Site Furnishings

Easy Park Bench Installation

Reliance Foundry's St. Louis bench in a park

Install Commercial Seating into Existing Concrete

Reliance Foundry's St. Louis bench in a park
Providing benches in parks makes them more inviting for people (and dogs).

Benches hold a special place in public spaces, providing comfort, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. While they may be a lower priority during the planning phase, selecting and installing them at the end of construction—or even years down the line—is easy to do. Whether you’re working with existing surfaces or embarking on a new project, there are installation techniques to simplify the process and save time, money, and headaches.

In this guide, we’ll explore the most common fasteners used to secure park benches, equipping you with the knowledge and expertise to select the right method for your specific needs.  

Bench Installation Methods

Most outdoor benches are not designed to be embedded in new concrete; instead, they are often surface mounted on existing concrete. To install benches on new concrete, it’s important to wait until the concrete has fully cured, essentially becoming existing concrete, before drilling any holes.

The key variations in installation methods revolve around the type of anchors. Two of the most common choices are expansion bolts and drop-in concrete anchors. Both anchoring techniques offer reliable and secure solutions, allowing for stable and securely-mounted benches. Drop-in Anchors or Expansion Bolts?

Drop-in Anchors or Expansion Bolts?

Drop-in Anchors

A diagram of a drop-in concrete anchor used to install a bench

A drop-in concrete insert is embedded into concrete, and receives a threaded bolt. To install it, mark holes where the bench will be placed. Drill pilot holes in the existing concrete using a 1″ masonry drill bit. Hammer the drop-in concrete insert into place with a setting tool or flat-end punch. This insert enables the threads of the bolt to catch and tighten, providing a secure attachment for benches and other site furnishings.

Drop-in Anchor Bench Installation

Expansion Bolts

A diagram of a bench installed with wedge anchors or expansion screws

Unlike drop-in anchors, expansion bolts do not require inserts. Pilot holes are drilled where the bench will be placed, and the entire assembly is inserted through the bench and into the concrete. Once tightened, the sleeve expands to secure the bench in place.

Expansion Bolt Bench Installation

Drop-in concrete anchors and expansion bolts are two distinct types of fasteners commonly used in construction and structural applications. While they both serve the same purpose, there are differences in both their installation method and anchoring mechanism.

Drop-in anchors are designed to be inserted into pre-drilled holes in concrete or masonry, with a threaded sleeve. Once the sleeve is installed, a bolt or threaded rod can be screwed into the anchor to provide a secure connection.

On the other hand, expansion bolts are inserted directly into a pre-drilled hole and secured by tightening the nut or bolt, causing the anchor to expand and grip the surrounding material. Expansion bolts offer a higher load capacity due to their expansion mechanism and size, which provides a larger surface area for the anchor to grip. These are often favored for heavy-duty and structural installations as they are a more versatile solution that can be installed in concrete, brick, and hollow block securely.

While drop-in anchors can only be installed in concrete, they do have one big advantage over expansion bolts. If you need to remove a commercial bench or site furnishing, the bolt can be easily removed by unthreading it, whereas expansion bolts cannot be removed without cutting them.

Both fasteners are well suited to installing surface mounted benches and other site furnishings. The best choice depends on whether strength or versatility is the priority.

People sitting on rows of benches in an urban space
Park benches can be installed in a variety of urban spaces using concrete anchors.

When it comes to outdoor bench installation, there are two common installation methods: drop-in anchors, and expansion bolts. While your choice of mounting type mostly comes down to personal preference, it’s important to consider your project parameters, such as load requirements, aesthetics, and durability expectations, so you can make an informed decision and choose the most suitable installation technique.

Still have questions? Give us a call or email to see how we can help with your bench installation.