Flat head vs hex head tapcons


Staff member
Dec 14, 2002
New Jersey
Perhaps this is common knowledge, but I can't seem to find guidance. Tapcon screws come in two types - a countersink flat head, and a hex head with an integrated "washer". I assume that you select the head type based upon what you're screwing to the concrete/masonry? If wood then use the wood head countersink type; if cement board, metal, or some other type of hard material, use the other type. Is that correct, or is there other rationale to use the hex head type? Head types can be seen here: https://images.homedepot-static.com/catalog/pdfImages/c0/c063f0ba-e028-42fd-9652-a519dfcf1198.pdf
Yes. You can also use the hex head type to attach wood if you don't mind the heads sticking up.
Originally Posted by mk378
Yes. You can also use the hex head type to attach wood if you don't mind the heads sticking up.
I figured perhaps it works one way and not the other. I assume the countersink flat heads will cause damage to cement backer board or something?
Always use the hex head unless you have a specific reason not to, like needing a flush fit, if there could be an abrasion issue, something rubbing up against it, or to center something with an oversized hole meant for a countersunk fastener. Otherwise, phillips is a poor head for something like this, can more easily cam-out. Torx, Robertson, Allen, etc would all be better. You may need to countersink the hole for the countersunk head, but that can be an issue if the top layer of what you're going into is different and could chip, raise or otherwise fragment. The hex head with washer (aka flange) usually does the least damage or weakening of the material.
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Like said, I prefer the hex head for ease of installation, but like you say, it depends on the application. I've used many of both. Tapcons are the bee's knees. Never had one fail or pull out, etc.
Ok thanks very much! I have no reason not to use hex heads. Just wasn't sure if there was good rationale behind using one or another.. Thanks again!
For attaching something comparatively light like wood to concrete, it's hard to beat the speed and comfort of hammer-set anchors.
You have to choose an anchor that consists of an unthreaded pin set into a metallic sleeve.
Simply drill a hole into the concrete wall, Place the wooden fixture you're attaching over the hole, then use a hammer to bang the sleeve anchor into the hole then use tapcon screws to fasten your things.
Do Visit Albany County Fasteners, it provides the best quality of Tapcon Screws & Anchors.
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I would get some impact rated drivers for those hex heads. I had some cheapie chrome plated sockets and they didn't last but a few bolts. No big loss but I did buy some impact rated drivers to finish the job.

I've gotten to the point where I all but hate Phillips head screws. It's ok for drywall and maybe for hanging things but beyond that...
I hate the Philips head tapcons, many of them strip out when you are trying to get the last bit of the fastener counter sunk. I prefer to use the hex heads if and when possible.
In my last project I put down 3/4” plywood over a dimpled plastic underlayment on a basement concrete floor (I forget the name of the product at the moment).

After trying Philips head TapCons with much frustration I ended up drilling little countersinks into the plywood and using hex-head TapCons. Then the top of the Tapcon was flush with the top of the plywood. Worked very well.