Drill into Brick

How to Drill into Brick Without Cracking It

One of the best ways to improve your home is to add some interesting decorations to the walls. After all, who wants to have nothing but blank walls in their home? It looks much better when you decorate them with paintings, shelves, hanging light fixtures, etc.

More often than not, such wall decorations require a bit of drilling. You need to make a hole to add the decoration, or rather the mount or screw you will use to attach the decoration. To make that hole, you often need to drill into brick. But have you ever thought about how to drill into brick without cracking it?

It is possible to drill into bricks without cracking them. You would need a special drill, drill bit, wall plugs, and screws to get the decoration up on the wall. But the entire process is relatively easy and convenient. Moreover, drilling into brick without cracking allows you to protect your walls from damage and ensure your safety during the drilling process.

Suppose you want to learn more about drilling into bricks without cracking. In that case, you should read this detailed guide, which provides helpful tips and tricks for safer and more effective drilling. Let's dive right into the topic and start with the guide!

Safety Precautions

safety glasses

Whenever you want to try drilling into brick, there are a few things you also need to do to ensure both you and the brick are safe. You do not want to risk injury or damage to the entire wall because you failed to follow the safety protocol. While there is no safety protocol in this situation per se, here are some of the precautions I recommend you keep in mind:

Protective Gear

Wearing protective gear is imperative. When you drill into brick, a large amount of dust starts flying in the air. If you inhale the dust, especially one paired with silica, you could have a severe respiratory problem. So, I recommend always wearing a mask or covering your mouth and nose.

At the same time, you need to protect your eyes from dust, so investing in goggles is wise. You can wear some hair covering if you do not want dust to get into your hair, whereas you can also try wearing gloves. Just ensure they are not slippery and will not cause problems while operating the drill.

Proper Clothing

Whenever you do any project with a drill, not only drilling into brick, you should wear a short-sleeve t-shirt and fitted pants. I do not recommend wearing baggy clothes as they can easily get caught up on the drill and cause it to malfunction. You could also be injured if your clothes or jewelry gets caught on the drill.

Tightened Drill Bit

The drill bit is very important as it is the part that will be going into the brick to create the actual hole. Depending on your drill type and desired depth and size of the hole, you can choose a different drill bit.

Whatever drill bit you use, you must ensure that it is tight and there is no way it can get loose during the drilling process. Otherwise, you could risk injuring your hands and breaking or damaging the brick, which is something you should try to avoid at all costs.

Protective Drill Stand

When drilling into bricks, you must be precise and not apply too much pressure. It would be best to drill directly into the brick at a 90-degree angle. You must hold the drill straight and avoid slippage or sudden movements.

If you cannot hold the drill correctly, you can always get a drill stand and use it to maintain proper position and pressure. Such stands are relatively inexpensive, so anyone should be able to get one.

Choosing the Right Drill Bit

Drill Bits

Whenever you need to drill into a brick wall, you will need the right tools to ensure you do not damage the bricks. I recommend using a hammer drill instead of a regular drill, as well as a masonry drill bit has proven to be the most effective for drilling into brick.

While hammer drills are a sure shot when dealing with brick walls, the drill bit could vary. There are various drill bits on the market, including steel, carbon, masonry bits, etc. The most famous and widely used are the carbide-tipped masonry bits, which are perfect for safely drilling into bricks.

Once you have the proper drill and have decided on the type of drill bit you like, you should consider the length and diameter of the bit. The measurements can vary depending on the wall plugs and anchors you will use and the screws you will use to hang wall decorations.

So, ensure you consider all these things when choosing the right bit. While the diameter should be determined based on the screws, the length can vary and be marked with tape to stop you from going too deep.

Preparing the Surface

Besides choosing the best drill and masonry drill bits, you must also prepare the surface for the drilling. You must get right into the drilling with previous preparation.

