Whenever you want to make a hole in your wall to hang something, the first thing you reach for is the drill. No matter what drill or drill bit you use, you can rest assured that only a few seconds separate you from having a perfect hole in the wall. But what happens when you do not have a drill available or when it is not an option to use a drill at all?!
This is usually the case with people who want to drill into a brick wall but want to avoid damaging the wall at all costs. After all, damage to one brick would mean the entire wall has a good chance of deteriorating over time. So, they want to put aside their hammer drill and masonry drill bit and use an alternative drilling method. Luckily for them, there are quite a few convenient alternatives to explore.
Even though it is quite challenging to drill into brick without using a suitable drill or drill bit, I want to tell you how you can ease things up and make a hole in the wall that will not cause any deterioration. If you want to learn more about these alternatives to drilling holes with an actual drill, stick around for the rest of the guide!
Tools and Materials You Will Need
First of all, you will need to decide what drilling alternative you want to focus on. For today's article, I will tell you initially how you can make a hole using a screw. For this drilling process, you will need a small nail, a larger screw, an anchor that can fit the screw, measuring tape, a marker, a nail, and possibly a screwdriver as well.
I recommend that you get a screw with a large head so that you do not risk it going too deep into the wall and getting stuck there. This would usually not be the case when using an anchor, but using a screw with a larger head is still a safe bet.
Furthermore, I recommend having at least some protective gear with you. You should put on some safety goggles to ensure nothing gets into your eyes while using a dust mask to keep the dust from entering your lungs. Finally, get your hair out of the way, remove all jewellery you do not want to risk damaging, and put on some old clothes. Once you do that, you can start preparing the brick wall for screwing.
Preparing the Brick Wall for Screwing
The problem with bricks is that they are not easy to drill into. If you try drilling into brick with anything besides the ideal equipment, you will only damage the bricks. The same goes for trying to drill into brick with anything besides a drill - it takes much consideration and extreme care.
To avoid damaging the brick, I recommend that you try making screw holes in the mortar, which is the material between the bricks. It is easy to drill, can easily be fixed with more mortar if you want to fill up the holes, and does not require any special drilling equipment such as a hammer drill or masonry bit.
But the problem with mortar is that you cannot hang anything too heavy. Instead, you will need to make more holes in the brick to hand things like a TV or shelves you want to stack up with books. Still, the preparation would go something like this:
Use the measuring tape to determine the perfect place to make a hole.
Use a marker to mark the spot, usually by making a small dot where you need to make the hole.
Grab a small nail and a hammer. You can use a regular screwdriver if you do not have a hammer.
Put the nail where you marked the spot, and using the hammer or screwdriver, push the nail slightly into the brick or mortar. This means you will make a pilot hole, usually only a few millimetres deep.
The pilot hole is usually used for guidance so you do not miss the spot where you want to drill. Since the hole is less than a quarter inch, it will not make much difference, even if you make it in the wrong place. After making the pilot hole, you can start the actual hole.
Inserting the Screw and Anchor
When making a new hole in your brick wall, you will need to install the actual metal anchors and screws before you can hang anything. You should already have the anchors and screws at this point, with the screw size being identical or only slightly larger than the metal anchors. Once you ensure you have everything, here is what you should do:
Grab a larger screw and a hammer. Set the screw point into the pilot hole and use a bit of force to widen the hole. You should use less force as you do not want to risk damaging anything while always using controlled pressure.
You can make a hole with the diameter and depth needed without a drill using a hammer or a screwdriver. Then, you can wiggle the screw around to widen the hole if needed. You need the hole to be the same size as the anchor you plan on using, as there should be a snuggle fit between the two.
Once you have the perfect hole, install the anchor and add the screw directly to the anchor. You can repeat this process for as many holes as you need. However, you must be careful with what you hand using the screws - brick can hold more weight, while mortar can only hold a few pounds.
Now, you finally have a hole that you make without a drill! Congrats, you can move on to hanging any hanging art, flowers, shelves, mirrors, or anything else you want to decorate your blank walls with.
Alternative Methods for Screwing into Brick
If, for any reason, you do not want to try drilling into brick walls with the abovementioned technique, you can also look into a few convenient alternatives that are almost effortless and do not consume much time. That said, you should remember that most of these methods are not suitable for hanging heavy things but can certainly come in handy for art, wreaths, or something more lightweight.
Brick clips are convenient metal clips you can use on smaller bricks to hang anything. The clip is similar to a claw, with the upper claw going over the brick and the lower one going on the bottom side of it. These clips are suitable for holding up to 25 pounds, but that goes only for high-quality clips that cost more. If you want something more affordable, you might have to compromise the weight limit.
Adhesive tape and hooks are another convenient way to hang things. You need to buy heavy-duty tape, attach it to the wall, and then use it to hang the hooks. In this case, the weight limit is not that high, but you can try another option. If you want to hang something heavier, you can get double-sided tape and attach it to the wall and the thing you want to hang. Rest assured that nothing will be moving, at least not for a while.
A tension rod looks like a rod you would use to hang curtains, but it can also be used to hang a variety of other things, such as flowers, shutters, etc. There is no drilling at all - you only need to put the rod where you want it to stay and either get it stuck into that position or use tape to keep it in place. These rods come in all lengths and from various materials, so you should be able to find one that will fit your needs.
If there is nothing else you can try, you can always use a piece of furniture, such as a standing shelf or bookcase and add things to it. Standing shelves look amazingly well before brick walls, so you should not dread adding one to your room. Plus, think of all the storage space you will get that way!
Finally, you can use a self-drilling anchor to make a hole in the wall. Instead of needing to drill a hole, you make the pilot hole and push the self-drilling anchor in. The anchor will make a hole for itself, which you can use to hang anything you want.
Thank you for reading this guide on drilling into brick walls without using drills or drill bits. Remember that you can always use a hammer or screwdriver to drive a nail or screw through the wall, but you must be careful when doing it into brick. It is recommended to stick to mortar drilling, but if you need to make larger holes, then brick it is!
If you know any tips or tricks for drilling into brick walls without a hammer or regular drill, please share them in the comment section below. I would love to learn more about your experience with brick walls and if you have ever had any problem hanging anything to it!