Installing Decorative Bollards with New Concrete

Parking columns on the parking lot

June 22, 2017

Installing a bollard with an embedded anchor casting is the standard process in decorative applications. By placing an anchor casting in the concrete’s substrate, a bollard can be installed with a threaded rod to create and define visual perimeters. With this installation method, the function of the bollard is primarily aesthetic. This installation method is intended for bollards that define architectural perimeters, create architectural highlights and act as solely visual traffic guidance devices. It is important to note that, with this installation method, the bollard will offer little impact resistance.

Surface Preparation and Determining Layout

* NOTE: Bollards should be left in their packaging until the exact moment of installation

  • Study the site plans:

Site plans are generally created by the architect of the project. The architect will mark the intended location of each bollard on the plan. Ensure that the plan coincides with the site and familiarize yourself with the intended arrangement of the bollards.

  • Ensure that the site is ready to receive the concrete:

The area that will receive the concrete should be dug to a depth of at least 4”. The area should be properly formed with wood placed on its side to create a perimeter that will hold the wet concrete. The soil below the intended surface should be compacted with a dirt tamper.

  • Designate where each bollard will stand:

If the bollards are intended to be installed to create a uniform-looking straight line, many contractors find it beneficial to snap a chalk line. This will help determine the center-point of each anchor casting that will hold a bollard. The center-point of each anchor casting should be marked with chalk, spray-paint or a felt pen.

  • Place the anchor castings in their designated locations:

Cover the threaded hole on the anchor casting with the plug that is provided. Remember that the anchor casting is 4” high; ensure that the top of the casting will be flush with the finished surface of the concrete grade

Ensure that the top of the anchor casting is level. Some contractors use a brick to create a level surface for the anchor casting to rest on (again, please remember that the top of the anchor casting should be flush with the concrete grade after it is poured).

Pouring the Concrete

  • Mix and pour the concrete:

Ensure that the proper ratio of water and concrete mix is used. The concrete should have a similar texture to mouldable clay. Pour the concrete evenly and avoid disrupting the casting anchors.

  • Set the depth control on the Hammer Drill (or Rotary Hammer) to 3⅝”

Most hammer drills have a depth setting or depth control bar. If depth control is not available, use masking tape to mark 3⅝” on the masonry bit.

  • Allow the concrete to cure:

A lot of elements factor into a concrete surface’s cure time. Moisture in the environment and cool temperatures can both significantly slow the process. It is generally recommended that a minimum of 2 -3 days wait should be given before beginning construction projects on new concrete surfaces.

Securing the Bollard

  • Place the bollard near the anchor casting:

Once the concrete surface has fully cured, place the bollards beside each of their anchor castings and remove their protective packaging.

  • Set the bollard over the anchor casting:

Situate the bollard so that its center lines up with the center of the threaded hole in the anchor casting. Insert the threaded rod in the anchor casting.

  • Tighten the threaded rod and secure the bollard:

With your hand, tighten the threaded rod until it reaches a depth of approximately 1½” in the anchor casting. Place the washer over the threaded rod so that it rests on top of the shaft of the bollard. Apply the 1” nut to the threaded rod and tighten it until the bollard is secure.

  • Secure the bollard’s cap

Remove bollard cap from its packaging. Place the cap on the top of the shaft of the bollard. Then, secure the cap to the shaft by tightening the three set screws with equal amounts of torque to ensure that the cap remains centered. The set screws are composed of stainless steel and the insert holes on the bollard cap are lined with stainless steel to prevent rust. Place the provided plastic caps over the heads of the set screws.

  • Inspect the Installation

At a distance, examine the plain of view. All bollards should appear to be perpendicular with the surface of the concrete. On level surfaces, hold a level vertically against the side of the bollard to ensure that it is plumb to the surface.

  • Check the bollard for any signs of surface damage:

If the bollard was scratched or scraped during installation, it can be repaired with touch up paint, commonly found at automotive stores. Abrasions must be covered to avoid rust and ensure the proper life of the bollard.