Most Common Mistakes
- Not drilling straight
- Drilling in wrong location
- Using wrong size bits
- Using dull drill bit
Tools and Materials
Power or battery drill, anchors, screws, bradawl, drill bits, carpenter’s
Safety: Before any drilling, take the time to find out
where your electrical wiring, gas or water lines are. DON’T
drill around an electrical outlet, any light switches, etc. There
are instruments available to detect metal pipe work, electrical
The diameter of your hole depends on the size of the screw and
the length of your wall anchor and screw. When you drill, debris
will collect at the far end, so drill a little deeper than the length
of your anchor. TIP: Wrap a piece of tape around the drill bit to
mark how deep you will be drilling.
Depending on your home, your wall are made of:
Brick and concrete need masonry drill bits. Sheetrock can be drilled
with a standard drill bit. Plaster on the other hand, although some
say a regular drill bit will do the job, let’s just be frank – plaster
is tough. Use a masonry bit and eliminate the frustration.
Soft walls can also be problem. A small hole can easily grow in
a large hole. Use a threaded wall anchor. Hollow wall anchors are
used in hollow partition walls, but be careful – these wall
may not be suited to hold very heavy items.
Probably not the best thing to do. Not only do you have electrical
wires, perhaps water lines, but also they are not necessary solid.
Remember that ceilings are drywall nailed to supporting beams
(Joists). Then either plastered or textured.
If you are hanging something heavy on the ceiling, find the joists
so that you have something solid to screw into. Not easy to find,
you may have to tap along until you hear a solid knock instead of
a hollow one.
Screws go into most wood fairly easily. However, pre-drilling
a hole is always a good idea. A pilot hole can
also help guide a screw more easily, accurately and straighter.
You can always make a pilot hold with a small bit or a bradawl (check
Nails do not necessary need pre-drilling or a pilot hole. But
again, they go in easier and straighter by drilling a pilot hole.
It will save you the aggravation of seeing your nail bend, going
in crooked, splitting the wood or at the wrong angle.
If you are drilling into a ceramic tile, for example, shower or
towel bar, you need to be careful of not chipping or cracking the
tile. TIP: Stick a piece of masking tape to the surface of the tile
to keep your bit steady and stop it from sliding, causing damage.
Use a masonry bit, set the drill to rotary action and use a slow
Drilling into metal: use a nail punch to mark the spot (makes
a small dent) and place the v-shape end of the bit into the dent
before starting to drill
Drilling into laminate: Drill downward through the top of the
surface, not under, other you risk the possibility of cracking the
Recap – Drilling a Hole
- Check that there are no electrical wires or pipes.
- Mark your hole by doing a pilot hole (either
by using a bradawl, hammer or drill)
- Remember to keep your drill at a 90 degree angle (use drill
- Place the point of your drill bit firmly against your pilot
- Turn on the drill, push gently into the wall and continue until
the hole is drill to where you need it
- Use a lower clutch setting (slower speed) until you feel more
comfortable using a drill
Recap – Anchors
Insert your hardware into the anchor (i.e. picture hanger screw, coat
hook, etc.) Place against the wall, insert the screw and tighten with
- Once you drill your hole, insert a wall anchor into the drilled
- Tap with a hammer into the wall