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I'm installing a handrail for a short flight of stairs at the bottom of an interior staircase which is adjacent to a solid concrete block wall.

The options I've been considering for fixing the handrail brackets to the wall include countersunk sleeve anchors and concrete screws.

I was thinking sleeve anchors would be more secure but there's only a very limited range of sleeve anchor sizes with the smallest being 6mm so I'm not sure if I would be able to find a handrail bracket with screw holes to match.

Another potential problem with using sleeve anchors is that they have to be spaced a minimum distance apart although there are handrail brackets with a single screw hole.

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I'd go with hex head tap cons. Pre drill the holes. If you are really worried then get some epoxy and put this into the hole before fastening - this is how rebar is inserted after the fact in structural applications.

If you want it to look perfect then probably choose whatever fastener look bests based on the bracket and drill a hole smaller than the fastener, ensure you blow the dust out of it and put structural epoxy into the hole. For ~$150 you can get the two part caulk gun and the epoxy. Something like this :

https://www.dhcsupplies.com/store/p/2464-SET-XP-22oz-Epoxy-Tie-Adhesive-with-Nozzle.html https://www.dhcsupplies.com/store/p/468-EDT22S-22oz-Manual-Epoxy-Dispensing-Tool.html

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  • This is probably the easiest method, but might not be the most attractive with the bright blue head of the screw. Of course the screws could be painted... Philips flat head tapcons are an option as well. – JPhi1618 Jan 29 '20 at 21:37
  • I'm not sure hex head screws would be suitable as most handrail brackets have countersunk screw holes. – jrcollins Jan 29 '20 at 22:16
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After a lot of searching online I finally found the perfect solution: https://www.homedepot.com/p/EZ-Handrail-1-9-in-Aluminum-Round-ADA-Handrail-White-Wall-Bracket-EZA200-W/202988226

The brackets are even white to match the wall I'm mounting them on!

The correct size masonry fasteners are also available from Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.com/p/EZ-Handrail-3-in-White-Masonry-Fastener-2-Pack-EZAT225-W/205846058

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  • Yes looks like they've painted hex head tap cons white and provided a plastic head cover. Instructions for the bracket also say to use 2.25" tap cons. – Fresh Codemonger Jan 31 '20 at 0:11
  • Unlike most handrail brackets the ones linked to above are actually designed to be fastened to masonry/metal. – jrcollins Jan 31 '20 at 11:47
  • In principle there should not be a difference in the bracket. The largest factor here is supporting the weight of a person who falls and grabs onto the hand rail. The bracket must support this weight. The fastener that holds the bracket to wood or in this case concrete must hold the bracket. Unless by designed you mean they painted the fastener and ship a little plastic head to hide the hex head and include instructions on how to mount to concrete. The largest design feature on a concrete hand rail bracket is likely to be weather proofing since these are likely to be installed outside. – Fresh Codemonger Feb 1 '20 at 3:53

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