There are plenty of things you can simply, quickly, and safely drive a nail into with a hammer – pine, plywood. Even drywall or many types of plastic, as well as many hardwoods, laminated surfaces, and vinyl siding. But what about bricks? Can you hammer a nail into a brick? Is it even safe? Let’s explore:
So can you hammer nails into brick?
Sure, you can try to nail into brick. Although we should warn you – that hammer could just bounce back off as you apply the necessary force and whack yourself in the face with it. You could also crush your fingers between the hammer and the brick (double ow!), smash your precious brick to smithereens or chip it beyond recognition, or just waste a big pile of nails that are only getting bent.
Apart from the risk of injury to your hands, fingers, and eyes, you’ll also find that nailing into brick is:
- Extremely difficult: We all know that bricks are dense, hard, and yet still fragile objects, so just nailing into them with a regular hammer and nail can be a very futile experience.
- Extremely damaging: You risk the brick itself, chipped bits of it, and ruining several nails that should really only be destined for something softer like wood. And if you don’t like breaking your hammer and risking an injury because of that, bear this in mind:
Can you nail into brick? No, you cannot
So if you can’t just grab your hammer, what do you do, then? Here’s how to nail into brick – and you can thank us later:
1. Use the right tools
So it turns out that a run-of-the-mill hammer and ordinary nails aren’t going to do the job. Ideally, you’ll use a drill with a masonry drill bit and diamond tip – which is exactly what you need for ‘hammering’ into brick, concrete, or stone. If you are going to try with a hammer, at least make it a ball-peen hammer with a very solid head and just the right weight and balance.
You’ll also need:
- Masonry nails/screws
- Safety glasses & sturdy work gloves.
2. Mark the location
Remember, we’re not just banging a nail into drywall here. So we’re going to have to precisely mark the exact spot on the brick.
3. Drill a pilot hole
Now, grab that masonry drill and put some pilot holes in it – a slow speed and light pressure are all you’ll need to gradually penetrate the hard surface layer. Ensure the diameter of your holes will accommodate the masonry screws/nails. Here’s some tips for drilling into a brick without cracking it.
4. Take your time
As we’ve just mentioned, slow and steady wins the race on this one. It’s easy to slip when you’re getting nails into brick, so gentle taps or slow drill speeds and steady pressure are the order of the day to ensure accuracy and avoid damage and injury.
5. Increase the pressure
As that masonry fastener starts to find its way into the brick, ramp up the pressure you’re applying slowly but steadily. Consistency and even pressure are the keywords here, so don’t rush and you won’t damage your tools, brick, or body.
6. Consider a nail set
If you’re using nails rather than screws, using a nail set at this point is a good idea to get that nail slightly below the brick’s surface for a neat finish. All you do is place the nail set on the head and gently tap it in for a clean, finished look.
7. Check your work
You’ve probably got that nail into brick because you wanted to mount something, so let’s check our work is safe and secure before actually walking away from the mounted object with confidence. Simply pull or push with reasonable force on the mounted object, and pat yourself on the back once you’re done.
Nails for brick & much more at Handyman Guides
Learning how to put a nail in brick isn’t too difficult – it’s just a matter of knowing how. And at Handyman Guides, we’re chock full of endless handyman and DIY buying guides and hands-on, practical tips and insight. Need to hear even more about how to put a nail in brick? You can reach out directly to our friendly team.
Founder of HandymanGuides.com and self-proclaimed “Mr. Fix-It”, Mike has countless years of experience building and tinkering with everything under the sun. He works as a local repair guy near Santa Monica, CA and when he’s not spackling drywall, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 daughters.