Drill Through a Brick Wall in 8 Steps

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 10-500
What You'll Need
Masonry bit
Plumber putty
Bucket of cool water

Drilling through a brick wall requires preparation and skill. Done improperly, drilling could substantially damage your existing wall or the drill. Read this quick guide for eight easy steps to drill through a brick wall correctly.

Step 1 – Plan the Hole

Before you begin drilling into the masonry, you should know the size of the hole you will ultimately need. Oftentimes you will place a bolt in the hole to hold something else in place. Therefore, you should measure the width and length of the bolt or other securing device. These two measurements will determine the size and length of the drill bit you need.

Generally, you should drill a hole that is slightly larger than the width of the item you place in the hole. If the hole will be large, you will use a smaller bit initially to drill a small pilot hole.

Step 2 – Procure the Proper Drill Bit

Once you know the size and length of the masonry bit you need to use, attach it to your drill. Drilling into masonry requires a large power drill because of the density of the material you are drilling. If you do not have a large, powerful drill, consider renting one.

Step 3 – Mark the Wall

Mark the precise place you will drill the hole. Check to see that there are no electrical wires, plumbing, or other structures behind the masonry before you start. Also, attempt to drill through the cement mortar instead of directly through the bricks. Not only is it easier to drill through mortar, but also it will prevent the bricks from shattering.

Step 4 – Wear Safety Gear

You should always wear the proper safety gear when working with drills. This includes eye goggles, to shield your eyes from flying brick-mortar particles, a dust mask, and gloves. Also make sure that you're familiar with the power drill by reading the instruction manual before operating.

Step 5 – Drill Hole

If you are drilling a large hole, you will first need to drill a small pilot hole. Place a smaller masonry bit on the power drill and carefully drill the hole in the mortar where you have marked.

If you’re drilling a small-to-medium hole, you can now drill through the brick with the appropriate-sized bit.

Step 6 – Cool the Bit

Drilling through mortar is stressful on a power drill, even a high-powered one. The bit will become hot. Keep a bucket of water close by, so that you can occasionally cool the bit as it heats up in the drilling process. You can either pour the water over the bit, or carefully dip the bit into the water. Be careful to only get the bit wet and not the drill itself.

Step 7 – Free the Bit if Stuck

As you drill, you may find occasionally that the drill bit becomes stuck in the wall. If this occurs, first try carefully reversing the bit to pull it out of the wall. If this does not work, then you will need to dig through the masonry to retrieve the bit. Unfortunately, digging through the masonry will probably result in damage to the brick, so avoid this if at all possible.

Step 8 – Seal the Hole

When you are finished and have completed drilling through the wall, thread the item through the wall and seal the opening with putty.