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Question DetailsAsked on 3/25/2017

How do I mount a Screw Hook on a concrete ceiling?

I am planning to install hanging planters from the ceiling made of concrete. How do I mount Screw Hooks on ceiling so I can hang the planter? Here is an image for reference

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2 Answers


Unless you own this building, be sure to get permission from building owner or condo manager first - this is normally prohibited in apartment/condo buildings.

Then - whether DIY'ing it or using a handyman, first make sure there are no radiant heat loops (electric or hydronic) in the concrete you are drilling into - and you should really have plans of where any conduit or plumbing run in the concrete so you don't hit them and rack up a $500-1500 range repair for that.

Rebar and steel conduit and metal pipe should be detectable with a metal stud detector, electrical MAYBE with a circuit tracer (depending on depth in concrete) - and of course the anchor should not come close to penetrating the slab thickness, so if the slab is thinnish you might need a larger diameter anchor to hold the design load. And the anchor hole should be at least 10 hole diameters from any free edge of the concrete to avoid splitting it out as the bolt is tightened in the anchor. And all holes should be pencil marked out first if you want a straight line of hangers, to be sure ALL are clear of interferences BEFORE the first one is drilled - and I would NOT allow a handyman to drill without detecting conduit/piping and rebar first. And I always pilot hole with a 1/8" bit first to make sure I do not hit anything that I either do not want to drill through, or for some reason cannot get the hole through it (can be a problem in hard aggregatewith drill bit, rotary-percussion bit should be able to go through any kind of aggregate). THen after the entire line is pilot holed, go back and enlarge to desired full diameter - not only makes sure the straight line layout should work, but also makes the large hole drilling go faster and straighter. (If a 1/8" pilot hole hits something that makes you move the holes, easy to patch a 1/8" hole with just a bit of toothpaste-consistency patching or portland cement.

Hole is drilled with a carbide bit - and your cordless drill is not at all likely to hack this (MAYBE for one), needs a cord-powered good 3/8" or preferably 1/2" drill or an impact rotary-persussion drill - rentable for maybe $25/day plus about $10-20 for the size bit you are likely to need, which should be good for at least 10 holes or more.

There are also epoxy-in anchor kits which take a smaller hole, but personally I would not trsut those for this application, especially if the pots falling would hurt someone or damage cherished plants.

Depending on how much wet pot weight you plan on putting on it, for only 5-10 pounds a plastic expension anchor insert should be fine unless there are going to be swinging in the wind a lot. For swinging pots or more weight (like the string of pots you gave the image of), then a lead insert anchor is the anchor type to use up to about 40-100 pounds max load. For more than about 50 pounds total load, I would recommend a stainless or cadmium plated (except in slaty environments) expansion anchor bolt instead.

Images of the three are shown in order here :

Come in different diameters and lengths for different load capacities - then would put in matching thread type (lag or machine, both available) threaded hook or eye bolt (better) into the anchor. (Eye bolt best - pry open just enough with flathead screwdriver to slip solid wire or chain type plant hanger onto it, or just slip in hook or tied-type pot hangers through the eye.)

Available in small packs (some smaller types include a drill bit too) and singletons available at hardware, home improvement, many box stores. I would recommend not exceeding 1/3 the rated capacity for safety, especially if these will fall and could hit someone on the head or possibly fall several stories off a balcony if it fails. The extra safety capacity also allows for someone stumbling and grabbing the hanging pots for stability. The extra size for added capacity is pretty minimal, as is cost differential - a buck or two per hanger extra for 100#+ capacity versus 10-20#, so if looking at a chain of pots like you showed, and most especially if using clay or metal pots instead of plastic, or using topsoil rather than potting soil because those factors can quickly add up the weight, especially when you dd in the water weight which can double the load easily.

Hint - if looking at hanging a lot of pots, commonly putting in a hanger strip of wood (2x4 or larger) with just a few good weight capacity anchor bolts spaced at maybe 1 foot or two spacing (with good washers at the wood to prevent pull-through), then hanging the pots from that wood strip allows less concrete drilling and is a lot easier to do - using just regular 1/4" to 1/2" (depending on pot weights) screw eyes to hang the pots from the wood strip.

BTW - unless this planter/pots falling would not endanger anyone or scare the dog/cat out of its skin, I pretty strongly recommend against the mix and apply epoxy or peel-and-stick type plant hangers - they have a nasty habit of letting loose over time or sometimes due to high humidity. Maybe OK for a 2-3" pot with a tiny cactus or african violet in it, but not a real pot or chain of them.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services

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