Concrete Snap Tie Installation

Elizabeth Arnold

Concrete snap ties are metal rods featuring button ends, spreader cones and tapered spots, which allow you to snap the excess part of each rod off easily once the poured concrete dries.

Protect your eyes with glasses when doing concrete projects.

Snap ties are available in a variety of sizes, including 8 inches, 12 inches and 24 inches, to accommodate most concrete form projects. When working with concrete snap ties, you will use "walers," which are lengths of lumber that go under and over the snap tie end. You'll also use steel wedges, which slide over each button that sticks out at the end of the walers.

  1. Lay a concrete form on the ground with the sheathing facing up. Hook the tape measure to the bottom edge of the form, measure up 1 foot along the side, and place a mark with a pencil. Continue to place marks along the form every 2 feet until you reach the top edge. Place matching marks on the opposite side of the sheathing, then snap chalk lines across the surface with a chalk box.

  2. Hook the tape measure to the sheathing's side edge, measure 1 foot along the bottom, and place a mark. Place another mark every 2 feet after the first. Place matching marks on the sheathing's top edge, then snap lines with the chalk box.

  3. Inspect the snapped chalk lines on the sheathing face. Locate each spot where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect and drill a half-inch hole through the sheathing with a drill and auger bit. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 on a matching concrete sheathing form.

  4. Tilt the form up and secure it at the location where you'll pour the concrete. Insert the button end of a snap tie into each half-inch drilled hole until the spreader cone hits the sheathing face. Move to the back side of the concrete form where the buttons are sticking out.

  5. Double-wale the ties by sandwiching each horizontal row of snap ties between pieces of 2-by-4 lumber. Stagger any butted 2-by-4 joints by at least 2 feet to prevent weak spots in the form construction.

  6. Make sure all of the snap tie buttons are sticking out from the sandwiched 2-by-4 boards. Slip the first snap tie's button through the opening in the steel wedge and slide it down the tapered slot to lock it into place.

  7. Repeat the snap tie installation process on the opposite sides of the concrete forms to make the cavities into which you'll pour the concrete.

  8. Warning

    Wear safety glasses when operating power tools.