How to drill a hole in tiles

To drill any size hole in Wall or Floor tiles is basically the same job. The main difference is the type of tile that has to be drilled. Glazed ceramic or Porcelain.

1. Choose the drill bit. Regular drill bits are not strong enough to drill through the hard surface of tile. There are two common drill bits recommended for drilling into tile.

Carbide tipped masonary drill bitsĀ are probably the most widely known for drilling into tile. They are designed for drilling into rock-hard surfaces, and with patience and care can be used effectively for drilling through tile without causing the tile to break.

Diamond tipped drill bitsĀ are even more durable and are recommended by many for drilling through hard tile surfaces. Diamond-tipped drill bits are best for drilling very hard types of tile; they may be more expensive, but they will not burn out as easily as masonry bits. A must for Porcelain and oher extra hard tiles.

For standard Glazed ceramic tiles that are used in Bathrooms and Kitchens you need to go to your local hardware store and buy the correct size Drill Bit needed. You will need the Wall plugs that come with the Item you want to fit, to get the correct size. Ask the staff member in the Tool department and they will get the right “Bit” for you.

Hold the fitting on the wall (or floor) where you want it to be and place a piece of masking tape in position then mark the spot for the holes with a pencil. If more than one hole is needed make sure that the marks are exactly correct, mark, measure,check and re-check that the position is correct. Then start to drill the hole, press firmly, holding the drill very steady but do not press too hard. Drilling through the Glaze on the face of the tile is the hardest part. Drill to the depth of the Wall plug plus a little bit more. Push or gently hammer the plug into the hole. (it should go in easily if its the correct size) Place the fitting using the supplied screw or screws and hand screw into position.

Do NOT use a Hammer drill ! Use a standard drill on slowest speed. (or a Hammer drill with the hammer function turned off) If not, the tile will most certainly fracture.

How to drill a hole in tiles - Drill Bits

For drilling holes in Porcelain tiles you will need to buy a Diamond tipped,prefferably Segmented Drill bit of the size required. (see photo for two different sizes above) You will also need a Special Kit to apply water to the drill bit to keep it cool plus lubricate the bit as it drills into the tile. The Kit contains a water bottle with a lenth of plastic tube which supplies the water to a fitting which vacuum sticks onto the wall and feeds water down onto the drill bit. (See photo below)It won’t work without the water, the bit will overheat and break.

How to drill a hole in tiles - Spray Kit

Follow the directions above as for Glazed tiles then you will need to start drilling by using only the edge of the Diamond bit, so hold the drill at about a 45 degree angle and touch the edge of the bit to the tile and slowly start to cut a groove then bring the drill up straight and continue to drill into the tile, keep the speed slow and make sure the water keeps running. (a couple of towels on the floor will help contain the water. Do not apply too much pressure. Remember, slow speed & steady pressure. Insert the wall plug and screw the fixture into place. Do not over tighten. There, all done.