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How to Drill into Concrete

Drilling into brick or a concrete facade can be a challenging task. Unlike wood or plastic, masonry is much harder to bore a hole through. Also, you might encounter pockets of aggregate that can stall a project. Whether it's hanging pictures on a brick wall or creating a paver-based walkway, here are some easy steps for drilling a hole into concrete.

What you'll need:

  • Hammer drill or rotary hammer. Either a rotary hammer or hammer drill should provide enough force to bore a hole into concrete.
  • Masonry bit. This type of drill bit is specifically designed to bore into brick and other masonry.
  • Masking tape. Use a piece of masking tape to mark how deep to drive the bit.
  • Hammer and masonry nail. Both tools are useful for breaking up almost any aggregate.
  • Safety glasses and dust mask. A pair of safety glasses should help keep concrete dust away from your eyes and the mask can help prevent you from breathing in debris.
  • Earplugs. These can help limit the loud noise from a hammer drill.
  • Chalk or pencil. Mark your drilling spot using a pencil or piece of chalk.
  • Air compressor. Use this device to clean concrete dust from the drilled hole.

Step 1: Wear proper gear.

Before this project, put on safety goggles and a dust mask to protect you from debris. Earplugs are also essential to block out loud noises while drilling.


how to drill into concrete

Step 2: Mark the drill bit and concrete

An advanced drill might have a depth gauge to determine how far to drill. If your hammer drill doesn't have a gauge, wrap a piece of masking tape around the masonry bit to mark how deep you'll need to drill. Next, use chalk or a pencil to mark the spot you're drilling to ensure a clean and accurate hole through the brick or concrete facade.


drillling into concrete

Step 3: Drill slowly.

Line up the tip of the bit with the mark, but don’t put all your weight on the rotary hammer or hammer drill. Make sure to drill in small bursts or at a low drilling speed so the bit doesn't bind up and slow down the process. Allow the device to do the work while keeping a firm grip.



Step 4: Cool the drill down.

Back the rotary hammer or hammer drill out frequently while boring the hole so it cools off. Stop drilling once you've reached the desired depth.



Step 5: Break up any blockage.

If you stall while at any point while drilling, a chunk of aggregate rock could be in the way. Remove the drill and hammer in a masonry nail to break up the blockage. Try not to drive the masonry nail too deeply so that it's not too difficult to remove.


Step 6: Remove excess concrete dust.

When you're done drilling, use an air compressor to clean out any debris and concrete dust from the hole. Once the hole is clean, it should be ready for a screw or anchor.