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I want to install a pull-up bar on a brick wall but I am not sure at all if it will hold or not. I will try to give you some specifications about the wall and the bar and hopefully you can help me.

-The wall is 40cm (15.7 inches) thick, made by some kind of brick with holes, propably this one and the other side of the wall looks outside. (If you need more detailes on the brick i can look it up.)

-The Bar is a regular wall-mounted pull-up bar like this and the weight of the individual tops at 80kg (170 pounds).

Is it safe to install? What type of screws/bolts should I use?

  • What's behind the brick, if anything? – isherwood Mar 2 '16 at 18:00
  • The outside world :) – Comp Sci Ecstream Mar 2 '16 at 18:05
  • Is this the wall of your house? Does it matter if you drill all the way through. I would recommend putting bolts all the way through the wall, but of course that won't work if you don't want to see the nuts on the other side. Are you sure that you don't have double brick external walls? With double brick you can just bolt through with toggle bolts. – jsj Mar 3 '16 at 22:32
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The issue is that a pull up bar has a live, moving load. If it was just shelves holding a static load there would a vast multitude of ways to mount it.

Every time you do a pull up you'll end up stressing the anchors, the brick, and maybe even the mortar, since this is a person and not a vase that will get damaged when it fails, I'd look for a better solution.

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I think what I'd do is try and spread the load across several columns and several rows. I'd get myself some lumber, say 2x6 pine/fir, and stain and seal it. I'd run two 48" lengths vertically behind the mounting plates of the bar, with the bulk of the 2x6 upward of the bar (or tight against the ceiling, as space allows). This lessens pullout force on the system.

Fasten the lumber to the masonry using sleeve anchors or toggle bolts, 3-4 per side. Try to hit the central area of the blocks to reduce the chance of blowout. Use an appropriately sized masonry bit and hammerdrill with light force.

Anchor the bar to the lumber using 7/16" x 1-1/2" lag screws, or run 3/8" carriage bolts through the lumber from behind before you mount it to the masonry.

|     |          |     |
|   • |          |   • |
|     |          |     |
|     |          |     |
|     |          |     |
|     |          |     |
| •   |          | •   |
| |•| |          | |•| |
| | | |          | | | |
| |•| |          | |•| |
|     |          |     |
|   • |          |   • |
|     |          |     |

With this approach most of the torque load is applied to the lumber. The resulting shared load is very unlikely to tear out of your wall.

If you aren't concerned about the appearance of the masonry down the road, use 100% silicone or construction adhesive in a heavy bead down the back side of the lumber as an insurance measure.

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I wouldn't risk installing this on the brick wall. Brick is designed to resist compression, but not tension. You can put a lot of weight on top and press down, but if you pull up with enough force, or knock it sideways like is typically done to take down the chimney, it and the mortar joints will fail with much less force. Your pull up bar will push in and down on the bottom, but pull out with a tension force on the top, which is most likely where the brick will fail. Check the install guides for your product, I'm guessing they recommend wood framing, maybe even 2x6.

  • Fitness hardware is mounted on school gymnasium and health club block walls all over the world. If it's done right, it's not a concern. – isherwood Mar 2 '16 at 22:12
  • If it's a concrete block that filled with concrete and reinforced with something like rebar, that's going to be much stronger than hollow bricks. Without more knowledge of what may be reinforcing the bricks, I'm erring on the side of caution. – BMitch Mar 2 '16 at 22:31
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I myself know someone who died from a pull up bar that was mounted in a doorway. You don't have suitable support from brick and the bricks are hollow making matters worse. If you have concrete wall behind the brick you must anchor through the brick with wedge anchors or sleeve anchors into the concrete wall. If you don't have concrete wall I would run 2x6 lumber from the floor up to top of wall and frame it over the top and down the other side. Then drill through the lumber and brick and use carrage bolts to fasten them together. Then mount the bar on the 2x6 with 1/2 in. lag bolts.

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