How to screw into brick

Updated February 21, 2017

Brick walls inside the home add a warmth and a sense of strength that drywall cannot. Decorating brick with pictures and shelves is a bit more difficult, however. Drilling the brick properly prevents cracks from a appearing and keeps the brick strong. Adding an anchor prevents the hanging item from falling out of the wall and pulling mortar with it. A proper screw installation will last for years and prevent damage to the brick face.

Measure and mark the final hanging location on the wall using a pencil.

Drill a hole for the anchor using a brick masonry drill bit and a hammer drill. Set the drill to the hammer speed. Use a bit that is the same diameter as the anchor. Drill 6 mm (1/4 inch) further than the length of the screw. Always check the anchor packaging for the correct drill bit size.

Vacuum out the hole with a vacuum cleaner.

Tap a lead anchor into the hole using a hammer.

Insert the screw into the anchor.


Choose the correct anchor for the job. Use shear anchors for items that will pull on the anchor parallel to the surface of the brick face, or tensile when the force is perpendicular.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer drill
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Anchor
  • Screw
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