Things You'll Need
Protective eye goggles
Masonry nail anchors
Small sledge hammer
Whether you are trying to finish a concrete basement or just hang a tool hook on the wall, the odds are at some point a nail will have to be driven through a cement wall. The task may seem impossible, but with the proper masonry nails and hammer, along with a bit of know-how and some basic equipment, it is certainly doable. Once the task has been mastered, driving nails into cement and most any other masonry material can be accomplished without a problem.
Drill a pilot hole into the concrete wall, using a drill and masonry bit. The hole should be the same size in diameter as the masonry nail anchor. Insert the anchor into the hole so the top rim is flush with the surface of the wall. Hammer the nail into the anchor. Masonry nail anchors will hold light to medium weight objects such as furring strips or metal framing. They are not removable once the nail has been driven.
Drive the masonry nails directly into concrete walls with a hammer. Masonry nails are hardened and have grooved shafts and flat heads. Masonry nails should penetrate the surface of the concrete wall to a depth of 3/4 to 1 inch for a solid hold. If wooden studs are being installed, drill holes through the wood to create a clear path for the nails before driving them into the concrete wall behind. Drive in nails at both ends of the wooden stud first to hold it place.
Drive cut nails into concrete block walls along the seams. Cut nails are wedge-shaped with flat heads and angled shafts. Cut nails can be driven directly through wood studs but will grip well only in mortar or other soft, concrete bonding materials. When installing wooden studs on a concrete block wall, drive the first cut nail through the center of the beam, working outward from there.
Consider a nail gun, which uses gunpowder cartridges. To drive nails through thick wood and into concrete, or to drive a large quantity of nails into concrete in a short time, these machines can be a great option. Nail guns are available for purchase or rental at many large home improvement centers.
Always use caution when working with potentially dangerous tools such as a hammer and nails. Wear protective eye goggles at all times.
Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.