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I’m trying to mount a Pull-up bar like this one on a hollow concrete block wall.

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I’m planning on using some concrete sleeve anchors, but I also have seen people anchor some wood planks into the wall and then the pull-up bar through the wood into the concrete wall.

Would the concrete sleeve anchors be enough or should I also use wood/something else?

The pull up bar needs to support a little bit more than 200 lbs/90 kg (my own weight + maybe a weighted vests). I do not have access to the other side of the wall.

  • Can the bar be mounted from the ceiling check on booklet or look up.online. – user101687 May 27 at 1:00
  • @RobertMoody It came with no booklet. I bought it online so I will ask the seller. – tslamp May 27 at 4:08
  • I do not like the mounting holes so close going into block.going to make it very weak and rip off .Wood way to go it is a mater of mounting wood to block and lag bolt pull up bar I do not think tapcons will work or lag shields to hard to find a good brand prabolts work for solid walls not block almost a heavy duty toggle bolt that goes through and wont slide you have to rip them out. – user101687 May 27 at 4:30
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Please be very careful to ensure that there is sufficient block wall above your attachment point to stop the whole wall toppling forward under load.

Children have been killed by basketball hoops fixed to brick fascia's above garage doors when they slam-dunked and swung on the hoop. The brick fascia collapsed forward onto the child crushing them.

I expect you want at least several feet of wall above your attachment point, even better if the roof is providing good downforce to hold the wall together.

  • Thanks! Don't worry about that. My problems are pretty much the ones pointed by Lee Sam. – tslamp May 27 at 4:47
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming! – Daniel Griscom May 27 at 10:26
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Sleeve anchors may work OK for the lower set of the mounting holes where most of the force on the fastener is a sheer stress parallel with the wall surface. The upper and middle sets of the mounting holes will see a considerable amount of the stress on the fastener to be inline with the axis of the fastener in a pull-out direction.

If it were me I would investigate using Heavy Duty Tapcon fasteners of a decent diameter (such as 3/8") for the upper sets of mounting holes. This type of fastener requires drilling the proper sized hole into the block wall with a hammer drill and then carefully screwing in the Tapcon bolts. Over tightening Tapcons can strip out the thread and render the fastener to a compromised state. (Make sure to read and fully understand the installation documentation that comes with the Tapcon fasteners).

The advantage of using some framing lumber planking wood on the wall that extends from floor to ceiling is that you can install many more Tapcons to hold the wood in place. Additionally construction adhesive can be applied between the planking lumber and the block wall for even more holding power. The planking spreads the stress out over many more concrete blocks making failure much less likely.

Then the pullup bar can be fastened to the planking members using normal lag bolts which will have fantastic holding power in the wood itself as long as you install them in properly drilled pilot holes. Make sure to use a lag bolt of at least 3/8 inch diameter.

  • Awesome. I'm more inclined to use some wood planks. I want it as safe as possible. Do you think I should use some 2x6, 2x8 or other size of planks?. I would be using Heavy Duty Tapcon for the wood and Lag bolts for all the holes of the pull-up bar, right?. I appreciate your help. – tslamp May 27 at 0:22
  • @tslamp - I would think that 2x6 would be enough if you also glue them in place with construction adhesive. The incremental cost to go with 2x8 would be reasonable so use them if you are OK with the incremental cost. – Michael Karas May 27 at 3:56
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No anchor(s) will work without access to the other side or by filling and reinforcing some of the hollow cells.

You have several issues: 1) The force on the top anchors are in withdrawal, 2) The unreinforced cells are not suitable for expansion anchors, 3) The unreinforced masonry could fail

1) The metal brace you are trying to attach “stands out” from the wall 24” or so. When loaded with your weight, this puts a rotation on the metal brace that creates a withdrawal on the top anchors. ( I’m not worried about the bottom anchors, because a piece of wood could be installed to help distribute the load along the wall.)

The top anchor (and the middle anchors) will require a significant amount of holding power, (measured in foot-pounds). No company will provide stress values for such rotation, including Simpson: see attached: https://www.buildsite.com/pdf/simpsonanchors/Drop-In-Internally-Threaded-Expansion-Shell-Anchor-Product-Data-1430481.pdf

2) The walls of unreinforced masonry are called “shells”. All masonry anchor manufacturer’s , including Topcon, Simpson, provide stress values for solid reinforced masonry or concrete ONLY. The reason is because as you tighten the expansion anchor, it will crush the masonry material around it.

3) Even if you could get the expansion anchor to hold in the face shell, the entire masonry unit could crack and fail as soon as a load is applied.

However, if you are able to get to the other side of the wall, you could place a large flat steel plate on the wall to distribute the load.

Or, if you could remove a face shell, you could install rebar in the cell, fill the cells with grout, and install an expansion anchor to the cell.

Note: If you look closely at the attached site, you’ll notice Simpson shows an anchor installed EXACTLY between the two hollow cells in a masonry unit. However, there’s no allowable stress for such an installation AND your illustration shows two anchors side-by-side so they both could not fit in such an application anyway.

  • Unfortunately, I do not have access to the other side of the wall. Do you think is necessary to reinforce the cells, or can I just use some wood planks to distribute the load? Reinforcing would require a lot more work but if it is necessary then I will see if I can do something about it. – tslamp May 27 at 4:56
  • I don’t see how wood could be anchored to wall any more effectively than the brackets themselves without reinforcing the hollow cells. Do you have access to ceiling joists in that area? If so, what size, spacing, span, etc.? – Lee Sam May 27 at 5:05
  • There are no ceiling joists. The roof is also made of concrete and there would be a distance of 18" from the top of the bar to the roof. – tslamp May 27 at 5:28
  • I’d run a brace at a 45 degree angle from the concrete ceiling to the top of the brace. – Lee Sam May 27 at 5:31
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WAIT??!? WHAT??!?

You say you have a concrete slab ceiling and a concrete roof?????

What makes you think the wall is unreinforced hollow cell masonry?

No one would rest concrete slab ceilings and roofs on unreinforced hollow cell masonry.

  • It is a cheap house that I'm renting. It was horribly designed, and while there are a few points where the wall is filled/reinforced, I'm unable to install the bar in those places. Everything else is unreinforced hollow cell. I'm planning on moving next year, that is why I wanted to keep this expense as low as possible while still beign safe enough to use. – tslamp May 27 at 13:45
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    Hi, Lee. This is really a comment, not an answer. – Daniel Griscom May 27 at 15:25
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review – Brock Adams May 29 at 15:30

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