Situation: Appartment in a panel building. Very hard concrete walls -- all, thick or thin. No plastic hooks (like these on alibaba that usually work for people around do not work for me, the little nails band when hammered in, and so does the larger nail.

So far, I have been hammer-drilling everything, even a hook/nail/screw for the clock, drilling 5mm hole and using wall plugs.

However, this is very inconvenient (dusty, I have to borrow the hammer drill from my family every time and it's not a cheap thing, I get big holes in the wall if I remove any picture or alike).

Is there any other option? I thought that maybe a small hole could be created at an angle and then a small nail inserted. If the hole had 2mm in diameter and the nail had 2.2mm in diameter, it could work. However, I have no idea how to create such a small hole. Or something like that... Any suggestions are welcome.

  • How much weight do you need to hold? Adhesive backed hooks sound like a great option for pictures and wall clocks. – JPhi1618 Oct 26 '15 at 17:54
  • I've got quite a layer of plaster (maybe 1mm) on the walls. While it stays quite firmly in place, would it hold a adhesive hook well enough? Some of the things I hang are about 200g and less, but some are surely over 1kg (glass-covered photos, for instance). Currently, I'm about to hang a KAPA photo which has about 400g. (Btw, I hope that my vocabulary is not too bad. I'm not a native speaker and the technical terms are really difficult.) – yo' Oct 26 '15 at 18:14
  • Adhesive hooks would be my suggestion here. Sometimes they can be used in tendem, and I believe some of the 3M varieties can hold 1-2 KG each, but as you are most likely not in the US, I'm not sure on their availability. – BrownRedHawk Oct 26 '15 at 18:22
  • @BrownRedHawk I don't seem to be able to get them here :-( – yo' Oct 26 '15 at 18:29
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    If it's really hard, you're still going to need a hammer drill for small holes, too. I recommend Tapcons or their equivalent. What "wall plugs" are you using? – Mazura Oct 26 '15 at 20:06

Try using some 3M Command strips. For hooks, you can use something like these (it uses the same adhesive. I have hung pictures larger than 22 inches with the command strips and hang my (very large) on the 3M command hooks every day. These are available at Target, Walmart and most similar retail outlets.

These come off the walls easily if/when you move and instead of leaving behind a bunch of large holes, they leave the walls clean which will help you get any security deposit back. It sounds like these will be convenient in your case too. The hooks come in a variety of colors including white, clear and brushed nickel.

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There are nails made for concrete. However it can be hard to find small ones. I have had no luck with the bigger ones, and I never see small masonry nails for sale. However, the nails on these little coax clips, which are available at most hardware stores -

coax masonry clip

are usually pretty easy to drive. Suggestion, don't try holding it with your fingers, you'll smash them for sure. Hold the plastic part with needle-nose pliers or something and hammer in the clip.

You could try using the clip to hold the wire, or you could cut the plastic off and drive the nail in a little further for more strength. I've only used these things as cable clamps - no idea how well they'll work for pictures - experiment and see how it works for you.

  • I've tried nails like this before. No success. As I say, the walls are really hard! – yo' Oct 26 '15 at 19:17
  • Those work ok in mortar (sometimes), but I can tell by the sheen on them that they aren't hardened masonry nails. – Mazura Jan 25 '16 at 20:54

No concrete hard enough with a standard Hammer Drill with a masonry bit.

Just drill a hole, then use one of those cheap plastic wall anchors. With the plastic anchor in place, you now have a screw-friendly hole.

Unfortunately, this is the only reliable solution.

  • Yeah. I destroyed a 4mm masonry bit on ONE HOLE. The 5mm hole is really huge for a single lightweight photo. I'm afraid there's no good answer to the question :( – yo' Jan 25 '16 at 19:03
  • @yo' - Sometimes that's just how it goes. Nothing is too hard if you have an entire package of bits to burn through. Try not to work-harden the bit or the work. When you hammer-drill, it should sound like an alarm going off; use a pulsing pressure, or everything gets too hot. You don't just push as hard as you can the whole time, if ever (only if it just won't go - and then you'd better have a 10 pack of bits on hand). – Mazura Jan 25 '16 at 21:03

enter image description hereI have faced this problem before. Several years ago, I remember resorting to use of a hammer drill as well. Well I'm in a new place at the moment and didn't want to resort to that. Just wanted to use the tools and screws I have on hand. In my case, the plaster is 1 cm thick, so I could only make the hole about 10 mm deep before hitting concrete. I drilled through the plaster with a Dremel bit (about 2mm wide). I love this tool, I use it for drilling and cutting all kinds of stuff. When the bit hit the concrete it would go no further. I ended up cutting a 30 mm wood screw, and its companion raw plug in half, i.e. the top half of the screw ended up measuring about 15 mm in length. I cut the screw by pinching it with plyers (top left), and then hitting the plyers with a hammer (while the plyers and screw were in a paper bag - to stop the two halfs flying off somewhere). I was then able to firmly secure the top half of the wood screw into the bottom half of the rawplug. I only needed the screw to protrude a few mm from the wall, enough to hang the string on the back of a wood carving measuring about 62 X 32 cm X 1cm . It seems fairly secure. Hope this helps!


I live in a concrete hi-rise and there is just one interior wall in my living room and kitchen which is concrete.....and I have always used a device I buy from Dollar Stores! - yes Dollar Stores. You can also buy them on Ebay and Amazon. They are hooks that come in different sizes from very small to very large - they are cheap as well. There is a hook at the top and a is round under that with small special (I guess) nails - usually 2 or 4. They're specially made for concrete and work SO well. Because they are so cheap I recommend you buy a bunch and be very careful to hammer in straight and don't hammer your hand. If you mess one up you'll know, so just try another. For a large picture I usually use 3. When you take them down you can hardly see where they were. Want your security deposit back? ------don't start drilling holes!. Hope that helps.

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    I've seen many anchors and hangers and I can't picture this in my head based on your discription. Can you post a picture or link? – HazardousGlitch Jan 8 '19 at 17:28

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