Anchoring railing in concrete: Other Home Building  -- Home Building Discussion Forum and Review Anchoring railing in concrete: Other Home Building -- Home Building Discussion Forum

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 05-27-2009, 09:31 Post: 162988
kwschumm



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 Anchoring railing in concrete

Now that the rain has stopped I'm getting back to work on the retaining walls that were started last fall. I'm planning on installing custom rails on the steps that will be anchored in concrete. My question is about anchoring.

Embedding J bolts in the concrete when it's placed would probably provide the strongest possible anchor. However, I'd like to place the concrete now and order the rails later when everything else is complete. If the slightest error exists in positioning of J-bolts or if the rails arrive and are off dimensionally it will cause a big problem.

Is there a good, solid way to bolt metal stair rails to concrete after the concrete has cured that will result in a extremely solid mount? Tapcons have never impressed me much since they always seem to loosen and fail.






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 05-27-2009, 10:02 Post: 162994
auerbach



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 Anchoring railing in concrete

Sure. Drill an oversize hole in the concrete, part-fill with epoxy, insert the anchors. Loc-Tite, for one, sells an epoxy designed for this, and even has an application device to ensure the epoxy reaches the bottom of the hole. I use this to make Tapcons hold better.

(You may recall the Big Dig tragedy where a heavy concrete ceiling panel fell and killed a driver. Turns out the contractor neglected to use the specified epoxy system.)






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 05-27-2009, 10:02 Post: 162995
Murf

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 Anchoring railing in concrete

You can use something called "non shrinking grout" (which is actually concrete not grout) to do what you want.

You over drill and then set the anchor in with this stuff and it will never move. The 'grout' is a really soupy runny mixture that, as the name suggests, cures without shrinking back at all. It is designed specifically for filling cracks and setting anchors. Some companies actually call it "anchor set" not grout.

The usual way to do railings though is to fab the railing and the mount as 2 seperate pieces, the mounts go on the concrete, then the railing is placed on top, then the 2 are welded together in place.

Best of luck.






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 05-27-2009, 11:01 Post: 163000
kwschumm



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 Anchoring railing in concrete

Thanks everyone. Now I feel a lot better about placing the concrete first and installing the railing later.






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 05-27-2009, 13:31 Post: 163003
auerbach



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 Anchoring railing in concrete

One J-bolt would hold the rail for spotting the holes and then while the filler hardens. (If even a single bolt doesn't line up, J-bolt metal cuts easily with a metal-wheel in a grinder.)

The constructive adhesive PL400 comes in pails and jumbo tubes. (Stands for PLasticon. Holds better than the consumer version PL200.) Will stick metal to concrete, doesn't flow or shrink. Not sufficiently strong or free-flowing for the hole filler, but would make easy shims if the rail bottoms don't perfectly match the step contours.

The obvious answer was to drill though the mounting holes into the steps and insert expanding bolts. They would hold only if the concrete is thick rather than just a veneer, and if the holes were not near the outside of the step.






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 05-27-2009, 19:35 Post: 163013
earthwrks

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 Anchoring railing in concrete

A company called Fasten-All which is all over the country xan supply those epoxy capusles. Also a company called Hilti offers their own epoxy system. In any event, be sure to plow out all the cement dust vefore using the epoxy. the better systems have a builtin system that blows out the dust.

What's popular here more or less on commercial jobs is the railings have a extended posts which can be field-cut. A diamond core bit (about 2-3" dia.) is used to drill through the concrete, and the core removed. The posts/arilings are set in postion and a soft, epoxy-like substance is poured around it to the level of the concrete. It leaves a clean look having no fasteners.

You could reverse engineer this by first placing an oversize sleeve made of thin wall PVC (so it doesn't show so much a ring of plastic). Then you could pour concrete, come back and install the railings. You could use the anchor mix Murf mentioned or whathave you. You could also use a paper tube--the PVC or the paper could be removed prior to pouring.

There is also a product called hydraulic cement. As the name implies as it cures it expands. Not sure if I'd use it to fill the core holes.






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 06-12-2009, 12:41 Post: 163397
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 Anchoring railing in concrete

There is also another system that does not use epoxy. It is a drive in anchor. A hole is drilled into the concrete, then an anchor is put in. A pin inside the anchoe is driven down using a pin punch. An anchorused for a 3/8" bolt can hold up to 2000lbs per bolt. should be strong eneough for a railing. They are sold by Hiltiand come in all kinds of different sizes.






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 06-12-2009, 14:34 Post: 163399
auerbach



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 Anchoring railing in concrete

Further to the above, you don't have to go to Hilti -- it's also a hardware-store item, at least the smaller sizes. The advantage of this system (forgot what it's called) is that you can first fit the workpiece to the ground-structure (that is, set the rail on the concrete) and drill a single hole right through the work into the ground, set the anchor through the piece into the ground, then hammer down the center-rod to expand-set the anchor.






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 06-12-2009, 17:07 Post: 163403
kthompson



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 Anchoring railing in concrete

Red Head has a few products also sold at hardware stores. Just looked at there site and they product line is much larger than I had seen before but it has been a few years since I needed such.






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