Drilling into brick can be a tricky task for some people. Check out these foolproof tips to get neat holes so you can screw things in any masonry wall.
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Tools You Need for Drilling into Brick
Drilling into brick is done for various kinds of reasons, such as screwing something to the wall, installing plugs and anchors, or making a cable or pipe pass through it. Unfortunately, drilling into very hard brick is no picnic. Therefore, before you begin, preparing the appropriate tools for this job is imperative.
Here are the tools you need when drilling into brick:
- Eye goggles. This will help you shield your eyes as this job entails flying brick-mortar particles.
- A dust masks so that the fine particles will not cause any harm to your respiratory system.
- A pencil or masking tape to mark the position of where you are going to drill a hole.
- Power drill.
- Masonry drill bits.
Before Drilling into Brick
Before drilling into brick, make sure there are not any pipes and cables in the area you are going to work on. If uncertain, you can use a pipe and electrical cable detector. Once you find the exact spot, mark it with a pencil or masking tape. If the area is clear, now you can begin to decide the size of the hole. It is usually larger than the width of the item that is going to be placed in it.
When drilling into brick, you will need an appropriate bolt acting as a securing device. Since the bolt comes in various width and length, determining the size of the hole you are going to make is necessary. Use a smaller bit initially to make a small pilot hole if you are going to drill a large one.
Use the Right Drill Bit
To do this project, you are going to need a masonry drill bit. It is different from the one used for metal and wood. Masonry drill bits feature a normal round shank that can perfectly fit in a standard keyed or key-less drill chuck. So, you do not need to buy a new one.
When to Use a Hammer Action
When using masonry bits, people usually drill with a hammer action. This is unnecessary, though. Therefore, you should avoid it. The reason why you should not need a hammer is that your brick or block may be brittle. Using it will just wreak havoc to the wall. However, you do need this hammer in some cases. If you keep drilling holes but the plugs spinning in the hole are not biting, it means you need to use it.
Prepare Your Power Drill
Choosing the best drill to do this job is indispensable. Both the holes’ size and the density of the material will influence which drill will be going to be used. Bear in mind that the bigger the hole you are going to make, the more powerful a drill will be needed. There are four types of drills you can use in this project.
• Cordless Battery Powered Drill
This type of tool is suitable for small holes up to 25mm.
• Cordless Hammer Drill
This drill is made to make larger holes while it powered by a battery.
• Mains Powered Hammer Drill
It is a 240v or 110v power drill featuring rotary and hammer actions.
• Rotary Hammer Drill
An extremely powerful drill is suitable for large core holes in masonry and concrete.
Begin to Drill
Whatever the size is, you will need to make a small pilot hole when drilling into brick. Place a smaller size of a masonry bit on the power drill, then carefully begin to drill a hole in the mortar that has been marked. If you are going to make a small or medium hole, you can just drill through the brick. Make sure you are doing it with the appropriate-sized bit.
Let the Bit be Cool
Drilling into brick can be stressful on a power drill. Even if it is a high-powered one. The bit will soon become hot. To overcome this problem, keep a bucket of water next to you so that you can cool the bit when it heats up during the drilling process. Make sure that you only get the bit wet, not the entire drill itself.
How to Free the Bit when It is Stuck
When drilling into brick, you might find your bit stuck in the wall. If it happens, try reversing the bit so that it can be pulled out of the wall. Make sure you do it carefully. If it does not work at all, you may need to dig through the wall which can wreak havoc on the masonry.
- Seal the Opening
Once you have made the hole and threaded the item through the wall, seal the opening with plumber’s putty. Here are the steps for using the plumber’s putty.
- Take the putty and roll it out with your hands. It may look like play dough, but do not worry! Your body heat will help to soften it so that it can be pliable.
- Apply it and insert the fitting. Do not worry about the excess putty. It will ooze out.
- Wipe away the excess putty.
How to Drill into Brick without Cracking It
The most daunting part of drilling into brick is the damage caused by the process. But you can follow these tips below to avoid it. Make sure you drill the wall at a 90-degree angle. Drilling at an inappropriate angle will cause problems with mounting alignment. Besides, it will ruin the integrity of the brick as you use it to hold your item later on.
- Drill smaller pilot holes first even if you are going to make a larger one.
- Once the pilot hole is made, you can begin to use more speed and pressure.
- Move the drill bit back and forth to get rid of the debris that can clog the flutes.
- You have to repeat the previous process although you have finished drilling to remove the debris remaining in the hole.
- Consider using a can of compressed air to remove any remaining debris so that the hole you have made can hold anchors and screws better.
- If your drill only has a one-speed setting, try operating it in short bursts so that the bit will not be overheated.
Drilling into brick may need lots of efforts. Especially, when you never use them before. But with the right tools and techniques, you can do it like a professional.