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Tools & Hardware

Drilling holes in cinder/cement block

I am not the handiest guy with DIY; wish I were and envy those who are.


I am retired and doing a garage makeover and, among other things, am taking down the 2X4 strips of wood the previous owner screwed into the garage interior and from which he hung tools, rakes, etc., and replacing them with Husky Secure Lock Track Wall, store SKU 238226, from which I will hang both yard and household tools.


My question:  the former owner drilled the holes for these 2X4s not into the cinderblock itself but into the mortar between the blocks and used wall anchors.


Is it best to secure these anchors in the mortar (if that's what it's called) between the cinder blocks or directly into the block itself?





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Posted 2013-05-07T01:38:12+0000  by CH1938 CH1938

Great Question CH1938!


While it is common to see plastic wall anchors placed in the mortar joints between blocks or between concrete slabs, these anchors are not designed to support heavy loads.


Cinder blocks create a unique problem because they are not solid.


Depending upon how much weight you are supporting, toggle bolts may be your cinder block solution.


They pass through the pilot hole in the sidewall of a block then "butterfly" or toggle open to tighten against the interior wall of the cinder block. Toggle bolts also spread the load across the broader interior surface ... minimizing the opportunity for the load to break the block.


Most masonry anchors are designed to be drilled and placed directly into solid concrete. These anchors carry heavy loads.


Several styles of masonry anchors exist and they are commonly sold with the appropriate concrete/masonry drill bit to pilot the correct size hole to accommodate the anchor.


So your choices are:

Light Loads - plastic inserts

Medium Loads in cinder block - toggle bolts

Heavy Loads - masonry anchors


See your Hardware Associate to review your project and select the appropriate anchor.

Posted 2013-05-07T14:24:11+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Thank you very much Pat.  


For the most part the type of items hanging off those rails will be light-weight, like rakes, brooms, etc., so I think a good-sized plastic insert should do it.


However, If I have it right, there are some steel Husky garage cabinets which can be hung off these rails and I suspect that given the weight of the cabinet alone, never mind the contents, the toggle bolts would be a must.


Getting back to the light weights and plastic inserts:  again, should I drill the holes for those inserts into the mortar or the cement block itself?



Posted 2013-05-07T16:57:55+0000  by CH1938

Hey Carl,


If your weight load is very light, let's say below five-pounds, then pilot your holes in either material based upon the height requirements for the install and use the plastic inserts.


If your weight load is heavier than five-pounds, the plastic inserts simply will not be sufficient.


These plastic inserts are typically used for picture hangers, towel bars, and other quick installs, but not for much weight.


Skip up to a toggle bolt for light-to-medium weights ... look for the load rating.


Determine load by putting your mops, brooms, rakes, etc. into a bucket and place the bucket on the scale.


Remember, after hung, the only indication you'll get that the load was too heavy will be the rack and your tools lying in the floor ... hopefully not damaging other household items, cars, bikes, etc. when they fall.



I tend to expect someone else to come along and hang heavier-than-intended items ... if not now, certainly in the future.


The linen shelf in my laundry room was designed to conveniently stack old dog towels, but became the favorite hanger for multiple coats, jackets, shirts, etc. as they came out of the dryer. With no warning, the load exceeded the tolerances and the entire bunch ended up in a pile on the floor ... with tear out marks on the wall needing repair.


Spending a few more pennies now will most likely secure your load both today and as it changes in the future.

Posted 2013-05-07T18:25:02+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
Again, thank you very much Pat.
Posted 2013-05-09T18:03:24+0000  by CH1938
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