This article aims to help you with the drilling into concrete walls or any other concrete surface. A drilling hole is an art. It is beneficial for many reasons. It works as a convenient technique. There are many reasons, like placing nails for some shelves. You can also use drilling if you want to hang something on the wall like some frames or paintings.
It helps in installing the lights also. As an essential skill, we all should know the drilling. Moreover, this process is quite simple. Selecting the right mentor, guide, and tools will help you a lot. In this article, we will try to explain to you how to drill into concrete. Understanding the process correctly once will help you in preventing the wastage of your time.
How To Drill Into Concrete – Step By Step Process
This section contains the procedure stepwise. Here, we will not beat about the bush. We will explain each step to the point. You can go through each step before starting your drill process. This will give you some confidence in using all the tools and techniques appropriately. If you don’t have much time, then you can also proceed while starting the drilling process and proceed simultaneously with each step.
Step 1: Marking At The Surface
Measure the surface and mark the desired spot on the concrete. The spot should be marked where you want to drill the hole. Also, check that there is no other material or infrastructure behind that concrete surface. Otherwise, that material will also get drilled and will be damaged.
Before starting the drilling process, always check for the electric pipes and wires in the concrete. Note that you should do this before drilling; otherwise, you will be creating great trouble.
Step 2: Preparing The Drill
Now set up the depth stop on your drill. It should be 1/4th of an inch longer than your desired depth. If your drill does not have a drill stop bar, then wrap up a little piece of any masking tape. Wrap the tape around the drill bit at the desired depth mark. This will make the depth of making it very easy. After this, fit the hammer drill. Fit this using a carbide masonry drill bit. Use the masonry drill bit of your desired hole size.
While drilling the hole, wear protective glasses and work gloves. Wear an ear protector and a mask also.
Step 3: Drilling Up A Guide Hole
This step is handy. Making a dummy hole will tell us all the possibilities of events. So, we can rectify those events in the real hole. For this, get a 5/32th inches drill bit for the concrete screws. These screw bits should be of diameter 3/16th inch. If you are using 1/4th inch diameter, then go for 3/16th inch of the drill bit. You should find the correct drill bit in your concrete screws pack. Always have some spare drill bits as a substitute.
Now, have a stable stance and a feet shoulder-width apart. Then, grip the drill in your one hand. Place the tip of the drill on the mark that you have made in the first step. Try to keep the drill perpendicular throughout the process.
Step 4: Drilling The Real Hole
Now, replace your drill in the real hole. Ensure that the drill is standing perpendicular; otherwise, the concrete surface may have some cracks. Start the drill and push it slowly with adequate pressure. If the pressure is in excess amount, then the drill bit will break down. After this, insert a nail in the hole if you find any obstruction. Remove the nail and continue the drilling. Drill till the correct depth. After this stope, the drilling process. Again remove all the concrete waste and dust from the hole.
If the dust is not removed, then you may end up drawing the hole with the wrong specifications. After this, remove the drill from the hole that you have drilled. Use a vacuum to remove the maximum amount of dust particles. To remove it better, ask another person to hold the vacuum hose just below the hole while drilling. This will save your time to remove the dust after the drilling process. The work will be more cleaner then.
Step 5: Attaching Of Anchors
This step is optional and performs this only if you need it. If the screw threads do not grip, then try drilling a new hole. After this, relocate the screw. If you can do this, then skip this step. If you are not able to do this, then go for this step for using the anchor.
Here, take the anchor of the size the same as that of the concrete screw. Then expand the drilled hole so that it can accommodate the anchor. The hole should be a little smaller than the anchor size. If there is any concrete dust, remove them; otherwise, it will clot the drill bit. Press the anchor into your hole until it gets flushed with the surface. If you need, then tap the anchor with the hammer. Then, insert the screw into the anchor and then using that drive in the wall.
Things You Would Need To Drill Into Concrete
- A good hammer drill
- A high-quality masonry drill bit
- Couple of masonry nails
- A hammer, preferably a rotary hammer
- An anchor
- A vacuum cleaner host
Tips And Warnings
- Don’t choose an older concrete. It will be harder to drill into the older concrete.
- Do not put much pressure on the drill. Otherwise, the bit can break.
