Tapcon Screws Choices
- Diameter – comes in two diameters of 3/16” and 1/4”
- Length –3/16” diameter comes in 7 lengths; the 1/4” comes in 9 lengths
- Hole Depth – hole must be drilled 1/2” deeper than the screw will penetrate the base material
- Head – manufactured as hex washer slotted or flat countersunk phillips
- Material- carbon steel blue Climaseal coated or 410 stainless steel silver Climaseal coated
- Drill Bit – 3/16” diameter tapcon requires a 5/32” bit and the 1/4” tapcon requires a 3/16” bit
- Driver- 3/16” hex requires a 1/4” driver; 1/4” hex requires a 5/16” driver. 3/16” flat head requires a #2 phillips tip and the 1/4” requires a #3 phillips bit
What Diameter Tapcon Screw to Use?
The diameter of tapcon to use for any job is determined by the weight of the object being fastened and/or the diameter of the predrilled hole in the object being fastened. A 3/16” tapcon requires a hole to be a minimum of 1/4” in width. The 1/4” tapcon requires a 5/16” -wide hole in the fixture.
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What Length of Tapcon Screw to Use?
The length of tapcon to use for any application is determined by the thickness of the material being fastened. Tapcon has a minimum embedment of 1” into the base material and a maximum embedment of 1-3/4” into the base material. Adding the minimum and maximum embedments to the thickness of the fixture being fastened will provide the minimum and maximum length tapcon to use.
How Deep Should the Hole be Drilled?
The depth of the hole should be a minimum of 1/2” deeper than the tapcon will penetrate the base material. This leaves a space for the dust created during the drilling process to fall to avoid affecting the installation of the tapcon.
What Head Style of Tapcon Screw to Use?
The head style of tapcon to use is determined by the specific application that the tapcon will be used in. The flat countersunk head tapcon is used in applications where the top of the head will not protrude above the surface of the fixture. The hex head tapcon is used in applications where the head can be above the fixture.
What Material Type Tapcon to Use?
The standard blue Climaseal coated tapcon can be used for indoor applications where moisture is not present. The silver Climaseal coated 410 stainless steel is designed for use in outdoor applications where moisture is present.
What Type of Drill Bit to Use with Tapcons?
All holes for tapcon should be drilled using a hammer drill and a carbide tipped drill bit that meets ANSI standards. Hole size is critical. Drilling the hole with a hammer drill and the correct diameter ANSI standard bit will ensure that the correct tolerance between tapcon diameter and hole diameter.
What Type of Driver to Use with Tapcons?
The driver to use is determined by the head style of the tapcon chosen for any particular application. Using the correct size driver is important to ensure the positive connection between the driver and the head of the tapcon.
Installation Tool Kit for Tapcon Screws
A Tapcon toolkit is available that allows one drill to be used for both operations of drilling the hole in the base material and driving the screw. Using a hammer drill with a Jacobs-style chuck and adaptor will hold the correct diameter tapcon bit and allow the driver sleeve to be fitted over the bit. The hammer is set on the mode for hammer and rotation, and the hole is drilled. Once the hole is drilled, the driver sleeve is placed over the bit and connected to the adaptor connected to the drill. The drill is then placed on the mode for rotation-only and the tapcon is driven into the hole.
Please remember with all fastening jobs to keep safety in mind. Always follow safety instructions on all tools, and refer to manufacturer's installation instructions when available and always remember to wear safety goggles!
Article written by: Bob Carlisle, President Concrete Fastening Systems, Inc