Top Things to Consider When Buying Masonry Anchors

Without masonry anchors, structures can’t be safely held together, which is why using the right fasteners for the job is of paramount importance. You have to identify the right anchoring needs by carefully examining the construction of the structure. This includes paying attention to all the small details like the material used and the overall weight of the structure. Wall fasteners are used in a wide range of applications, including construction projects and DIY home improvement projects. There are literally thousands of different types of anchors, and their uses vary based on three key factors – their load-bearing capabilities, base material and the environment they’re used in. Here are some of the things you need to consider when choosing masonry anchors.

Base Material

Masonry anchors

The right base material for the anchor will depend on the type of material you’re anchoring them to. There are many different materials anchors can be placed into, but the most common ones are concrete, block and bricks, plasters or tiles and drywall. Here’s some more information about these materials and where they’re most commonly applied.

  • Drywall – This is a low-density material formed between two sheets of paper known as wallboard. Drywall is typically used for covering ceilings and studded walls in residential and commercial settings. Its most common thicknesses are 6.35mm, 9.52mm and 12.7mm.
  • Tile or Plaster – This is a mixture of sand, gypsum and water. It’s typically spread over a wood or metal lath, or a gypsum board substrate and it’s applied to existent walls. You’ll have to pre-drill holes before installing anchors.
  • Concrete – This is a mixture of sand, water, cement and aggregate. Concrete is typically used in floors, ceilings and foundations.
  • Brick – Bricks are rectangular-shaped pieces of clay and mortar used for building permanent structures such as building exterior walls. Bricks are available in soft or hard forms with solid or hollow cores.
  • Blocks – A mixture of cement, aggregate and water, typically used for exterior walls. They’re available in solid or hollow wall styles, with hollow walls requiring special anchors to provide reliable load-bearing capabilities.


The conditions where the anchors are fastened can play a huge role in your choice. For instance, the anchors may be exposed to chemicals or high temperatures, in which case you’ll need special chemical anchors that are coated to protect them from the surrounding environmental conditions. For instance, anchors used on outside walls feature coatings for temperature protection and corrosion. Chemical anchors, on the other hand, are treated so they can withstand environments that frequently deal with a wide range of chemicals being transported or used. That being said, it’s important to use the right anchor based on the type of environment it will be fixed in to protect it against failure.

Load Bearing

Masonry anchor

Last but not least, consider the load-bearing demands of the project. The load-bearing requirements take the entire weight of the construction, plus the forces that will be applied to it into account. For instance, will the structure have to hold up extra items when installed? Consider the extra weight that might be added onto it, plus the repetitive forces that will be applied to it once in use. Every anchor type features specific weight capabilities, but they can be categorised into three basic categories – light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty. Make sure to consider the maximum load, which is calculated by applying a safety factor to the average ultimate tension and shear loads from lab testing. The number is typically available on the anchor’s packaging.

Popular Wall Anchors

Just like every other tool and accessory, anchors are designed for specific applications. Buying the appropriate anchor requires understanding all the different types and their functions. Here are some of the most popular types of anchors:

  • Wedge Anchors – Used for solid base materials, such as concrete
  • Hollow Wall Anchors – Used for light-duty masonry applications, such as securing items to concrete, drywall and brick
  • Wallboard Anchors – Self-drilling fixtures used in a range of base materials to attach fixtures in drywalls
  • Drop-in Anchors – Preassembled anchors that feature an internal expansion plag, used in concrete
  • Adhesive Anchors – These feature a strong adhesive, making them suitable for anchoring in base materials, in a variety of weather conditions
  • Sleeve Anchors – Used to fasten aluminium, steel, wood panels, for performing framework, in doors and shelving to concrete bases
  • Stud Anchors – Used to anchor blowers, pumps, pipe run supports and racks
  • Spring Anchors – Secure extension springs
  • Screwbolt Anchors – Secured to wood, masonry and concrete structures
  • Expansion Shield Anchors – Used for embedding items into masonry materials that require high-load bearing.

No matter the application, there’s an anchor type made just for it. All you need to do is figure out the demands of the application and choose the appropriate anchor for the job. Generally, anchors’ packaging will provide a list of uses, and show you its specifications.