- If you have some carbide-tipped drill bits, they can shatter with the contact of water. So, try to keep the water away from your drill motor.
- Use a diamond core rig instead of rotary hammers if you want to drill the holes of a large diameter. You can choose the type of diamond rigs based on the nature of concrete.
- While screwing, the anchor may turn. To prevent this, cut any plastic anchor into small strips. Then tap those strips into the hole along with the anchor you are using. This will help in the tightening of your anchor. After this, you can turn your screw slowly.
- If you want to save your time in cleaning all the stuff, then ask another person to hold a vacuum cleaner hose. The vacuum cleaner should be just below the hole that you are making. This will help you to collect all the dust then and there.
- If possible, screw into that mortar, which is in between the blocks. It makes it much easier to drill. Drilling into the mortar is easy compared to drilling into a concrete wall.
- Wear glasses to protect your eyes from the dust that comes while drilling.
- Do not wear gloves as it may be struck with your drill sometimes.
- If you have long hairs, then tie them up. So, you keep your hair away from the drill.
1. What should be the gap between two consecutive holes while drilling into the concrete?
There should be two inches gap between any two holes at least. Drilling holes can be a reason for the weakness of the concrete. So, to prevent cracking, do not drill so many holes into a smaller area. Drill them a little bit apart so that the concrete remains stable and erect without cracking.
2. What can we do to remove the old wirings and mortar?
In this condition, don’t do everything on your own. Call a professional who works with such cases. He will help you to do this task for you.
3. How can I prevent myself from drilling into the wrong place like a water pipe or electrical equipment
You can check the presence of wires in the wall by using an electrical finder along with a stud tester before drilling. But if you have started drilling already and not sure about the wires and any electrical equipment, then call dig safe and use them to draw the boundary lines outside the drilling.
4. Can we do something to make the drilled hole smaller?
If you end up making a bigger hole, then there are two options. Use a wooden hole plug or a plastic hole plug before screwing in. you can also use a broader screw if you don’t want to use a hole plug. The other option is for a huge hole. For this, use a concrete fill for that hole or use a deeper screw.
5. How can we make sure that the drilling place doesn’t have any wires?
You can check the presence of the wires in the concrete by using a stud-tester. You need to use an electrical finder along with the stud tester. Before start drilling, always check the presence of wires, if any. If you miss this step, then it may prove to be fatal.
6. What should I do if the hole starts getting bigger with drilling?
Sometimes your hole gets more significant as the drilling continues. This is due to the offset error, and it happens when the chuck is wrongly located. The other reason is the bending of the drill bit. Over enlarging of the hole can be a result of vibration as well. So, to prevent your home from the excess size, you need to take care of these small but essential things.
7. What can I use in place of a hammer drill?
If you want to do the drilling into concrete, then you should use the hammer drill itself. If you do not have one, then buy it or rent it. There is no better substitute for this.
8. How can we remove the unwanted materials or dust in the concrete after drilling?
You can use a vacuum cleaner hose, as mentioned above. Use your hand on the end of the hose and keep some gaps in between your fingers. Let some air come in through your fingers. This will suck all the dust and keep the hole clean. You can also ask another person to hold the vacuum hose just below the hole you are making.
9. How can we preserve our drill bit while drilling into the concrete?
In this case, the best pick will be using Ice Cubes. Ice cubes or cold water aids in drilling to the concrete.
10. Should we use water while drilling?
You don’t need water while drilling, but it’s good if you use it. It just helps to collect all the dust and remove them while drilling. If the dust is not removed, it can act like a clot in the drilling, and you will end up making an unclear hole. Also, water helps to prevent your drill from unwanted overheating and shattering.
In the above article, we see that the process of drilling is not that complicated. It needs significantly few tools also. If you use all the tools in the right way, then the drilling will be a cakewalk for you. Many people stop drilling after seeing a concrete wall. In this article, we want to reduce these cases. You need not step behind after getting a concrete surface for the drilling.
You can see the FAQ section to clear all your doubts that come to your mind while drilling. To do any work perfectly, there are always some extra tips and tricks. We have mentioned those also in the TIPS section. Do not ignore them and work safely. Your safety is critical. Do slowly but carefully, and if you want to visualize each step correctly, then you can even use online tutorials as well. We hope this article helped you to improve your skills to drill the holes.