Fixing with Plastic Wall Plugs
(For fixing with resins, please scroll down)
This is an easy way to fix when you have a perfect wall – easily drilled, firm and thick enough to take a plug. Wall plugs essentially come in 4 sizes and colours. You will see various grey and other coloured plugs on the market and each have a job to do, but for the purposes of this project and to assist you in getting a good fixing to a brick, block or concrete wall or ceiling, we will just deal with the 4 major players.
- Yellow plugs fit into holes made by a 5mm drill bit and are for screw sizes 4 - 8
- Red wall plugs fit into a hole made by a 6mm drill bit and are for screw sizes 6 - 10
- Brown wall plugs fit into a hole made by a 7mm drill bit and are for screw sizes 10 - 14
- Blue wall plugs fit into a hole made by a 10mm drill bit and are for screw sizes 14 - 18
Screws come in all shapes and sizes. The larger the number of the screw, the larger the diameter. For example a number 8 screw is smaller than a number 10. This is the gauge number of a screw and is measured using the head of the screw rather than the diameter of the shaft. Numbers 8 and 10 are the most popular screw sizes and suitable for most fixings at home.
Now you have all of the equipment you can start fixing.
Firstly lay out everything you need. Use a little tape of some kind to wrap round your drill bit to measure the depth of the hole you wish to drill. This will be determined by the length of the screw which will be in the wall. The bracket we are fixing below is 7mm thick and the screw is 50mm long. There will be 43mm of screw in the wall. As the screw does not go right to the very end of the wall plug, and there is always a little drilling dust left at the end of the hole, we always add 10mm to the depth of the hole for this. In this example we therefore have 43mm of screw in the wall plus 10mm allowance = a hole 53mm deep. This is marked on the drill bit by a little green tape.
Next we hold our piece up to the wall if possible to mark the position of the screws. If this is not possible, measuring accurately will do the same job. You will see above we always mark our position with a V shape. The point of the V is where we want to drill. Using just a dot or a line can result (after an interruptive phone call or a sudden rush to the toilet) in forgetting just where the dot is or which end of the line you were going to drill to. There is no doubt with a V and most Pros will use the same method. Make sure whichever mark you make will be covered by the work.
Next drill the hole ! Make sure the drill is level and going in at right angles to the wall. Some drills even have tiny spirit levels incorporated in the body for this.
Push in the plug you are using, making sure it is all in the hole and screw in your piece. We are using an electric screwdriver/drill which is the most wonderful invention known to man !!
Standing back and admiring your work is always a good thing to do at this point! Enjoy.
Fixing Timber Battens to Masonry with Plastic Plugs
To fix a timber batten hold the batten in position on the wall making sure it is level using a spirit level. Mark the wall with a pencil. Take the batten down and drill a 5mm hole in the centre of the batten to push a screw threw. Put the batten back on the wall to the line you have drawn. Push a screw through the pre drilled hole and wiggle it on the wall to mark it.
Using a 6mm masonry bit, drill a hole to the correct depth. Push in the wall plug and screw the timber up tight to the line. You can now use the masonry bit to drill right through the timber and the wall (don't forget to alter your depth marker).
Push the wall plug into the timber, turn the screw in a couple of turns and tap it through with a hammer. You will feel the plug slip through the timber into the wall and when you do it is time to screw the screw in. This method saves you marking each hole individually which can lead to mistakes. To be fair it does eventually blunt the masonry bit slightly but it takes about 650 holes through timber to do this and the time saved, together with the accuracy involved, makes it worth it.
Fixing with resins
If you need help with any type of Epoxy or Polyester Resin fixing or filler Property Repair Systems will be pleased to give you completely free, no obligation advice on 01626 336180. The information you need may be in the Project below, but if not call them for expert, unbiased assistance with building products.
Fixing brackets for shelves, curtain poles, picture rails, dado rails, anything in the home that requires drilling into masonry or concrete, requires a few special fixing techniques. In some cases plastic plugs simply will not work – usually because the masonry is too soft, is cracked or is too hard to drill. In these cases Resins come to the rescue – Anchor Resins (for bonding in bolts, studs and screws), Epoxy Fillers (for providing a base to which you can screw or bolt) and Epoxy Thixotropic Adhesives (for bonding objects directly).
