How to attach a 2x4 to a brick

Updated April 17, 2017

Building with both brick and wood requires a method to connect the two types of material to provide structure and support. Attaching wood fireplace mantles, framing, shelving and supports to brick requires screws or sleeves specifically designed to expand and hold inside brick. Unlike wood, in which screw threads or nails can bind and hold, brick will shatter and powder. Attaching wood to brick requires additional planning to avoid drilling into the soft mortar, which is far less stable.

Place the 2-by-4 wood on the brick to which you will attach it. Mark the wood to indicate the places through which you will drill to secure it to the brick. Ensure the markings will allow the tapcon screws to embed in the brick, not the mortar. Mark the brick at the end of the wood to allow you to return the wood to the original position.

Pre-drill the wood with a drill bit slightly smaller than the tapcon screw width. Pre-drilling the holes prevents the wood from splitting along the grain during the installation process.

Align the wood against the brick marking to return the wood to the original position.

Place the screw into the pre-drilled hole. Screw the tapcon screw through the wood into the brick. The tapcon screw drills its own hole into the brick and then uses soft metal threads to hold the screw in place. Screw the remaining tapcon screws into the brick.

Line up the 2-by-4 wood against the brick. Mark the locations at which you intend to secure the wood to the brick. Using a small drill bit smaller than the final screw you will use, drill through the wood until you reach the brick. The drill bit will mark the outer edge of the brick when it passes through the wood.

Remove the wood from the brick.

Select a drill bit size. Hold the anchor or anchor sleeve up to the drill bits to compare the sizes. The concrete drill bit should be the exact size or just slightly larger than the anchor or anchor sleeve.

Attach the concrete drill bit to the hammer drill. Drill into the brick at the marked locations. The hole depth should slightly exceed the installed anchor depth.

Press the anchor into the hole in the brick. If necessary, tap the anchor into the hole with a hammer.

Align the wood over the brick. Insert the screws into the wood holes. Screw through the wood into the anchors. The anchor will expand, pressing against the brick to secure the wood against the brick.


Use adhesive glue to provide additional strength to the wood and brick mount.


Do not drill into mortar. Mortar is softer than brick and provides a much less secure mount point.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer drill
  • Wood drill bits
  • Screw bit
  • Tapcon anchors
  • Sleeve anchors
  • Concrete drill bits
  • Hammer
  • Builder's adhesive glue
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About the Author

Skip Shelton has been writing since 2001, having authored and co-authored numerous articles for "Disclose Journal." He holds a Bachelor in Science in education and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in management from Northwest Nazarene University. Shelton also operates a small automotive maintenance and part-replacement shop.