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I am considering buying a baby cradle that will hang from the ceiling. We have a concrete ceiling in the apartment and I am not sure that it will be possible to install it safely. It needs to be able to support 35-40 pounds of weight, max.

  1. I was planning to use a Tapcon® concrete screw - is it a good idea?
  2. How to actually connect the bag to that screw - I would need some kind of intermediary platform/connector.
  3. When drilling a hole in the ceiling, does it matter where to drill, or should I use some kind of stud finder to look for a support beam (if they exist in concrete ceilings)?

The cradle comes with a hook, but I am not sure if it will hold.

enter image description here

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There are no studs in concrete ceilings, so that part of your question won't apply. If this is a rental unit, most landlords strongly prefer tenants not perform this kind of work. Some will put the hole in for you (I've seen landlords install plant holders for tenants in this fashion) –  Stephen Dec 12 '11 at 2:44
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That sounds incredibly scary to me. Concrete is well-known for crumbling even if properly reinforced. If you have no access to a support bean I'd give this a pass. –  jamesson Dec 12 '11 at 3:19
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1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Concrete is a great building material because it has very high "compressive strength"; it resists being crushed, and so can support a very heavy load placed on top of it.

However, it has very poor "tensile strength" and "shear strength"; it can be "pulled apart" relatively easily. This means that hanging stuff from underneath usually doesn't work very well, because the hanging load will "pull" on the concrete. While the relatively light weight of something like this would not normally be a concern, the fact that you'll be putting something very precious and delicate in it makes me very wary.

If you want to try it anyway, forget the hook that came with the cradle; it's for screwing into a wood support member like a ceiling joist or beam, and will not work at all in concrete. You will first need to drill a hole in the concrete. This will require a concrete drilling bit (probably several of them; concrete is not easy to drill through and will dull bits very quickly) and possibly a hammer drill if it's treated or hardened concrete.

Then, you will want to install a concrete anchor. These anchors are designed to "crush" as you screw a bolt into them, expanding a part of their frame into and against the concrete to lock it in place. Here's one that should work for you:

enter image description here

Its 5,000-lb rated load may be a bit of overkill, but you don't want this to fail, EVER, so go for broke. You can even use some construction adhesive or epoxy to further "seat" the anchor in the hole.

Then, after any adhesive or epoxy you put in has had time to set and cure, you just hook the cradle to the D-bolt on the anchor (this may require an S-hook, climbing carabiner or threaded quick-link) and you're done.

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+1 great answer, though it sounds like it could be easier (and involve less worrying) to build a wooden frame! –  shufler Dec 12 '11 at 20:05
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How about buying a cradle that is designed to just sit on the floor? –  gregmac Dec 12 '11 at 23:07
    
You're preaching to the choir here guys. I told him how to do what he wants specifically; I didn't say it was the easiest way to get what he needs. –  KeithS Dec 12 '11 at 23:24
    
thank you very much! –  user4561 Dec 13 '11 at 3:02
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