Brick walls look absolutely amazing. They're a feature when they're inside, they're lovely when they're outside, and they're a real pain if you want to hang something from them. Drilling a hole in a brick wall requires specific tools and a certain amount of finesse. Do it the wrong way and you're going to find out instantly why it's so important to be careful when you're drilling into brick. Learn how to do it the right way.
Not all brick walls are created equally and not all home improvement projects are the same. To determine exactly what you need and exactly what you need to do, you've got to know your project and your wall. Are you drilling multiple holes into the brick? If so, you will want to forget about using your regular power drill and rent a heavy-duty drill, such as a hammer drill.
How old is the brick? If the brick is old and crumbling, you may not want to drill holes to hang something heavy that's going to require expansion anchors and extra materials. For projects like this, you'll want to drill directly into the mortar. For most jobs, you'll simply drill right into the brick itself because in most cases, brick is much stronger than mortar.
Step 1 - Measure and Mark
Never take on any DIY project without first measuring and marking the area where you're going to drill. Figure out exactly where you want to place your holes and use chalk to make clear, distinct marks showing where you will be drilling. Hold up whatever you're hanging to the holes you marked to make sure your measurements were correct.
Step 2 - Add a Drill Stop
You don’t want to drill too deeply. Most projects require holes no deeper than one inch. The last thing you want to do is drill all the way through the brick. Add a stop to make sure you won't go too far. You can always place a stop guide on a hammer drill. if you're using a power drill, wrap masking tape on the masonry bit. This works as a great little DIY drill stop.
Step 3 - Prepare the Pilot Hole
Place a pilot drill bit on the drill. Before you turn the drill on, make sure you’re wearing your protective gear. You want to have eye goggles to protect this tender area. You will also need a face mask. This will keep you from breathing in dust and particles that can be hazardous to your health. You can also wear ear protection and gloves if you like.
Step 4 - Drill the Pilot Hole
Turn the drill on low speed, hold it steady and place the drill level against the wall. You will need to put some force on the drill in order to start going through the brick. Ensure that your feet are planted and that both hands are on the drill. Drill until the bit goes into the brick and then push steadily forward until you get to your desired depth.
Pro tip: You could overheat your bit by running the drill continuously at one speed through this process. To avoid this, drill in short burst will little breaks in-between.
Step 5 - Change Bits
Take off the pilot bit and place the masonry bit on the drill. Press the drill against the wall and make sure it is level. Now, drill into the pilot hole until you reach the right depth.
Step 6 - Clean the Hole
Remove the drill from the wall and use a can of compressed air to thoroughly clean the hole. You want to get rid of all debris and dust. Otherwise, the hardware you insert into the hole may be uneven or poorly placed.
Step 7 - Insert Wall Anchors and Screws
Push your wall anchors into the hole to support the weight of the item you're going to be hanging from the brick. Place the screw inside the anchors and mount your item.
Finally, clean up your work site. Dust the wall and sweep up the floor to remove all brick dust. Now step back to admire your work!