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How to drill and fix to a solid wall

by Michael Boyle on June 12, 2019


Drilling and fixing an item to a solid wall (i.e. a wall of concrete block) is a slightly different process to drilling a plasterboard wall, because of the different material involved. It can prove just as straightforward though, if you follow the correct steps.

What you’ll need:

  • Drill and masonry bit
  • Pencil
  • Suitable wall plug fixing
  • Small hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape/spirit level (optional)
  • Insulating tape (optional)

Step 1 – Select the appropriate fixings

When drilling a solid wall – just as drilling any other – the correct choice of wall plug is essential. There are many different types available, and we can advise on the right one for you if you are unsure. An advantage of solid walls is that they are more suitable for heavier items, such as mirrors, and this too can have an effect on the type of plug needed for the job.

Step 2 – Pick your spot

Select the spot on the wall where you want to drill to hang your item. This could involve using a measuring tape and/or spirit level if you want it to line up neatly with other items. Use a pencil to mark that spot.

Step 3 – Do the drilling

Insert the correct-sized bit to your drill, and make sure you are using a masonry bit. Make sure too to set your drill to hammer action. As there will be quite a bit of concrete dust produced when you drill, lay down a good amount of old newspaper or similar material on the floor to collect it. Then drill your hole to the depth required. You can mark the required depth on the drill bit with a piece of masking tape so you know when to stop.

TIP: Some people like to put a piece of insulating tape over the spot to be drilled, to help prevent the bit from jumping about.

Step 4 – Insert the wall plug

Insert the wall plug into the hole, making sure it is flush with the wall. You can use a hammer to do this if necessary – but be gentle! Then insert a screw into the plug, and leave it protruding slightly to attach your mirror, picture, or other item.

Step 5 – Hang it up!

Hang your item on the screw and make sure it’s level – get a second person to help you with this if possible.