How to drill into sandstone

Written by sal marco
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How to drill into sandstone
Building with sandstone offers a durable structure. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Sandstone is a natural stone, quarried by distributors for use in and around homes. Quarried sandstone is available in a variety of sizes and cuts ranging from large to small, rounded to flat. Sandstone comes in a variety of colours including versions of beige, tans, greys and browns. Homeowners use sandstone to build walls, cover a home's exterior and construct fireplaces, along with other masonry applications. Masonry contractors consider sandstone a soft stone, making drilling into deposits less difficult that drilling into hard stones such as granite or marble. Drilling a hole through sandstone is necessary to pass wires, cables or plumbing pipes through to connect to plumbing or electrical lines.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Grease pencil
  • Sand
  • Carbide-tipped or diamond-tipped drill bit
  • Power drill

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  1. 1

    Measure and mark the exact placement of the hole on the surface of the sandstone with a grease pencil.

  2. 2

    Set the piece of sandstone in a bed of sand if it is loose. If mortar holds the sandstone to a structure, drill through it where it lies.

  3. 3

    Fit a carbide-tipped or diamond-tipped drill bit into a power drill in a size equal to the size of the required hole. Incorporate an electric power drill, rather than a cordless drill, because a battery-operated drill typically does not have the necessary power to drill through stone.

  4. 4

    Align the tip of the drill bit with the hole mark. Turn the drill on and apply light downward pressure. Begin drilling slowly and increase the drill speed to medium as the bit penetrates the sandstone. Do not exert a lot of force because you will break the drill bit or jam the drill. Let the drill work to grind a hole through the sandstone. Continue drilling until you reach the desired depth of the hole.

  5. 5

    Turn the drill off and set it to rotate in the opposite direction if you have difficulty removing the drill bit from the sandstone.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear eye protection, a dust mask and work gloves when drilling through sandstone.
  • Drill sandstone outdoors if possible to minimise masonry dust inside the home.

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