To get through most masonry surfaces you will need to own or hire a powerful electric drill with a hammer action. We do not suggest you buy one less than 500W. A masonry drill bit will also be required - you can tell if a drill bit is for drilling masonry or concrete by the shape of the end. A masonry bit has a flat cutting section at the end which is slightly wider than the shaft of the drill bit. This allows the drill bit to cut its way through the masonry or concrete and the cut material can escape through the grooves back to the opening of the hole.
Do not buy cheap masonry bits, they will make your life very hard work and, if you have a lot to do, will blunt quickly. This makes you push the drill harder which makes the drill bit wobble and enlarges the hole beyond the size you want.
If you have a large, say 10mm, hole to drill through a very hard surface, it is asking a lot of the drill bit (and drill) to do this in one go. Especially if you do not have the powerful tools the professionals use. It is easier to drill a smaller hole first and then increase it with a larger drill bit. You will then end up with a hole the correct size in the exact position you wanted it.
Anchoring with Resins
Four easy stages complete this operation and all tools and materials are available at www.epoxy-info.co.uk.
1. Drill your hole in the desired location. Next, you will require a suitabel stud. These are generally available in 8, 10 and 12mm sizes. Dowels, for reinforcement or joining are available in high tensile plated steel or epoxy-glass in 6 – 25mm diameters. Masonry drill bits are required for this and you need to allow a standard over-size of at least 4mm on the diameter – an 8mm stud will require a 12mm drill bit and so on. (See www.epoxy-info.co.uk) for further information.
2. Clean the hole of dust and debris. Proprietary brushes are available or you can use air, by blowing down a tube (don’t suck, close your eyes and wear a dust mask and eye protection) or using a compressor.
3. Inject resin using the applicator skeleton gun fitted with an extension tube of the correct length and diameter to reach the bottom of the hole. Inject gently, slowly removing the tube from the hole, to deposit resin without trapping air. For accurate, waste free injection pre-mark the tube with tape, so that you can stop operating the trigger when the tape appears.
Set the tape at a distance from the tube end to allow for the resin that will be displaced by the bar. Various applicator skeleton guns are available, depending upon which resin you choose. You may already have the basic 300cc and/or 400cc skeleton guns, which are used with the Ultra Thixotropic Range.
4. Mask the threaded stud with electrical tape over the part required to take the nut, to avoid resin contamination, which might block the threads. Take the stud in the gloved hand and slowly rotate whilst pushing it into the resin filled hole. Complete kits are available for resin fixing if you have a lot to do.
Types fo ResinThere are two main types:
These are available in fast (3 – 6 minutes), medium (15 – 30 minutes) and slow setting (4 – 6 hours) formulations in three main pack types;
- Single cartridge tube – no hand mixing required - two resins inside in a plastic bag – fits standard skeleton guns – resins mix in the nozzle, inside a spiral, which is replaced if the resin hardens before the tube is exhausted.
- Single cartridge tube – hand mixing required - fits standard skeleton guns – mixed resin pushed into an empty cartridge using a grease pot type pusher plate.
- Dual cartridge tube – no hand mixing required - two resins inside twin plastic tubes linked together – requires a specific skeleton gun for each type, depending on cartridge size and mix ratio – resins mix in the nozzle, inside a spiral, which is replaced if the resin hardens before the tube is exhausted.
Fixing Timber Battens to Masonry with Resin
Clean the wall surface to remove all loose material, paint, varnish and plaster. Mark around the batten onto the wall with a pencil and then coat the back of the batten and the marked wall area with Thixo Rapid Resin. This mixes in the nozzle and sets in 3 – 6 minutes.
Press the batten onto the resin and hold for a few minutes (or prop) until the resin begins to set. You can then use the batten to provide a base for nails or screws, to hold your cupboard or radiator, for example.
If you need help with any type of bonding or fixing product Property Repair Systems will be pleased to give you completely free, no obligation advice on 01626 336180.
Why not check out our video section on "using a power drill" to watch a film on how to safely use an electric drill. You might also like to check out our video section on fixing to brickwork for other relevant videos.