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4 Valuable Methods You Need to Know to Attach Wood to Brick

Feb. 2017

Chances are, you have pondered putting a wooden structure or plank over a plain brick wall. Whether you need to put in a handy wooden shelf or create a fireplace mantelpiece over brick, worry not, we’ve got you covered!

Now, attaching wood to brick can be quite a difficult task, and you may need special kinds of screws and sleeves that can fix their hold by expanding inside the brick.

Why is this so? When you’re binding wood to wood, all you have to do is use normal screws, nails, etc., but the same binding material might make the brick crumble and break, becoming useless. Also, it is essential to not drill into the mortar, which may disintegrate the part you’re working on. So, you need to plan a bit differently when binding wood to brick in any manner.

4 Valuable Methods You Need to Know to Attach Wood to Brick

What You Need

Before you start any project, make sure you have all that you need on hand and, most importantly, within reach. This will ensure that you don’t go running off in the middle of your project to locate the next needed tool, which is time-consuming and frustrating.

For attaching wood to brick, you should have the following:

  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Brush for scrubbing
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Measuring tape
  • Marking tool
  • Glue
  • Masonry nails
  • Heavy hammer (not for wood)
  • Hammer drill (can use a regular drill with a carbide bit)
  • Pre-drilled fasteners
  • Expansion fasteners

Different Methods

There are quite a few different methods in which one can go about attaching wood to brick. How do we get to know which method to choose? This would be determined by the actual project you have—what exactly are you attaching and what is the end goal? How is this wooden structure going to be used?

Using these criteria, you would be able to decide whether to use glue to attach wood to brick or use nails and fasteners.

Different tools: In the list given above, you might have noticed that there are somewhat different tools required. Even though you are working with wood, you will not be using a wood hammer, but a heavy one. This is because Masonry is quite a solid material and difficult to hammer into.

Also, a hammer drill or a normal drill with a carbide is required to drill into both the brick and the wood. Even with these tools, some form of eye protection is a must, since tiny fragments of brick, mortar, and concrete may be released when you start drilling or hammering.

  • The Glue Method:

Glue is one of the many methods by which wood can be attached to a brick. The main advantages of this method are that is it usually the most inexpensive as well as the easiest way.

However, since glue doesn’t last as long as other methods, it should only be used when the wooden structure is not needed for a long time. If you want your project to be more permanent, you might have to consider using another method in addition to or instead of glue.

Cleaning:

1) Scrub the wood and the brick before starting your project. Make sure they are free from any dirt, mud or other residue left over from previous projects. For this, you can make use of our scrubbing brush, soap, and water. Whatever you do, do NOT damp the wood! That would weaken it and may cause warping.

2.) After cleaning, wait until both materials are dry, and then start with the glue. Sometimes, you may have to leave the two materials overnight to make sure they dry completely.

Measuring and Marking

Use your measuring tape to figure out the exact place where the wood will be attached to the brick. Once this is done, use your marking tool, like a marker or pencil, to mark the place.

Glue Application

Dot the glue on the wood, and then carefully join the wood to the masonry (or brick). You may hold the two material together until your glue dries and fixes its hold. Alternatively, masonry nails might be used to hold the whole thing together until your glue does its work.

What kind of glue would be best for this purpose? A polyurethane glue is quite good for attaching wood to brick. This is due to its waterproof and strong bonding features.

  • The Nail Method :

Wood can be nailed to brick, concrete, or cement. What we need to realize is that this method may not have the cleanest or flawless finish. Hence, nailing should do the trick if you are looking to hold a temporary project together, or don’t have need of a particularly solid finish.

Masonry nails will need to be used, which are easily available at stores of hardware. These again come in a couple of different types; hardened concrete nails, or cut nails. Both of these can be used even when dealing with concrete or mortar that is still a bit damp and not wholly cured.

Measuring:

As with glue, take a measuring tape to the place where you will be attaching wood to masonry.

Marking:

Use a marking tool and mark the exact spots where the nails should be hammered in.

Hammering the Nails:

The nails should then be hammered into the wood unless the point just comes out at the other end. A four-pound hammer should be very handy here.

Hold the wood in the marked place on the wall.

Pro tip: You can use a bit of glue to hold it in place while you hammer the nails into the brick!

  • The Pre-Drilled Fastener Method :

Pre-drilled fasteners can be used to attach wood to brick. For this, a hole needs to be drilled into the masonry. A hammer drill can be purchased or sometimes even rented for this purpose. A normal drill with a carbide is also acceptable but can take up a lot more time. So choose your drill wisely according to your need.

Measuring and Marking:

As in the glue and nails methods, measuring and marking the place where the wood will be fixed to the brick is essential. The places for drilling holes will have to be marked after careful measurement.

Drilling and Marking:

Using your drill, make holes in the brick, keeping them almost as deep as the fastener span. Grab your marking tool and mark where the wood will come next to these holes.

Glue:

Dot the wood with glue to hold it in place while you use the fasteners.

Fasteners:

Make sure the markings on the wood are next to the holes in the masonry. Hammer in the fasteners with the heavy hammer. The fastener should go inside the drilled hole. This will secure the wood to the brick.

  • Using Expansion Fasteners :

A little tool called the expansion fastener would probably make your life easy while attaching wood to brick. These are probably the simplest and most secure method of the lot. You can use them to fix your wood to brick, concrete or cement and rest easy!

Hammer Drill: A hammer drill is needed when using expansion fasteners, as deep holes in the masonry will be required.

Measuring and Drilling the Hole:

Take a measuring tape to your wood and drill a hole in the brick. Make sure the drilled hole is about a quarter-inch more than the depth of your wood. This will make sure that your fastener is holding the wood on in a secure manner, as the wood won’t be at risk of falling due to its own weight.

Marking for the Expansion Fastener:

Use your marking tool to highlight the exact place where the fastener would go inside the wood. Be sure to make the marking according to the hole you just drilled in the masonry.

Inserting the Expansion Fastener:

There should be an expander part on your expansion fasteners. Enter this part into the marking you have just made of the wood.

Grab your heavy hammer (be careful, though!), and pound away, hammering the fastener into the wood and then into the brick.

Tightening:

After this, you will tighten the fastener, which would itself take hole of its expanded. The expander, true to its name, will grow a bit bigger and fixate itself in the hole. This will make the wood firmly attached to the wall or whatever brick structure you are working on. Even if the fastener loosens over time, it can easily be tightened again.

Conclusion

Attaching wood to brick is not as difficult as it may seem. This is especially true if you are used to such projects. Just be sure to take note of your actual needs and plan accordingly. For example, for a temporary project, you can simply use glue and nails. For a more long-lasting structure with a neat and firm finish, fasteners would probably be the best option.

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