Attaching wood to brick - Nix the Tapcons

Rennie Heuer

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Constantine, MI
The time has come (long overdue) for me to begin the built-ins and new mantle for my ugly fireplace. The first order of business is to attach some strapping to the brick to which my cabinetry and over mantle will be fastened. What's the best way to do this?:huh:

My first thoughts were to use Tapcon screws. I've never used them before, but I have heard many raves about them. Do they hold equaly well in brick as in concrete? That's the next question - where should the screws go? In the mortar line or directly into the brick? Does it matter?:dunno:

Here is the beast in all its "before" glory.
DSC_0011.jpgDSC_0012.jpg
 
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Jim DeLaney

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I've used the Tapcons in brick, and they worked quite well.

Used them to attach a big mantlepiece. A few months later, the homeowner caught her five year old standing on the mantle shelf, so I'd say the Tapcons held pretty well. :D
 

Art Mulder

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London, Ontario
I have a similar ugly fireplace in our Family Room.

Several times I have considered ripping out the top half of the brickwork. But we've decided that just putting a big mirror above the mantle will cover up most of the ugliness and make the room brighter and appear larger.

...art
 
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Location
Victoria BC
Hammerdrill a 3/16" hole thru the wood and into the brick, not the joint as it's too soft. Slide a piece of electrical wire,the white, black or red with the plastic still on it, the same length as the fastener you're going to use into the hole and put in your fastener. I usually use 3" course galvanized spike or 3" screws when attaching 2x4's to concrete or masonry. By leaving the insulating covering on the wire the nail or screw can bite in and really hold well and if you use a screw it can be removed easily. Positioning the fastener at different sides of the wire allows you to pull the wood side to side slightly.
 

Bob Gibson

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Amherst, New Hampshire
Tapcons work great and are perfect for this application.
You could also use a plastic "hit" anchor or a 1/4" sleeve anchor.

I've sold millions of tapcons to contractors. Never a problem.


Always use the horizontal mortar joint. Never the vertical joint.
 
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J Hutcheson

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Nepean,Ontario,Canada
Just use a french cleat on the back of the mantel your
gonna make

for the part that attaches to the brick
use the plastic inserts and screws
been doing it this way every week for 20 years

I make mantels for a living
on your situation , I usually just do 7 by 7 shelf mantels
7" in height, and 7" in width

you can make the whole mantel from less than a half
sheet of veneer
 

Karl Brogger

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Dennison, MN
Regardless of fastener I'd still apply a liberal amount of PL400 to anything you're sticking on the brick.

At the very least, some poor fool will curse the day you were born when its replaced.
 

Dan Gonzales

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Whittier, CA, USA
I used to work as a mason's assistant and every mason I ever worked for said to drill anchors in the mortar joint, never in the brick or stone, and not at mortar joint intersection. Something about the compression of the bricks making the joint the best anchor location.

Cheers,
 

Drew Watson

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Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
Tapcons work great and are perfect for this application.
You could also use a plastic "hit" anchor or a 1/4" sleeve anchor.

I've sold millions of tapcons to contractors. Never a problem.


Always use the horizontal mortar joint. Never the vertical joint.
I agree Bob Tapcons or sleeve anchors in the mortor on the horizontal. 3/16 holes with wire and nails work good for concrete but not so good with mortor.
 

Rennie Heuer

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Constantine, MI
Ok Rennie so you have so many choices what did you decide to do. Are you dun yet?;):rofl:
:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Well, I think I needed to be a bit more clear as it is more than just the mantle I wish to attach. There will be a frame and panel over-mantle as well as pilasters on the sides of the firebox. I think I will try the Tapcons in the mortar joint and see where that goes. It will just be some 1x2 pine strapping to which the finished panel unit will be attached. As for the mantel, probably something heaver attached with lags to which the finished mantle will be attached.

I start tomorrow morning Rob.:D
 

Brent Dowell

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Reno NV
Is it solid brick or just a veneer on top of sheet rock?

Seems like if it's a solid masonry fireplace you'll be ok. Otherwise I wonder if there some way of finding the studs behind the brick?
 

Rennie Heuer

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Constantine, MI
With a big smile and dreams of grandeur in my noggin I went over to the borg this afternoon and picked up a box of Tapcons so I could begin attaching the strapping to the old brick fireplace. Well, so much for that.:(:(

I read and followed the directions :D and placed the first hole in the horizontal mortar joint as was suggested here. Then I pre-drilled the strap and screwed it to the brick - the mortar turned to powder and the screw could be pulled out with little effort. Then I tried putting the screw into the brick, but had similar results.:bang::bang:

I'm not happy.:( Guess the next step is to use anchors or masonry nails and construction adhesive. I had wanted to avoid that if I could. No choice now.:dunno:
 
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