What is concrete coring?

What is concrete coring?

Are you new to concrete work and tools and are wondering what is concrete cutting and coring? Or maybe you are already familiar with the term, but are wondering what is the purpose of concrete coring? Why do they do that?

No need to search any further than this as we’re going to take a deep dive into this subject. If you’re working at constructions, at a job that is not coring, you will never need to know more.

It’s a great claim, but that’s how it works. It’s more than enough if you know what is being talked about.

If you hear someone asking “should we do this with concrete coring”. You can just think “yup” or “nope” depending on if the method is proper or not in your opinion.

That is because if you’re in spot where your opinions are heard, it’s good to know a bit more than what is necessary for your workmates. I’ve been on that spot sometimes and the catch is that you get to work smart, not hard if you know how to explain it.

Now, let us move to what is concrete coring meaning when you hear people talk about it. So first we need to define what it is and then let us take a look at what equipment is being used for the job.

Coring construction definition

Concrete coring means cutting through the walls and floors that are made of concrete. Personally, I’ve seen it done a lot when new water pipes or electric wires are being installed.

On balcony jobs, we need concrete coring to install water outlets for rainwater, etc. So the common factor here seems to be holes.

Coring term is also used when drilling in the ground. In cold climates, structures might need support from deep underground. The holes are drilled like this and support is installed in the ground for foundations.

That being said, concrete boring is often used as a synonym quite a lot and boring has been used as a ground drilling term for ages

What is core drilling concrete? Making circular holes

Concrete coring is about making hollow holes

So we can say that the definition of concrete coring is to make holes. Now how are the holes created as wouldn’t it be enough to call it concrete drilling instead?

Fair argument. The tools used are different, but more of that comes in the next part. At here I’ll just say that water is being used with diamond blade tools to create smooth holes of all sizes.

If you want to imagine it, try thinking about a 5-inch hole that will go through 6 inches of concrete and rebar. While the picture in my mind is manly, the tool sized would not be practical.

I can only guess what it would do hammering and drilling into concrete. Drill needed for rotating that would be epic as well. Straight out of video games.

What is coring in construction

So from that little fantasy of mine, we can imagine that drilling concrete with a 6-inch drill bit would be fantasy. The bigger drills are a thing for mining for example.

So what is coring in construction? As stated before it’s about making holes, but the tool that is used is a cylindrical concrete core. With water, it’s used to drill perfect circular hollow holes in the concrete.

It’s the same method as making circular holes in wood. What is different here is that there is no saw blade and water is used to reduce friction and cool the blade so the blade will have an easier time cutting into the concrete.

Imagine a giant cylindrical masonry blade like you would use with an angle grinder. When the water is being used you it almost looks like the hole is bleeding concrete dust as it makes a paste-like mark.

Concrete coring procedure

So what is the process of concrete hole coring like? You can probably imagine that making a hole that is few feet wide isn’t a job that is done by holding the tool.

The people who do this as a profession, as it is a job, have their special tools for this. They might go by name of concrete drilling companies but use coring machines.

So the core drill needs support for the weight and drilling process. I’ve seen the drills attached to walls and floors by bolts, but also some being used with stands.

Both ways will transfer the carrying load from the hands of the driller to the support. What is also good about this is that the angle of the hole that is being trilled can be set.

While the tool cuts into the concrete, water is fed to the blade. As stated before it lowers friction and heat and makes the cutting process easier.

When the coring is over and the blade passes through the wall, the piece of concrete will be inside the cylindrical blade.

Concrete cutting and coring equipment

I’m not going to go to concrete saws over here, even when some of them share common qualities. Water is used with them and they might have supporting structures.

The concrete coring machine can look like a traditional drill with a handpiece with a trigger. There is often the other handpiece for support so you won’t hurt your wrists if the bit gets stuck. Common things.

The stands I mentioned before are called drill rigs and they can be used as stands or attached to walls with bolts or other means. There are shafts with different lengths and the drill distance from the shaft might be adjustable.

The last piece of the puzzle is the drill bits. Like said before these are made from steel and they have diamond mixed in. Some are called turbo and used with faster speed.

Now the rig is good for wall and floor coring if you need straight holes or you need a certain angle for the hole. Or make multiple holes with the same angle.

That is once again an example of why it’s important at my own job. Imagine a pillar of balconies where all the water pipes are slightly pointing in different directions.

At some places it’s OK, but most places where I’ve been that wouldn’t roll. So we have a practical use for this technology.

Coring through concrete can be done with only a handheld machine as well, but the holes are usually small and you can’t make accurate angles. It’s the same as with drilling.


I hope this answered what is concrete coring and what possible uses there are for it. As mentioned before, I’ve personally used this method for balconies and water holes for them. It’s a bit different from grinding that’s often done with concrete.

Old concrete structures might not have modern solutions for water control as it was not seen as important back then. Or the buildings were not build to last that long in the first place.

Another good use has been making new holes for pipes and electricity when old buildings have been renovated. Old water pipes might be deep in the structure where nothing can be done, same as sewers.

In that kind of situation, they can’t be replaced without tearing every apartment apart so new ways have to be made for them. For that kind of purpose, coring is a good option.

What is good about it is that it leaves a good smooth hole and the core bit gets stuck less than a traditional concrete drill bit. Sadly I know this from experience.

While I was starting out, coring wasn’t that popular and all we got were concrete drill bits. First, a guiding hole was drilled to get it started at the right angle and then we followed with a bigger drill.

Needless to say, it got stuck in rebar quite often and it could take quite a while to get it off. That’s the reason for the guiding hole, it could be hammered from the other end.

Anyway, what is core drilling concrete should be clear now. Now there is only applying this knowledge to situations that arise at work.

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