Published by Robert Carlisle on Aug 31st 2010
The Lowe’s screws designed for use in concrete are the Tapcon® brand concrete screws made by ITW/Redhead that are manufactured in the United States. The same Lowe’s screws can be purchased from us at a much lower price and will be shipped the same day. A Tapcon® bit comes in each box of one hundred Tapcon® concrete screws as well.
Applications for Lowe’s Screws
Lowe’s concrete screws can be used in a variety of base materials such as concrete, brick or block. These screws are for light duty applications. The standard blue Lowe’s screws can be used in indoor applications and the stainless steel for outdoor applications.
Why Buy Lowe’s Screws
If you are at a Lowe’s store and you need a screw that will fasten items to concrete then purchasing the Lowe’s screws is the best option. If you are working on a project and have a need for the concrete screw required for the application then purchasing Lowe’s screws is also the best option. Lowe’s screws are convenient, but the cost per item is very high. Not all sizes of the Tapcon® are stocked in the store or sold by Lowe’s.
Buying Lowe’s Screws at Concretefasteners.com
If a project using concrete screws is coming up and there is time to plan, buying the Tapcon® concrete screws at www.concretefasteners.com will save you as much as 30% to 50%. Contractors who use the Lowe’s Tapcon® screws on a regular basis should start buying them online, or stock up and save even more. It will make your life simpler by having the item you need ready to use on any application that may come up.
The concrete screws come in two diameters of 3/16” and 1/4”. The different diameters are used in different applications depending on: 1) the holding value required 2) the hole in the fixture being attached to the base material. The 1/4” diameter screw has better holding values both in tension and shear than the 3/16” diameter. If the fixture being fastened has a predrilled hole then the diameter of the screw that fits through the hole should be the diameter used for that particular application.
Length of Screws
The thickness of the material being fastened determines the length of screw to use in any particular application. The Lowe’s screw must penetrate the base material a minimum of 1’ and a maximum of 1-3/4”. To determine the length of screw to use, add the thickness of the material being fastened to the minimum embedment depth of 1” for the minimum length screw to use. Adding the thickness of the material being fastened to the maximum embedment of 1-3/4” will give you the maximum length of screw to use.
Diameter of Hole
Each diameter of screw requires a specific diameter of the hole to be drilled for the Lowe’s screws to obtain the desired holding values. The hole must be drilled using a carbide tipped bit that meets ANSI standards and must be used in a hammer type drill. The 3/16” diameter screw needs a 5/32” diameter hole, and the 1/4” diameter screw needs a 3/16” diameter hole.
Depth of Hole
In order for the Lowe’s screws to be installed correctly, the hole must be drilled a minimum of 1/4” deeper than the screw will penetrate the base material. This extra space at the bottom of the hole is designed to allow the dust created during the tapping process of the base material to fall out of the way of the final installation. If the extra space is not left during the drilling process then the screw may bottom out in the hole, creating a situation that does not allow the screw to be properly set.
There are two different head styles available in these concrete screws: the hex slotted washer head and the flat Phillips countersunk head. The hex slotted washer head style screws are used in applications where the fixture allows for the head to be above the surface of the fixture and where the extra bearing surface is needed. The flat Phillips countersunk screw are used in applications where the head of the screw must be below the surface of the fixture being fastened.
Drivers for Lowe’s Screws
Each head style requires a different size and type of driver to successfully install the Lowe’s screw. The hex slotted washer head utilizes a nut driver, the 3/16” diameter needs a 1/4” diameter nut driver and the 1/4” needs a 5/16” diameter nut driver. The flat countersunk Phillips utilizes a Phillips driver, the 3/16” diameter needs a #2 Phillips driver and the 1/4” needs a #3 Phillips driver.
Installation of Lowe’s Screws
1. Using a hammer drill and carbide tipped bit that meets ANSI standards, drill a hole in the base material the correct diameter for the concrete screw being installed.
2. With a wire brush, compressed air or vacuum clean out the hole of all the dust and debris created during the drilling process.
3. Insert the screw into the hole in the base material, turning clockwise by hand or with a drill, pushing lightly to allow the threads to tap the base material.
4. Tighten the concrete screw until the head of the screw is tight against the surface of the fixture.