Drilling into a brick house

I am buying a wall-mounted garden hose reel that I will mount onto my brick house. I have a hammer drill and masonry bits, and I know to use stainless steel sleeve anchors. I do have a couple of things I’m not sure about, though:

  1. Is is preferable to drill into the actual brick, or the mortar? Or does it not make a difference?

  2. I am uncertain about the size of anchor to use, both diameter and length. I will be using four anchors. The reel itself is not heavy, but it will be supporting a 100-foot hose (that, I guess, would be full of water).


ETA: And now you have a “Brick House” earworm.

AFAIK and I’m no mason, the mortar is far softer than brick. I’ve always tried to avoid drilling into mortar but the makers of hose reels, flatscreen mounts, bird feeders, and mailboxes conspire with the makers of bricks to make it so there’s frequently no way to hit brick with all the mounting holes.

I would go with the largest diameter bolts that you can get through the hose reel’s mounting holes. And no longer than the width of your brick.

Bob Vila says

This Family Handyman article suggests sleeve anchors are best for brick:

The junction between brick and mortar is a weakness, like a crack would be too, and if you put a bolt into mortar, its got to be very close to brick if not touching brick.
So its better to avoid the mortar and go into solid brick only.

As a handyman this is something I do occasionally. Fasteners drilled into mortar will eventually fail. Bob Villas comments aside, I have yet to ruin a brick I’ve drilled into.

Drill only the depth of the brick if possible though you still have a safe 3” past that before you penetrate the inner walls. Remember to be patient and go slowly even with a masonry bit.

Yes, I will now be singing that song in my head all day. Thanks.

Avoid hitting mortar if possible. If not, put the mortar on the bottom, second best is on the top.

The wear on this is more about the movement than the weight. Your mount is going to get a great deal of side to side jostling as you wrap and unwrap that hose. So you want to overmount those side bolts in the most secure manner possible.

This is not meant as a threadshit, but why not sink a pressure-treated, 6-foot, 4x4 and attach the hose reel to that? Just a thought.

Legit question. The reel will be mounted above the spigot, which is on the side of the house. Nothing but concrete driveway below.

You’ll probably need a hammer drill if your brick is anything like mine. I ruined a few masonry bits mounting a hose reel before I figured that out.

I wonder how Lionel Ritchie would do it…

I do have a hammer drill (see OP).

Any thoughts on stainless steel vs. zinc coated sleeves?

One site said to use stainless, but I’m finding them difficult to find in the size I need. There are many more options with zinc.

A hose reel gets pulled, Hard. Especially when you’re in the yard trying to drag the hose.

I’d mount a pressure treated board to the wall. A 2x6, 8 in long should work.

First, drill your screw holes for the hose reel. Countersink the back side. Insert your bolts with washers from the back. Attach hose reel and tighten bolts.

Mount board on wall as discussed in this thread.

Remember the pencil sharpeners in elementary school?

They often mounted them directly onto the plaster or drywall. Every kid in class used that pencil sharpener. They always came loose and flopped around on the wall.

Eventually the maintenance guy would use a small board and mount the sharpener to it. That was usually a permanent fix.

For mounting on my brick house, I’ve learned to bore through the brick and use landscape timber lag screws to get to the wood behind. Pump the hole full with clear caulk for a weather seal.
One) I have really old brick, the kind that dissolves when it sits in water.
Two) behind the brick is log so there is a large beefy target to shoot into.

Actually, I’d skip the anchors and go with Tapcons. Bricks and mortar are brittle and you run a risk of splitting and cracking by using expansion anchors.

Interesting, I would feel just the opposite. Bricks are indeed brittle, and failure of a Tapcon just requires tiny fractures right around the screw shank. Whereas an expansion anchor failure basically requires failure of a large part of the whole brick. And bricks are pretty strong in compression – it seems to me that most of the stress on a brick from an expansion anchor are compressive. But as the Bob Vila quote in #3 says, if the brick is cracked or flaking, I wouldn’t put an anchor in it.

He’d probably start with dinner and a movie…

On outside garage wall.6-8 foot 2X6 inside to mount a tool rack or shelf and the same sized-treated wood of something the same sized. Space bolts that go all the way through.

Attractive work depends on what you want, can afford * personal ability.

Strength is the easy part.

Works good for me over many places and many years.

I’ve got them drilled into the mortar at the top, and they’re still there after 20 years, so I suggest that it’s not as important as you fear.

I like this plan a lot. I would also use an appropriate amount of construction adhesive between the bricks and the wood. Spread the forces across many bricks, not just 3-4.