It is more likely than not that at some stage you will have to drill a hole or two into the masonry around the house. It could be something as simple as putting up some new shelving or hanging a flat-panel TV to the wall – either way you will need to ensure you prepare correctly so the job is completed without compromising the integrity of the wall structure.
Some people feel more confident than others about tackling DIY around the house but whether experienced or not, the same procedure should be followed to create the perfect hole. Our article will tell you exactly how to drill into brick without breaking the material or causing any unforeseen problems.
Measure the size
Before any hole is made in the brick you will need to measure the size of the hole you need to make. Whether you are placing a screw, bolt or any other type of holding mechanism into the hole, you should measure the width and length of whatever it is you plan to use. Once you have these dimensions you can then pick the size and length of the drill bit required for the job.
It is rare that you will find a drill bit that matches the exact measurements you need, but this not a problem as ideally you will want to create a hole a little bit larger than the width of the item being placed inside. For larger holes it helps to drill a smaller pilot hole as a guide.
Find the right drill bit
You will need a power drill to bore into masonry and the drill bits required for the job are a little bit different to the other types used on tile or glass, for example. Take note that if you own an SDS masonry drill you will need SDS drill bits that are compatible with SDS chucks. Bosch SDS-plus drill bits are a good example of this which can be bought in increments of 0.5mm and 1.0mm from 5mm up to 11mm long.
It is more common to use a hammer action to drill into brick although this is not always the best option. If you do require a hammer drill then the DeWalt D25033K SDS+ Hammer Drill is designed for creating anchor and fixing holes into masonry and concrete.
Choosing to use a hammer drill will depend on the type of brick or block you are planning to bore into. If the material is brittle then hammering in with a drill will quickly cause it to break up. If you find that your wall plugs are not secured tightly enough inside the masonry then it is likely the material has been damaged. In this scenario creating another hole without using the hammer action will probably result in a much better finish. If you require a drill that provides both options then the Makita DHR241Z allows you to switch between rotary or hammer only.
Find the right spot
You will want to get the job done correctly and accurately the first time round and you can do this by preparing the surface area and marking the entry point of the drill. Use a measuring tape to make sure you have the right spot and check there’s no piping or electrical wires behind the structure before you start.
A small drill bit used on a slow speed is the best way to create a pilot hole to make it much easier to bore precisely into the right area. If possible, drill through the cement mortar rather than the bricks themselves as it is much easier to bore into and will prevent the bricks from breaking up and weakening the structure.
Use protective clothing
It makes sense to take some precautionary measures when using the drill on any surface. This doesn’t have to mean kitting yourself out from head-to-toe in padded clothing but being smart about covering sensitive areas of the body that could be vulnerable.
For example, wearing a pair of safety goggles will protect the eyes from any floating dust particles or shavings from the masonry that could suddenly fly off from the surface while the drill is in action. Atom Safety Goggles are particularly useful at offering this sort of protection.
Gloves are another good way of providing better grip while using the drill and protecting the skin if it starts to become hot. You may also choose to wear a dust mask if you are planning on doing a lot of drilling that will generate a large amount of dust in the air that could easily be inhaled. For those who suffer with respiratory conditions this help keep your airwaves clear.
Drilling into the brick
Now you have properly prepared to drill into the brick you can start to use the drill to create the hole. If the hole is of a larger size then it is advisable to create a pilot hole using a smaller drill bit. This will provide a clear guide that will enable you to bore through with more accuracy.
Here are a few simple steps to follow:
- If the brick is not brittle and the drill features a hammer action you can use this option. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as the drill will have sufficient power to do the job. Remember not to use a high speed, take your time, and occasionally stop to cool down the drill bit as this can get very hot.
- After the required depth has been achieved in the surface area you can clear out any excess dust by keeping the drill running and slowly moving it backwards and forwards inside the hole. If there is too much debris inside the hole it can prevent the wall plug from finding enough grip.
- Carefully slide in the wall plug required for the hole until the tip is level with the edge of the hole.
- Place the item you wish to fix to the wall in-front of the hole, insert the screw and slowly tighten it on a slow speed.
- The screw will fill out the wall plug so it sits flush inside the hole and the deeper you turn the screw the tighter you should feel it becoming.