Secrets to Easy Bollard Installation

You can add bollards to an existing sidewalk, or at the end of a job.

Fenway bollard impact-protective bollard installation into existing concrete
Always check for underground utilities and wiring before installing impact-protective bollards.

Bollards are our business, but we know that for many people these short little posts can fade into the background. Being unobserved can mean being forgotten during planning, especially on tight timelines or on big projects. If concrete is arriving before the bollards can get on site, all is not lost: you don’t need to rip up sidewalk or hold off on your pour. We offer several ways to install bollards into existing concrete. Save yourself time, money, and stress by finding the right method for your bollard installation.

Installing bollards into existing concrete

Bollards that do not need to be impact-protective can be installed easily. In most cases, the installer requires nothing more than basic supplies and a drill with a masonry bit. Impact-protective steel pipe bollards require more preparation, supplies, and care, but even still can be done in existing concrete. Read through the installation options to see which may work for you.

A diagram of installing a steel pipe bollard into existing concrete

Impact-protective in existing concrete

Impact-protective steel pipe bollards must be secured below the frost line using fresh-poured concrete. After making sure there are no underground utilities in the area and getting permits, steel-pipe bollards can be installed by coring and digging a hole 2″ wider in diameter than the bollard, and 2″ deeper than the bollard base will sit.

Steel pipe installation

Diagram of decorative bollard using drop-in concrete insert

Drop-in Concrete Insert

Drop-in concrete inserts receive a threaded bar or hex screw. A hole is made in the existing concrete with a 1″ masonry drill bit. The drop-in concrete insert is hammered into place with a setting tool or flat-end punch. The insert allows the threads of the bar or screw to catch and tighten. Inserts can be used to affix full bollards or a decorative cap to a concrete-filled bollard base.

Drop in concrete inserts can be used for:

A diagram of a solar bollard installed with an adhesive anchor and a threaded rod

Adhesive Anchoring

To use an adhesive anchor, a hole is made in the existing concrete with a 1″ masonry drill bit. The hole is filled with strong adhesive. A bollard’s central threaded bar can be glued permanently into the hole. Removal will require drilling.

Adhesive anchors can be used for:

A diagram of a foldable bollard being fixed with four bolts on concrete

Surface Mounting

Surface mounted bollards are bolted to the concrete through a base plate. The installer marks the positions of the holes in the base plate, and then drills into the concrete surface with a 5/8″ masonry drill bit. The bollard is positioned on top, and bolts are tightened through the base plate which grab into the insert.

Surface mounting is available for:

A concrete truck dumps wet cement over a rebar grid
Bollards can be installed with other hardscape elements when the concrete is first poured.


Embedding bollard footings into new concrete offers the possibility of below-grade mounting options for retractable and removable bollards, as well as allowing for the installation of impact-protective bollards.

A diagram of a short, thick bollard with a one sloped face being installed in new concrete.

Embedded/New Concrete

Impact-protective footings are deep and filled; these can be done while pouring a concrete slab. New concrete also is needed to install the receptacle for retractable mounts, the embedded footing for some removable bollards, and “J-hanger” style fixtures for caps, covers, and concrete bollards.

Embedding is common for:

A diagram of a decorative bollard installed with an anchor casting in new concrete

Anchor Casting in New Concrete

An anchor casting is an embedded receptacle that provides the bolt-end for a threaded rod. After it is installed in newly-poured concrete, the bollard can be placed over top and secured by tightening the rod into the casting.

Anchor castings are available for:

A diagram of a concrete form used to embed a flexible bollard

Concrete Forms (with or without Anchor Casting)

Concrete forms allow you to create a localized concrete insert for standalone bollards: for example, in a field or along a gravel path. Like core-and-pour in existing concrete, but requiring a little more work to evaluate the substrate.

Concrete forms are available for:


When installing decorative bollards that do not need to be crash-protective, threaded rod mounting systems allow for inexpensive, easy installation. These rods can be threaded into anchor castings, adhesive, or concrete forms. Ease of installation helps lower overall cost while the strong center rod helps maintain the bollard’s integrity and look.

If you’re worried about finishing on time and on budget, give us a call or send an email to see how we can help with your bollard installation strategy.

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