Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
When most people want to hang decorations, lights, or anything on their concrete ceiling, they often consider drilling holes. However, doing so scars the ceiling, leaving it looking untidy. Is drilling the only option, or are there other more ceiling-friendly ways to hang objects from the ceiling?
Here are some ways you can hang objects from concrete ceilings without drilling:
- Use adhesive wall hooks for lightweight objects.
- Use a powder-actuated tool for angle clips and pins.
- Use hardwall hangers on concrete.
- Use tape only on smooth surfaces.
Many homeowners – and landlords, too – discourage drilling on concrete walls and ceilings. The main reason behind this is that concrete is hard, and drilling through it might cause damage through cracking. Fortunately, there are several ways to go around this, so keep reading to find out what they are.
1. Use Adhesive Wall Hooks for Lightweight Objects
Adhesive wall hooks are great for hanging items like plants from a concrete ceiling. What’s more, adhesive walls are easy to use, easy to remove, and don’t require any drilling.
However, they’re not that sturdy and can only hold up objects weighing up to 8 pounds (3.6 kg) only. So, if your item requires extra support, consider using two or more adhesive hooks.
Some of the best adhesive hooks are Command strips or hooks such as the 3M Command Ceiling Hooks from Amazon.com. These hooks work pretty well when hanging small items; some even sport adjustable hooks. You can use them to hang lightweight light fixtures, ceiling decor, or party lights from your ceiling.
The hooks come in a wide range of sizes, with large ones capable of handling 24 to 36-inch (60.9 to 91.4 cm) objects weighing around 16 pounds (7.2 kg). Smaller-sized command strips can only hold up to 4 pounds (1.8 kg).
So, when using adhesive hooks, always use the right weight for your hook. Try using multiple command strips if the item you wish to hang exceeds the weight limit. Also, use the hooks on a smooth, clean surface and wait about an hour before hanging anything.
One major drawback of using adhesive wall hooks, in general, is that concrete’s intrinsic bonding ability isn’t that good. As a result, it’s advisable to use the most suitable adhesive, depending on your attachment.
For instance, pressure adhesives are ideal for light objects, epoxy for metals, and construction adhesives for wooden items. Use a polyurethane construction adhesive to attach ceramic, marble, or granite decorative objects to your concrete ceiling.
Note that an excellent adhesive bond needs to have good wetting abilities. Therefore, the adhesive should spread along the surface rather than bead on the concrete surface.
How To Use Adhesive Wall Hooks
Use the adhesive wall hooks on a clean, smooth surface devoid of loose particles for the best results. This is because such particles can compromise the bond and make it less effective.
Follow the below steps to attach an adhesive wall hook to your ceiling:
- Use an alcohol wipe to clean any dust or dirt particles from the concrete surface.
- Peel off the paper backing from your adhesive wall hook.
- Place the hook on the wall, then apply adequate pressure against the concrete to secure the bond.
- Maintain your grip on the hook for about 20 to 30 seconds.
- Wait for roughly one minute before hanging your item to allow the adhesive to adhere to the wall completely.
2. Use a Powder-Actuated Tool for Angle Clips and Pins
Another way to hang objects from concrete ceilings is by using angle clips and pins. Use these to attach track lights, a hanging partition, or a suspended ceiling on your concrete ceiling. Angle clips contain pre-drilled holes that hold bolts or hanger wires.
To attach them to your ceiling, you need to use a powder-actuated tool. The tool uses the powder charge to fire the pins into your concrete ceiling.
It’s easy to install the clips and pins, but you need to be careful when using the powder-actuated tool for your safety.
How To Use Powder-Actuated Fasteners
Below is a simple guideline to follow when using angle clips and pins:
- Sweep away debris and remove any items from the floor space you’ll use for the installation.
- Determine where to install the clips and mark the concrete ceiling at the exact locations.
- Wear safety glasses and protect your ears, too.
- Place a stepladder at the point where a clip and pin will be installed, and load the powder-actuated tool with a blank cartridge.
- Place a clip on the marked area on your ceiling, with the head facing down, fit the tool onto the pin’s head via the barrel, and push upward.
- Pull the trigger to affix the pin into the concrete, and repeat the process until you install clips in all the marked locations.
When attaching a suspended ceiling, you need to install the clips at intervals of 48 inches (1.2 meters) while the rows should be 24 inches (0.6 meters) apart. For track lights or the hanging partition, follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
3. Use Hardwall Hangers on Concrete
Hardwall hangers are much stronger than adhesive hangers and can hold up objects weighing about 25 pounds (11 kg). Ideal for use on concrete, they’re quick to install and contain sturdy pins that help anchor the base onto the wall. If you hang items weighing more than the recommended weight, use multiple hardwall hangers.
These hanging hooks are ideal for rentals because they cause minimal damage to your ceiling. They’re also simple to remove with a knife or pliers after use.
To install hardwall hangers, simply hammer the tiny steel nails into the ceiling until the hanger lies flat. Avoid hammering on the plastic part as it can easily break.
4. Use Tape Only on Smooth Surfaces
If you want to suspend decorative and ultralight items like paper lanterns, you can use tape like masking tape to affix them to the ceiling. However, it’s important to note that tape is generally best applicable for use on smooth surfaces; otherwise, it won’t adhere well.
For heavier items like mirrors, you may want to try double-sided PSA tape or foam construction such as 3M Scotch 5952 VHB Tape from Amazon.com. These types of tape are remarkably strong, convenient, and easy to use. They’re also easy to remove once no longer required and don’t leave behind a sticky residue.
Tips on Hanging Objects From Concrete Ceiling
To hang your items securely from your concrete ceiling, keep the following points in mind:
- Always attach your hook to a clean surface.
- When using adhesive wall hooks, allow the adhesive to rest for 60 minutes to attain a forceful grip on the concrete surface.
- Use the correct hanging method for your object based on the item’s weight, size, or shape.
- Avoid using command strips on ceilings that are too warm, such as above the heater vent or anywhere humid.
Hanging light fixtures and decor items on your ceiling without drilling through the concrete is not impossible. Follow the guidelines outlined here to select the best option to use depending on the weight, size, and material type you wish to hang. Now you have no more reason not to put up those lights you have always desired on your concrete ceiling.
- GizmoPlans: How Do You Attach Something to Concrete Without Drilling?
- Bob vila: The Best Construction Adhesive Options for Your Projects
- Ask. Metafilter: How to Hang Heavy Items From Walls and Concrete Ceiling W/O Holes?
- Home Guides.SFGate: How to Attach to a Concrete Ceiling Without Drilling
- Quora: How Do You Hang Something From The Ceiling Without Drilling?
- eHow: How to Hammer a Hardwall Hanger
- Hunker: What Tape Will Adhere Things to Concrete Blocks?
- Available Machinery: How To Hang A Picture On A Concrete Wall In Different Ways
- Construction Specifier: Using PSA tapes in Walls and Ceilings
Share this Post