Basement wall

Basement wall, slightly different angle

I'm wanting to mount a pull-up bar that needs 48" OC spacing to the exterior basement wall. However, it has drywall attached with broad-side 2x4's (rather than on edge), which is attached to cinderblock. I could very well be wrong, but it is my understanding that 2x4's attached broad-side like that don't have the same holding/hanging strength vs. when attached on edge. In addition, I'm very uncertain about attaching into cinderblock, mainly because I have never done it before and have no frame of reference -- intuitively it seems like it would be more brittle potentially? My plan was to use 3/8" x 3" Tapcon concrete bolts, pre-drilled with a 5/16" concrete drill bit. Before I start drilling unnecessarily, I wanted to make sure what I'm doing would be safe for anyone hanging on it and/or the cinderblock and my wall.

Each side of the pull-up bar attaches with 4 bolts, for a total of 8 bolts on both sides. I appreciate any help or suggestions!

  • 1
    Think I would use toggle bolts into the cement blocks instead of screws, better holding power. Would remove the drywall around the mounts. Drywall will probably give when tightening the bolts. This is assuming the blocks are open and not fill with cement.
    – crip659
    Jan 8 at 1:36
  • 1
    @crip659 - You should stop answering questions in comments and post an actual answer!
    – Michael Karas
    Jan 8 at 4:15
  • Are the mounts right over the wood behind the drywall, or is there going to be a void between drywall and block? Jan 8 at 4:22
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate The mounting bars line up over the wood, so it would go through the drywall, wood, and then into the cinderblock. Jan 8 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


I think you’d be fine mounting with long tapcons through the drywall and strapping and into the block.

I don’t have the numbers at my fingertips, but 8 screws (even if a couple aren’t great for some reason) provide a substantial amount of holding power.

If the screws don’t end up working for whatever reason, you can still go with toggle bolts. (Though those will be a pain because you’ll need longer-than-normal bolts to get through all the layers.)

btw, if you're in a zone with seismic activity, that plate anchor bolt needs a little love.

  • I noticed that anchor bolt when I first got up there to take a pic. Thankfully I don't believe there is much seismic activity here (central southern Michigan), but it will definitely be on the to-do list. What is the fix for it? Jan 9 at 13:11
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    I’m not really that expert in seismic retrofits, and even if I was, there’s a big picture that I can’t see. I’d suggest you engage someone local (engineer or licensed general contractor) to make recommendations. It might be as simple as a Simpson hold down, which is entirely diy friendly. Jan 9 at 13:57
  • 1
    Example Simpson URFP: homedepot.com/p/… Jan 9 at 14:01

Those look like 1x2 or 1x4 board rather than 2x4. I honestly wouldn't depend on them for strength. If it were me, I would use the Tapcons to either mount a sheet of 3/4" plywood or a couple of vertical 2x4s over the drywall, then hang the pull-up bar off those. That will let you distribute the load across multiple Tapcons and keep them from direct trauma. It's exactly what I've done in several spots in my basement to mount things to cinder blocks, and so far so good.

  • You are correct that they appear to be 1x's. When you say a couple of vertical 2x4's, I assume you mean putting a vertical 2x4 on each of the studs that the mounting bars will go on? I had thought to run two 2x4's horizontally (there are two distinct sets of mounting holes at the top and bottom of each mounting bar) as a way to distribute the load across multiple studs/cinderblocks, but you think vertical 2x4's screwed off in multiple places should be sufficient? Jan 8 at 13:08
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    I was thinking of putting vertical 2x4s over the 1x boards and all the way through to the blocks with Tapcons. They would not be over the 1x boards for any fastening purposes. I would just put them there so I have something to pull against as they are tightened down. If you're going to fasten horizontally across multiple of the 1x boards I would use a piece of plywood across three to distribute the load more.
    – KMJ
    Jan 8 at 18:19

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