how to drill into tile

How To Drill Into Tile? ( Easy Way )

You fear that drilling tiles to install shelves, bathroom fixtures, or other fittings might undo all of your hard work. Don’t worry; we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to drill through tiles that will help you do a great job and prevent your tiles from cracking.

How to Drill into Tile?

Making holes in tiled walls is a common task, whether the bathroom is one that has just been tiled or is already tiled. Tile will need to be broken in order to drill through almost anything that mounts to the wall, such as hardware for soap dishes and toilet paper rolls.

Getting through the tile is only part of the process because these bathroom accessories are typically mounted using wall anchors. Furthermore, you must drill through the substrate therein without causing any harm that would render the wall anchor useless.

Figure Out What Kind of Tile You Have

Make sure you are completely aware of what you will be drilling through before you even consider drilling through your newly installed tiles. Since porcelain and natural stone tiles are much more durable than ceramic tiles, you will need to work a little harder to get through to the other side. In addition, you’ll require a specialized drill bit that can cut through both the porcelain’s tough glaze and body material.

In general, there are three kinds of tile:

  • The most frequent and easiest to drill-through type of ceramic tile is glazed, which is what you’ll find in almost all older homes.
  • Glass tile has only been around for around 15 years and is mostly used as an accent.
  • Although it is much harder, porcelain tile resembles regular ceramic tile in appearance.

Have the Right Bit for Ceramic Tile

Tile does not work with standard drill bits, but don’t worry. Glass and porcelain require a diamond-tipped bit for drilling, whereas ceramic tile can be drilled with a carbide bit.

Despite the fact that it seems pricey, a ¼ inch diamond tipped tip costs less than $20, and a carbide bit of the same size costs less than $10. In doubt, go with the diamond bit. Any tile can be drilled with it.

Measure, Measure Again, Then Mark

Anyone who has tried to drill through a tile before will know that the surface glaze makes it difficult to keep the drill bit steady on the surface when you first start. You will require it so that you won’t slide around the tile. Use masking tape over the area where you will drill to add some tension. Count (and then count again!) the area you need to drill and mark with Masking tape crossed out. This will give the drill something to grip onto as you begin to drill your hole.

If you need to drill a lot of holes, you might also want to think about using a small block of wood to make a template. Simply drill a hole through the wood that is the same diameter as the drill bit you’ll be using, place it over the tile, and use your free hand to hold the hole in place while you use the hole as a guide for the drill.

Drill guides, specialized accessories, can also be used to drill through tiles more accurately. These are produced by a variety of tile manufacturers, and they typically take the form of a plastic casing that is screwed to the tile and then drilled through (much like the wooden block technique mentioned above).

Layout the Wall for Success

In spite of the proverbial “measure twice, cut once” rule, it is best to measure three times and only drill once because of the potential consequences of drilling a hole in a tile wall in the incorrect location.

  • Put masking tape on the wall where you will drill first. It’s easier to accurately mark the hole location on tape than on tile.
  • Use a level to ensure that both sets of holes on accessories with two mounting brackets, such as towel bars, are lined up.
  • Since the edges of the tile are more prone to cracking, try to locate the hardware there.

Drill Slowly

  • The tape not only makes marking the wall simpler, but it also prevents the drill bit from skidding when drilling the hole.
  • To ensure that the hole is placed where you want it, move slowly, especially at first.
  • Once you’ve begun the hole, you can speed up the drill, but don’t do so constantly.
  • The hole can be drilled with moderate speed and steady pressure without overheating the drill bit.

Speed Up at the End

  • When the bit passes through the tile, the resistance will change. Now that the pressure has been reduced, you can speed up the drill. By doing this, the hole can be extended into the drywall or backer board with little damage.
  • After you have finished drilling, install the anchors, fasten the hardware, and clean up the slight amount of dust.

What is the Best Drill Bit for Tile?

The ideal drill bit to use for bathroom ceramic tile is one with a carbide tip. The fire-hardened glaze is inaccessible to standard twist drill bits.

How to Drill a Large Hole in Tile Without a Hole Saw?

But what if you need to drill a 2-inch hole for a plumbing stub out? However, there is an alternative to using pricey hole saws with carbide-grit cutting edges.

  • Using a felt-tip pen or grease pencil, mark the hole’s outline on the tile.
  • Drill a circle’s worth of evenly spaced holes using a ¼-inch masonry bit. Use a hammer to tap the tile along the ring of holes very lightly.
  • Be patient and tap inside the outline as it might take a few minutes for the hole’s center to free itself. You can conceal the rough edge of the hole with a decorative escutcheon plate.

Tile can be cut out in the shape of a square or rectangle using the drill-and-tap method.

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You will have a good chance of drilling through the tile if you heed that advice. Make sure you have the appropriate drill bits, keep them cool, and move slowly and steadily. These are a few very crucial things to keep in mind. The biggest quality you can have when performing this task is patience because drilling through tiles is not a race. The tile you are drilling is almost certainly going to crack if you rush the job.