How to Drill through a Brick Surface

Brick wall
  • 1-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Masonry bit
Plumbers putty

If you are going to drill brick surfaces in your home, you should consider it seriously as it requires thorough planning and special care to prevent damage. This is especially true if it is your first time doing it. The reasons for drilling a hole through brick include getting a cable or pipe through because there is no other way to get them into your house.

Step 1 - Assess the Job

Determine first the size of the hole you are going to drill through brick. Usually, it should be quite bigger than the pipe or cable that you are going to install through it. You should also determine the length of the drilling that is required, which would give you an idea of the drill bit you are going to use.

Step 2 - Purchase the Masonry Bit

group of drill bits

Once you have determined the size of the hole you are going to drill, verify if it can be handled by your power drill. Some bits are too large for some drill models. If you require a larger hole, you might have to purchase another power drill as well. You will also have to buy a smaller bit for drilling a pilot hole. Ensure that the bits are long enough for your task.

Step 3 - Assess the Hole Location

Find the exact spot where you are going to drill the hole. If it can be done, make a hole through the mortar that is between bricks rather than on the brick itself since it is much easier. There is less likelihood of cracking the brick and your drill will have less wear and tear. Make sure there are no obstacles along the drill path such as electrical wires or pipes which were installed inside the walling.

Step 4 - Ensure Safety

Have a small can of water on hand. You will need it to cool down the bit. Wear your goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris that will result from the drilling.

Step 5 - Drill the Pilot Hole

Drill a pilot hole first if you are going to make a large hole using the small drill bit. The pilot hole will aid in guiding the large drill bit.

Step 6 - Drill through Brick

cordless drill and bit

In drilling through the brick, a few seconds with short breaks in between is better. During the break, immerse the tip of the drill bit on the can of water to cool it down. This is because brick and mortar generates a lot of heat when drilled with a power tool. Drilling for a few seconds and then taking a cooling off break will ensure your drill bit will last through the process. You should also make sure your drill bit does not get stuck on the brick, which is another reason why you should drill for a few seconds at a time only. A stuck drill bit would be a big problem on the project.

Step 7 - Drill the Hole Itself

Once you have finished with drilling the pilot hole, change your drill bit to the appropriate size and drill through the pilot hole you have made.

Step 8 - Seal the Hole

After the drill goes through the brick, push the cable or pipe through it and seal the hole with a plumber’s putty.