Luckily, the preparation is quite short and involves only three steps. Here is a bit more information on those steps:

Inspect location

The first thing to do is inspect your desired drilling spot. Often, bricks can hide electrical wires or water and gas pipes. If you start drilling without inspecting the area first, you risk hitting a wire or pipe and causing a huge problem.

This is why I recommend that you do some inspection before anything else. You can use special tools to inspect your brick wall, no matter what kind of brick or mortar material has been used in the making. These tools can work on burnt, concrete, fire, or sun-dried clay bricks.

Clean brick wall

Next up, you should clean the bricks. Chances are there is a fair amount of dust on them. If there is also some grease, you must remove it before drilling, or you risk the drill slipping and causing more harm than good.

So, grab a clean towel, soak it in lukewarm water, and go over the bricks. That way, you will know the bricks are as clean as possible.

Decide on the drill point

As a final part of the preparation, I recommend you decide on the drill point. Please mark it with a marker or some chalk, depending on what is available to you. That point can also serve for the pilot hole, which is always a good idea before you make larger drill holes. When you mark the drill area, you can prepare to drill into the brick.

Drilling Techniques

Drilling Techniques

You need to follow a simple drilling technique when drilling into brick walls. That technique involves using a hammer drill, masonry drill bits, making the pilot and large holes, adding all plugs and screws, and doing all this without ever causing any damage or breaking the brick.

To help you get through the entire process, I have created a step-by-step guide outlining every step you should take to ensure you successfully put the screw into the brick wall. Here is what the step-by-step process involves:

Prepare the hammer drill for action

The first thing to do is ensure you have all the needed tools. Grab your hammer drill, plug it into an electrical socket, or ensure the battery is fully charged to give you enough run time.

Then, add the right masonry bit and ensure it is tight with no chance of coming off. Next, consider adding a depth-stop attachment. The depth-stop attachment can help you make a hole with the correct depth. So, depending on the correct depth in your case, place the stopper wherever needed. If you do not have a stopper, use some masking tape to mark the bit.

Next, ensure that you hold the drill at a 90-degree angle to the wall and that it is straight. That way, you will get the best drill hole.

Make pilot hole

It would be best if you started the drilling with a pilot hole. You can make one when using a hammer and nail punch. Then, broaden the hole by drilling at low speed and pressure.

The hole needs to be smaller and narrow than the hole you need to make. This hole will only serve as a helping hole so that you avoid making a mistake and damaging the brick.

While smaller or more narrow, this hole should be the desired depth. As soon as you make the pilot hole, you can make the screw hole you will use to hang your wall decorations.

Make larger holes

After the pilot holes, you should make large drill holes. Now, use one of the masonry bits you selected earlier. Start slowly and with steady pressure, gradually adding more speed and force. You should also make slight back-and-forth movements with the drill to mimic hammer action.

If you feel that the drill is getting too hot at any time, stop and allow the drill to cool down. This can happen if you use a regular drill, but it is rare with high-quality hammer drills.

After your hole reaches the desired size and depth, slowly remove the bit from the wall, removing as much dust from the wall as you can.

Insert wall plugs and screws

Once the hole is ready, you should grab and insert your wall plug. Using a hammer, you can force it into the wall. Wall plugs come before the screw, so ensure you do not put the screw in first.

After adding wall plugs, you can add screws that match the drill holes. The screws should not be too large or small, so you must ensure they fit correctly.

Aftercare - When Job Done

When you finish drilling, the first thing to do is vacuum or use compressed air to clear out any remaining dust and debris.

If your plugs or screws do not fit tightly into the holes, add some mortar to ensure the screw does not move. This step will help you prevent damage to the bricks in the future.

The final step is to add whatever wall decoration you want using your newly installed screws!


Thank you for reading this guide on safe and effective drilling into bricks without breaking or causing any other kind of damage to the brick. Please ensure that you use the proper equipment and follow the steps listed above to install the screws properly.

If you have any experience drilling into bricks, please share it with me in the comment section below. Also, if I left any of your questions on the topic unanswered, hit me up and I will make sure to respond as soon as possible!

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