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How to Drill into Masonry: Stone/Brick/Concrete

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If you want to hang something on stone or brick the process is a little different than hanging on drywall. Today we will go through all the steps on how to drill into Masonry such as stone, brick, and concrete.

How to Drill Into Masonry, stone/brick/concrete pin for pinterest.

I was talking with my Mother in Law this past weekend and she asked me, how did you hang your clock, was it hard?  

That’s when it hit me, with all these projects I am doing around my house I just say, insert a screw or drill into concrete.  Most recently you can see in my How to Stain Concrete Floors post, the section on inserting the transition strips.  

I don’t really go into detail but there is definitely more to it than just using a regular drill and bit and going to town.  Here is a detailed description of how to drill into masonry.  Specifically, we will discuss how to drill into stone or brick and concrete.

*This post contains affiliate links. For more details, see my full disclosure.

How to Drill Stone or Brick

Let’s start with how I hung my clock on my stone fireplace.  

I have a large stone fireplace that is almost 12 feet wide and goes all the way to the top of my vaulted ceiling.  

The mantle is a huge rustic beam that must have been salvaged, it was there already when we moved in.  I know with all the hard edges of the fireplace and mantle I wanted something round above.

On the other side of the fireplace (in the foyer) is a big round mirror. I didn’t want to do the same thing on both sides of the fireplace so I decided to go for a clock.  

Not just any clock, I love the stone and didn’t want to cover it up so something that did not have a solid backing was the way to go.  I found this one at Kirkland’s (which is on sale right now) and I simply love it!  I also loved the price, about 1/3 the cost of some I was seeing on other websites.

The clock hanging on my stone fireplace above a large wooden beam for a mantel.

To hang this clock I needed a screw inserted into the stone to fit the mounting bracket in order to hang.  I did a google search on how to drill into masonry and all I got were YouTube videos…..helpful but mostly not very good.  

There were several different methods but I decided to go with the lead anchor.  What I liked about the lead anchor is that it’s just like an anchor you would put into drywall, except it goes into masonry.  You also need a masonry bit and drill.

Basically, the directions (which were on the package and you should definitely follow whatever is on the package) were to drill with the masonry bit (they said which exact size to use) into the mortar/stone or brick to a certain depth.  

Make sure you follow the directions on the lead anchor packaging on how far to drill.  

Then you tap the anchor in with a hammer then insert the screw far enough in so that you can hang your clock (or whatever else you may be hanging).  

Make sure you use the right size drill bit, my husband didn’t want to put such a big hole into the mortar so he used a smaller one then tried to tap it in.  The lead anchor completely bent up, it was very surprising how easily it bent.  I would definitely follow the instructions on the box for this.

How to Drill into Stone or Brick, printable directions:

How to Drill into Masonry, stone and brick.

Materials

  • Lead anchor
  • blue painters tape or masking tape

Tools

  • Masonry drill bits
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver

Instructions

  1. Choose where you want to hang your wall art and mark it.
  2. From the lead anchor directions, determine how deep the drill bit needs to go and mark that distance on the bit using masking tape.
  3. Using the masonry drill bit drill a hole into the stone/brick as deep as the lead anchor directions say to go.
  4. With a hammer tap the anchor into the hole.
  5. With a screwdriver insert the screw into the anchor leaving space to hang your art on the end.
  6. Hang your art!

How to Drill into Concrete Floors

This one gave us a run for our money.  You need to buy these wooden pegs specifically for this.  On the package, it will tell you what size drill bit to use.   

The Youtube directions basically said to use a masonry drill bit, like the one we used for the stone fireplace, make a hole in the concrete then drop in this wood plug. Once the plug is inserted, drill the screw through the transition strip into the plug.  Easier said than done!!!!!

Solutions to common problems.

The drill bit kept skipping all over the floor when trying to make the hole.  

And the mark I made for where I needed to drill the holes got wiped away from the floor.  

How we solved that was to use a regular drill bit and make a little divot into the concrete.  Then used a smaller masonry bit to start the hole, the same one we used for the fireplace.  Then finished it off with the required size drill bit.  

But a word of warning!!!!!  Using a regular drill bit on concrete might break the drill bit.  Do this at your own risk and please be careful!  Wear safety goggles just in case it breaks and parts fly around.  I was terrified but my husband said “it will be fine”.  It was but I was very worried.

Then we drilled into the wrong place.  

Because the skipping wiped away all the marks of where I needed things to go I measured again and marked.  

Even using the regular bit to get the hole started the hole did not always end up in the right spots, it would be slightly to one side or the other just enough to throw off the other marks.  

I ended up having to start over several times.  My advice would be to mark all the holes, drill in one then measure again!  You may need to adjust the spots where you originally marked.  Repeat this process after drilling each hole!

How to Drill into Masonry: Stone/Brick/Concrete

Lucky for me when you install the transition strip over the metal strip you can’t see any of my mistakes!  LOL!!  I guess that’s all that matters, that the final product looks good.

And please pardon the ugly brown carpet. We are in the process of redoing all the floors……this definitely needs to go!

How to Drill Into Concrete Printable Directions:

How to drill into masonry, specifically concrete.

Materials

  • Wooden Pegs
  • Transition strip

Tools

  • Drill
  • Regular drill bits
  • Masonry drill bits
  • screws
  • hammer

Instructions

  1. Mark the floor where your holes need to go.
  2. Using a masonry bit drill holes into the concrete.
  3. With a hammer tap the wooden pegs into the holes.
  4. Place the metal strip down and screw into the holes down through the wooden pegs.
  5. Click into place the transition strip.

All in all, drilling to masonry is completely achievable for a do it yourself-er.  I definitely think drilling into brick/stone is easier than concrete but you can do it!  If I can, anyone can.  

In the end, after all the issues we had, someday we will replace the carpet and they will measure and cut it to fit under the strip so it will all be okay, in the end.

For details on the basement, how it has transitioned over the years, check out these posts below.

How to Drill into Masonry pin for Pinterest.

Please let me know in the comments if you have drilled into masonry and if you used another method.  I know what I did is just one of many ways it can be done.  Please share your experiences.

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As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

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