I'm wavering back and forth between installing a my baseplate to my basement floor with either tapcons or ramset.

Tapcon Pros:

  • Can use existing impact driver and only need to buy Impact bit set which I could maybe reuse for other stuff down the road
  • Fairly safe
  • Can take them out if I need to for some weird reason


  • Takes much longer than a ramset
  • MANY MANY complaints about stripping/breaking screws and bits

Ramset Pros:

  • WAY faster, easier (and more fun)


  • Have to buy $90 tool (I'm not getting the hammer style, don't want to buy used, and will be building my walls so slow that I can't really rent)
  • Need to figure out how to dispose of unused cartridges
  • Potentially more dangerous (though I'm also using a framing nailer, so not that concerned)
  • Small chance for cracking/chipping concrete
  • The wife factor

I've tried finding info as to what the optimal size is for each for attaching the PT 2x4 to the floor, but haven't found anything concrete (pun intended). From the best I've found, the recomendation is to go at least 1" into the concrete, and for tapcons, people tend to recomend the 1/4 vs 3/16". Looking around it seems like my options are either 1/4" x 2-3/4" Tapcons, or 2.5"/3" Ramset nails. 2.5" on the ramset nails would be just cutting it on the 1" minimum, so I was thinking maybe the 3"? Does it matter if it's the version that has the washer vs not?

  • 1
    You're talking about fastening the sill plate of a wall into the basement's concrete floor, right? Unless your basement is vast, this shouldn't require a ton of fasteners - say 4 per each 8ft segment - as the walls will also be fastened into structure above and to each other. Given that you already have an impact driver, and are doing this gradually, the ramset doesn't seem worth it. (But do make sure you have a hammer drill to pre-drill for the tapcons.) – Shimon Rura Feb 18 '16 at 14:38
  • What size of tapcons would you recommend? – 2 Left Thumbs Feb 18 '16 at 14:47
  • If I knew enough to recommend a size, I'd have written an answer. :) – Shimon Rura Feb 18 '16 at 15:11
  • One more thing - if you have a hammer drill and (separate) impact driver, you don't need the special drill and drive system. That system is designed to let you drill and then drive from one tool, but (1) you definitely want a hammer drill to make the hole in the first place and (2) you already have an impact driver, which is a far better way to drive the tapcon. So skip that system and just get the appropriate size masonry bit (buy a multi-pack, this is not gentle work) and hex driver bit. – Shimon Rura Feb 18 '16 at 15:17
  • I don't have a hammer drill. That is one of the pros of the kit is that it allows me (in theory) to just use the impact driver. If I have to buy a hammer drill, then I might as well use the ramset at that point. – 2 Left Thumbs Feb 18 '16 at 15:39

One thing to think about is; how old is the cement? A very old cement breaks up with a ramset. Tapcon screws with the washer are a very good choice if you might be moving things. Make sure to use the correct size drill bit (some boxes come with the right bit). Don’t over torque with the screw in the cement it will break or pull out as you have read. On new construction I use a ramset, on something older than ~10 years I use Tapcon and have had much better success.

  • The cement is 6 or 7 years old. What length do you recommend using? – 2 Left Thumbs Feb 18 '16 at 14:44
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    2-3/4" screws for a floor to ceiling wall will work great. if it is a 1/2 wall you will need 3-1/2". – Ed Beal Feb 18 '16 at 19:42
  • Interesting, I would have never thought to use longer screws for half walls, but I guess it makes sense. – 2 Left Thumbs Feb 19 '16 at 0:50

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