How to Connect Steel to Concrete

Written by timothy burns
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Connect Steel to Concrete
Steel must be mechanically fastened to concrete in order to create a lasting conection. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Steel and concrete have dissimilar properties, and for this reason, steel cannot be placed into wet concrete as a way of connecting the two. Steel moves, expanding and contracting with temperature, while concrete does not. Steel will corrode if wet concrete is poured around it, and therefore over time loosen any connection between the two. Therefore steel must be mechanically fastened to concrete in all building applications.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Poured concrete foundation, pad or pier
  • Steel structural member, or steel connector plate
  • HD electric or cordless hammer drill
  • Carbide tipped "rotary percussion" concrete drill bits
  • Lead shields concrete anchors and matching lag screws
  • Socket set, with various size sockets

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Select a concrete anchor which is suited for the application. For most applications, a lead shield concrete anchor is the strongest and most versatile concrete anchor. Concrete sleeve anchors are also versatile and reliable in most applications.

  2. 2

    Mark the holes which are in the steel member, or steel connector plate onto the concrete pier/foundation/pad.

  3. 3

    Drill holes in the concrete to match the holes in the steel connector plate with a hammer drill and carbide tipped, rotary percussion drill bits. Pour a small bit of water on the tip of the drill bit as it drills into the concrete. The water keeps the drill bit cool and helps the bit chew into the concrete.

  4. 4

    Insert the concrete anchor into the hole. The hole must be deep enough for the shield to insert completely. The top of the shield should be just below the surface of the concrete.

  5. 5

    Hold the steel beam/plate up to the holes and insert a lag screw with washer into each hole. Tighten the bolts until the steel is firmly pulled to the concrete. Do not over-tighten the bolts or use a drill to tighten them. Most concrete anchors will strip out if too much force is applied to the head of the bolt.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.