Home Drilling: How to Create Precise Holes in Concrete

March 22, 2023

Many people may associate concrete walls and floors with commercial buildings such as warehouses or factories. However, in recent years, we’ve actually seen an increase in the number of people opting to use concrete in their homes. Whilst this is typically an aesthetic choice due to its modern industrial feel, there are actually  a number of benefits to using concrete in your home. 

As well as being resistant to both fire and rust, concrete is extremely durable and actually becomes stronger over time - making it an excellent choice if you’re looking for longevity. Another appealing advantage to using concrete as a construction material is that it’s also recyclable - so when it reaches the end of its lifespan in your home, you know that it’s not going to waste, meaning that it’s a more environmentally friendly option. 

Being concrete specialists, we think that it’s absolutely fantastic that more and more people are opting to use this tough, cost effective material in their construction projects. Although, due to its extreme resilience, many people find drilling into their concrete wall or floor difficult - which is why we’ve decided to share our guide to drilling precise holes in concrete at home.

Why drill into concrete?

Hanging artwork, adding fixtures and hiding wires… There are a number of reasons why you’d need to drill into your concrete wall or floor at home. Whilst our guide is here to help you drill perfect holes at home, if you’re doing a bigger project such as drilling for tumble dryers, extractor fans or for new wires or plumbing, we’d always recommend contacting a concrete contractor. 

As well as our domestic services, we also work on larger projects such as wall and floor drilling and sawing, borehole drilling, Brokk demolition, concrete cutting and floor grinding and sealing. Whilst we are concrete specialists, our state-of-the-art diamond drilling equipment can also cut through other tough materials such as metal, brick, stone and even glass. 

An accredited concrete drilling contractor such as ourselves will always prioritise safety, efficiency and getting the job done accurately - so, if you’re unsure about doing your drilling project yourself, it’s always worth getting in touch with us to see how we can help you. With over 50 years of industry experience, our Warrington-based team are happy to travel Nationwide for commercial drilling projects, or across the North West and East Midlands for smaller, domestic jobs.

How do you know where it’s safe to drill?

Firstly, one of the most important things to do when planning your home concrete drilling project is to choose a space that’s safe to drill into. Whether you’re drilling into walls or floor, you need to be sure that you’re avoiding any electrical wires or plumbing pipes. This usually means staying away from any sockets or electrical outlets and being extremely careful when drilling kitchen or bathroom walls. 

When drilling, always be sure to prioritise your safety over aesthetics - it’s much better to move the picture you’re hanging a couple of inches along instead of drilling into a pipe or electric wire. 

How do you drill a hole accurately?

Whilst you might know exactly where you’d like to drill, it isn’t always crystal clear when you’ve got your drill in hand and you’re ready to get started. It’s for this reason that we strongly recommend marking the area in which you’d like to drill with a pen, pencil or masking tape. This won’t damage the surface, and will ensure that you achieve the perfect results you’re looking for. 

Wear the right protective gear

No matter the size of your project, wearing the right clothing is very important when drilling into concrete. For small-scale drilling at home, we’d always recommend wearing respiratory protection, safety glasses and well-fitting gloves - as well as ensuring that long hair is tied back and loose clothing is avoided. 

For commercial drilling projects, diamond drilling contractors such as ourselves have a full set of PPE - hard hats, high-visibility clothing, steel-capped boots, hearing protection, safety goggles and full respiratory protection. This is because the dust produced when drilling into concrete can be harmful for the lungs, so proper protective equipment is an essential.

Which type of drill is best for concrete?

Most keen DIYers will have a rotary drill at home - but can you use these to drill into concrete? The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of concrete used in your building and the drill bit you choose to use. A rotary drill will work on newer, low density concrete, but won’t be able to cut through older, denser concrete as this is extremely likely to have strengthened with age. 

For older, tougher concrete we’d always recommend using a hammer drill as their dual functionality means that they can break through the concrete with a lower risk of cracking it. 

Which drill bit should I use to cut accurate holes in concrete?

For home drilling, we’d recommend a masonry drill bit to cut through concrete. However, the most precise drilling technique is achieved through diamond-tipped drill bits. This is because diamonds are the hardest material available, meaning that they can cut through building materials such as concrete, metal, stone, marble and brick with ease. 

If you’re looking for the most accurate cut in your concrete we’d strongly recommend choosing a diamond drilling contractor to achieve extreme precision.

How to avoid the drill bit wandering when drilling into concrete?

You’ve marked the area, donned all of your protective gear and prepared your drill and drill bit. But now what? It’s all in your drilling technique…

To achieve a precise, neat cut in your concrete we’d always recommend starting slowly with light pressure. If you’re using a hammer drill, you’ll also want to leave using the hammer functionality for later, as starting too quickly or with too much force can cause cracks and damage in your concrete. 

How do DP Diamond Drilling achieve such accurate cuts?

We pride ourselves on our extremely precise drilling method that achieves clean, precise holes for our clients. One of our techniques to ensure accuracy is through initial pilot hole drilling. This is the process of using a smaller drill bit to create a hole in the correct area before using the larger drill bit to achieve the desired hole size - this helps to guide the drill and avoid any damage.

Aside from this, we also take immense care to make sure that our safety and cleanliness are always up to standard. Our team of experts are on hand to complete your concrete drilling or sawing project with ease and precision, so why not get in touch with us today to see how we can help you?