Charlie: Miriam from Arlington write to us: Our fireplace is bricked the to the ceiling and we wish to hang a picture over the mantle. Should we drill into the brick or mortar?
If the mortar is a good mortar mix and they did a good job with it, which usually, believe it or not, Charlie, when they do the inside work, they actually do a better mix than when they do the outside mix because they don’t have to buy as much, they mix it properly. But as far as that goes, if it is sound enough, I’d go in the mortar first as long as it’s not really, really heavy. If the picture is over 50 pounds.
Tom: You wouldn’t do that for a television set.
Charlie: No, you don’t go into either with a television set, you go back into the plywood bracing you set up for that, that’s a whole different story. But if you can get by with the mortar, I like to do that because if you ever take the picture down you can patch the hole with a little mortar mix and you don’t have holes in your brick. If the mortar is real crumbly then the brick will be a better place and sometimes the brick is real crumbly because it’s the old brick, and the mortar will be better. You can test it with the mortar first, you’re not going to do any damage by drilling in and putting in an anchor.
Tom: So the question is mortar or brick, and your answer is yes?
Charlie: Yes. Go the mortar first, if it holds, great. If not, if you have a tight brick, the brick is going to have to handle it unless it’s real heavy then I would do the brick and go as deep in the brick as I can with the anchors