Properly drilling into brick

by PineHallBrick
Before you begin your project, its important to ensure you have the proper equipment. A lightweight electric drill will not be strong enough to handle the stress of drilling into your masonry. Instead, invest in a more heavy-duty drill with a hammer feature. This allows the drill bit to break up the masonry.
You will also need to purchase a masonry drill bit. These bits have harder cutting tips made of tougher materials than their standard counterparts. The tips of masonry bits are also shaped differently, more like an arrow, than other drill bits. You can also tell that you are using a masonry bit because the tip will be slightly larger than the rest of the bit. You will also need a screwdriver bit, plastic anchors and safety glasses.
It is also important to consider where in your wall you will drill. There are two options when drilling into a brick wall: either directly into the brick itself or into the mortar between bricks. We recommend drilling into the mortar instead of the brick for a few reasons. Drilling directly into brick is more difficult than drilling into mortar and runs the risk of damaging the brick. It is also easier to repair mortar if you drill into the wrong location or decide to remove your decorative item.
Use a marker to make a point on the mortar indicating where you need to drill. This will depend on the object you are hanging. Using your masonry bit, start to drill into the mortar. Go slowly. Drilling too quickly may lead to an unnecessary mistake or may cause the bit to overheat.
Once you have drilled your hole, insert your plastic anchor. You should be able to slide them in with your hand or tap them in gently with a hammer. Once your anchor is in place, remove your masonry bit and replace it with the screwdriver bit. Drill a screw into the anchor as you would into an interior wall, ensuring you leave enough of the screw exposed to hang your object. As you screw into the plastic anchor, the anchor will expand and grab onto the edges of the masonry. This ensures your object will be hung securely.
Example of a proper masonry bit
Drilling into mortar is safer and more easily repairable if you make a mistake.
Plastic anchors make it easier to insert screws for hanging.
Masonry art
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • PineHallBrick PineHallBrick on Apr 04, 2013
    Hi Clay! This is a "do it right the first time" situation. If the bracket is installed properly, which means it has no movement when the flag is attached, it will hold without damage to the mortar joint. Use a strong masonry adhesive and screws to attach the bracket. Then, check it from time to time to make sure it hasn't loosened up.

  • Mari Mari on Nov 01, 2017
    Thanks for the tutorial! What brand/type of drill would you recommend??