When you need to attach an item to a Masonry wall a nail or regular screw just won’t work in this case you need to use a special anchor that is inserted into the masonry and held in place by friction.
Small items can be placed with masonry screws that are similar to standard screws but are hardened and sometimes self tapping. Masonry screws will require a driver head attached to a standard drill. If the fastener is large enough you may need to use a hammer drill to start a smaller hole and then insert the screw into it with a regular drill not using the hammer action.
Masonry screws are great if you are hanging a small light, mailbox or decorative lettering on the side of your home.
When installing the masonry screw in brick surfaces you want to place the screws into the mortar joint between the bricks. Never insert a fastener into brick as it will most likely cause cracking over time if not immediately.
Masonry screws are not made for removal. Once the fastener is in place removing it will damage the gripping action if you try to reinstall it. It is a one shot deal but they insert rather fast for small jobs.
For larger and stronger connections to concrete you can use a masonry anchor. Installing an anchor will require use of a hammer drill to drill a hole large enough to accept the anchor.
Many Two Piece Anchors are held in place by friction and when you insert the outer case and then tighten the fastener it will expand in the hole causing friction and hold the fastener in place.
The screws in Two piece fasteners can be removed and the outer fastener casing will remain in the hole. Although they should not be thought of as a solution for constant adjustment they can allow you to easily remove items that are anchored to concrete or masonry at a later date.
Probably the least expensive fixed concrete or masonry fastener is threaded bar. You can purchase threaded bar at most home centers to accept a variety of different sizes of nuts from 1/4 to 1/2 or even larger.
To install threaded bar you must use a hammer drill to drill a hole large enough to accept your threaded bar and also the epoxy that will be needed to hold it in place.
Epoxy made for concrete is available in most paint centers and will affix the threaded bar to the concrete surface but it is not a fastening connection that can withstand extreme conditions.
Heavy Duty Applications
If you find that you need to anchor items to concrete in an industrial setting such as an Auto Body shop that uses fasteners in their floor to restrain cars as they are worked on then you should consult a professional.
You may be able to do the work yourself but often these installs require careful planning of the concrete slab and rebar reinforcement around the anchor to withstand the extra demands.