone.

Problems that can occur when trying to attach wood to concrete without drilling

If you are going with the nailing route, then one problem that can happen is that you can cause cracks to form in the concrete. This problem can in part be caused by hitting the nail at a wrong angle or trying to nail into the concrete at an angle. More likely, however, is that you are not hitting the nail down hard enough.

This is why it can be a good idea to have an air-powered nail gun since it will shoot the nail in quickly and with much fewer chances of making the concrete crack. However, if it is too high-powered, then it will be just as likely to cause cracking as the other.

If there is a slight curvature of the board that it is quite possible that adhesive will not stick and that the board will come off. To remedy this, you can try one of two things.

Either you can use a better adhesive that is made for bonding concrete to wood, or you can cut the wood into fragments and then glue it. This last option is excellent if the problem is that the weight of the board is pulling it out of place before it has a chance to thoroughly dry.

To put screws in concrete you need special screws, a drill and the right technique. Concrete screws are the only kind of screws that are strong enough to penetrate concrete. They come in different lengths, and it’s important to have several sizes on hand. Concrete is a dense material, so you’ll need a screw that can penetrate 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) into the concrete; then add an additional inch (2.5 centimeters) more than the thickness of the material you are attaching to the concrete, so that the screw is embedded strongly enough.

Knowing how to drill the hole is important when you use concrete screws. You have to allow for a little extra depth to your drill hole, because dust accumulates inside. A hammer drill is good for this purpose because you can adjust the depth of the hole so it won’t be too shallow or too deep.

There are two kinds of screw heads for work with concrete — hex head or flat head Phillips. Hex screws are easier to drive in, but they don’t look as nice because the caps are raised and they can’t be flush to the surface; so your choice depends on the location of the screw. Align the screw and then use constant low-to-medium pressure on the drill when driving in the screw. Never drive the screw in at high speed, which can damage the threads and cause the screw head to break.

Sometimes you can run into problems when putting screws in concrete. If you’re having trouble driving the screw in, the hole might not be deep enough or there might be too much dirt inside. If the screw spins with no grip and doesn’t tighten, you may have to put a plastic anchor in the hole and drive the screw directly into the anchor.

This post is a tutorial on how we installed a new wood sub wall over a poured in place solid concrete wall. If you are working with a concrete wall that you want to be able to nail into, that has imperfections, needs to be level, or you need to cover odd things like gaps, holes, openings or maybe even old wood windows — this fix might work for you! We used our new plywood base to enable us to install shiplap over a concrete wall. Below you’ll find a full material & tools list, along with the method that worked for us.

Hey Foxes!! I promised to share the really ugly before (I know, this house had so many) of what our poured in place concrete wall looked like before the new shiplap wall was installed, and here it is!

The before actually looks a tiny bit worse than how we were living with it, because Jim removed the covers from the old, non functioning duct work holes to put up all the furring strips and had those up before I grabbed a shot. So I didn’t get a 100% accurate before, but you can see it was bad.

I also had a massive armoire in front of this space for years, that effectively covered the entire window from view. The other side of the wall is our private den, which normally has a curtain, but I had poster board acting as a makeshift block for light transfer for the “during” stage of the project.

You know that old saying — out of sight, out of mind.

How to put a nail in a concrete wall

In order to have a smooth, level, even surface to install our shiplap wall. Or any wall treatment for that matter, we needed to start with something new. We knew we wanted to be able to nail our shiplap onto the wall, so we decided on plywood.

NOTE: If you simply want to paint or wallpaper and need a smooth even surface, you could use the same furring method and install sheet rock instead of plywood. If you wanted a wider gap in your “shiplap” you could also fur out the wall, and simply use T1 11 siding. It depends on your personal taste and the final look your want.

  • First determine your work area size and your width and height needed.
  • Furring strips, to length and quantity. We used 1 X 2 size. We ripped our own, and spaced ours at one every foot.
  • Plywood. We used 1/4 inch thick plywood.
  • Ram Set & power loads
  • Brad nailer & nails — 3/4 in. nails for plywood to furring strips – 1/4 in. nails for shiplap to plywood attachment
  • Table Saw (if you rip your own furring strips)
  • Miter Saw/Chop saw, for cutting furring strips to length
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Finish lumber/moulding to taste and needs. We used a corner piece for the left, and quarter round for the right.
  • Nail hole filler — wood putty or Red Devil OneTime
  • Putty knife
  • Primer

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to prime your plywood with the color you want to show thru for the gaps in your shiplap!

  • For shiplap materials list [click here]
  • Start with a clean, as level as possible surface. Grind down any extreme high points, remove obstructions.

NOTE: We had a window to contend with, so we added lumber to that first, in order to have something supportive to install the furring strips into.