People love getting their bricks out. In the rental market, homeowners opt for exposed brick walls over other options because it allows them to up the rent. Given their immense popularity and widespread use, it’s worth knowing how to drill into a brick wall effectively, without creating chips or damage.
What’s in a brick?
Your basic brick is made from clay, pressed into a block, and kiln-heated to make it hard. Different combos of hydrated silicates, iron, sand and shale are added, depending on the manufacturer. They are relatively easy to drill through, so long as you know what you’re doing.
We always recommend using gloves and protective eyewear when working with power tools. Ear protection is also worthwhile when drilling into brick as it can get loud.
If you’re drilling as part of a home improvement project, it’s important to know what might be lying within the wall you’re drilling into. Certain areas of the wall may have cables or pipes running through it and the last thing you want to do is drill into either of those.
Ensure your drill bits are up to spec for the job. They do get worn over time and can sometimes get slightly bent. Be sure to check and replace them if needed.
Drilling into brick with a rotary hammer or hammer drill
What you’ll need
- Rotary hammer or hammer drill;
- Masonry drill bit;
- Safety gear.
Those are the basic essentials. If you’re decorating, you may also need:
- A spirit level.
The hammer drill takes advantage of brick’s unique combination of hardness and brittleness. If operated correctly, it precisely chips away small pieces to create a perfect hole.
It’s best to mark the wall first, without the hammer action on. This helps you get a clean hole and avoid chipping the brick. Generally speaking, you want to keep the drill at a 90 degree angle to the wall. Keep your grip firm and don’t let the drill sway or move as you work. If you are inexperienced with hammer drills, you can turn the hammer action off when pulling out of the wall. This will help ensure you don’t inadvertently burst the brick.
Drilling into a brick wall without a hammer drill
Mortar is a lot easier to drill through than brick, so if your project can be lined up with the mortar, you can get away with using a regular drill with a masonry drill bit. However, mortar is far more likely to crumble than brick, so your anchor won’t be as secure as it would be if you drilled directly into the brick.