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Tapcon Information

Saturday, February 19, 2011
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Info on Tapcon Masonry Screws

There are two types of tapcons: the standard blue Tapcons and the large diameter Tapcons. Tapcons are specially designed screws that tap threads into concrete, brick or block. The Tapcons threads not only tap into concrete but also allow for removal of the dust that is created during the tapping process. The threads of the Tapcons are hardened to allow the threads to cut into hard, dense masonry materials without causing brittleness in the shank or body of the screw.

Tapcons are a specific brand name and are the original concrete screws which are patented and American made

Standard Blue Tapcons

Tapcons are coated with a special rust-resistant material called Climaseal®. The Climaseal coating is blue and is a distinctive product identifier. Most generic concrete screws use a blue color to identify their screw, which can mislead the customers into thinking that the screws are Tapcons. To avoid being fooled, use only brand-name concrete screw Tapcons that ensure the highest and most consistent quality.

  • Diameters of Tapcons – Tapcons come in two diameters - 3/16” and 1/4”
  • Lengths of Tapcons – the 3/16” diameter comes in 7 different lengths: 1-1/4”, 1-3/4”, 2-1/4”, 2-3/4”, 3-1/4, 3-3/4” and 4”, and the 1/4” comes in 9 different lengths: 1-1/4”, 1-3/4”, 2-1/4”, 2-3/4”, 3-1/4, 3-3/4”, 4”, 5” and 6”
  • Head Style- both diameters come in two different head styles of the hex washer slotted and the flat countersunk Phillips
  • Hole Diameter- the hole that is drilled into the masonry material must be the correct dimensions and meet certain tolerances. To ensure correct dimensions and tolerance, a carbide bit that meets ANSI standards must be used in a hammer drill. The 3/16” diameter Tapcons need a 5/32” hole and the 1/4” diameter tapcons need a 3/16” hole
  • Minimum Embedment - Tapcons require a minimum of 1” embedment into the masonry material that they are inserted into
  • Maximum Embedment - Tapcons should not be embedded further than 1-3/4” into the masonry material
  • The length of Tapcons to Use- the length of tapcon to use in any particular application is determined by adding the thickness of the material being fastened to the minimum embedment, which will calculate the shortest screw to use. Adding the thickness of the material being fastened to the maximum embedment of 1-3/4” will give the longest length Tapcon to use.
  • Tapcon Drivers – the 3/16” hex Tapcon requires a 1/4” hex driver and the flat Phillips requires a #2 Phillips bit tip. The 1/4” hex Tapcon requires a 5/16” hex driver and the flat Phillips requires a #3 Phillips bit tip.

Installing Tapcons

  1. Using a hammer drill with the correct diameter ANSI standard bit, drill a hole in the base material a minimum of 1/2” deeper than the Tapcon will penetrate the masonry material.
  2. With a wire brush, compressed air or vacuum, clean the hole.
  3. Insert Tapcons into the hole and turn clockwise using a wrench, screwdriver or drill until the head of the tapcon is tight against the surface of the material being fastened.
  4. Make sure that the Tapcons are not over torqued as this may either strip the threads in the masonry or shear the Tapcon off.

Large Diameter Tapcons - Large diameter Tapcons are tapcons that are larger than the standard blue 3/16” and 1/4” diameter Tapcons. Large diameter Tapcons are coated with zinc plating for rust resistance. They allow for higher loads in shallow embedments and for closer spacing and edge distance requirements over mechanical type anchors. They have more threads for better thread engagement and higher pullout resistance.

Diameters – Large diameter Tapcons come in 4 diameters, 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8” and 3/4”

Lengths– Large Diameter Tapcons

DiameterLength
3/8” 1-3/4”
3/8” 2-1/2”
3/8” 3”
3/8” 4”
3/8” 5”
1/2” 3”
1/2” 4”
1/2” 5”
1/2” 6”
5/8” 3”
5/8” 4”
5/8” 5”
5/8” 6”
3/4” 4-1/2”
3/4” 5-1/2”
3/4” 6-1/4”

Head Style - all large-diameter Tapcons come in a hex head style

DiameterHead Diameter – Socket Size
3/8” 9/16”
1/2” 3/4”
5/8” 13/16”
3/4” 13/16”

Hole Diameter

DiameterHole Size
3/8” 5/16”
1/2” 7/16”
5/8” 1/2”
3/4” 5/8”

Minimum Embedment

DiameterMinimum Embedment
3/8” 1-1/2”
1/2” 2-1/2”
5/8” 2-3/4”
3/4” 3-1/4”

The length of Tapcons to Use - the shortest length of large diameter Tapcon to use is determined by adding the thickness of the material being fastened to the minimum embedment for the large diameter Tapcon being used.

Installation of Large Diameter Tapcons

Concrete: Using the correct ANSI standard carbide tipped bit for the diameter of large diameter Tapcon being installed, drill a hole with a hammer drill a minimum of 1” deeper into the masonry than the large diameter Tapcon will penetrate. With a wrench or electric impact wrench or drill and the correct size socket, insert the screw and tighten until fully seated.

Concrete Block: Using the correct ANSI standard carbide tipped bit for the diameter of large diameter Tapcon being installed, drill a hole with a hammer drill a minimum of 1” deeper into the masonry than the large diameter tapcon will penetrate. Using a socket wrench, insert a screw into hole and hand tighten until fully seated.

 

Learn about Tapcon screws specifications on this page brought to you by Concrete Fastening Systems, Inc.

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Always use personal protective equipmentAs with any anchoring project, it is important to keep safety in mind and follow instructions carefully. Always remember to wear safety goggles, handle all tools with extra care and follow all technical specifications. This article is meant to serve only as a basic explanation of concrete fasteners. Always refer to manufacturer's instructions or consult a contracting expert during any anchoring project.

Article Written By:
Mike Pistorino, Vice-President Operations

 

 

 

 


Concrete Fastening Systems, Inc. has over 40 years of experience selling concrete fasteners. We can ship out one box or a whole pallet of concrete anchors. Our products are of the highest quality... "your satisfaction is guaranteed". We ship all orders the same day the order is received.

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