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How to drill Ceramic tiles

drilling ceramtic tiles

Date created

Thursday, 19 May, 2016 - 14:46

Last updated

Thursday, 19 May, 2016 - 14:47

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How to drill ceramic tile, using the correct drill for small and large holes, learn how to do it yourself so can install tiles over plumbing and install fittings to your bathroom.
Step: 

Drilling holes in Ceramic Tiles

Drilling small holes

Drilling small holes in ceramic tiles is necessary to fit bathroom fixtures and fittings to the wall. However ceramic tiles are very hard and thus need special drills for the holes. Normal drills for drilling steel and timber are unsuitable for this task. You must use masonry drills on low speed. Masonry drills have a tungsten carbide tip which is used to drill into bricks, concrete and tiles.

When drilling concrete and bricks you would use a hammer drill which assists the penetration of the drill into the concrete. However DO NOT use a hammer drill went drilling tiles as the hammer will crack the tiles. The correct method for drilling small holes in ceramic tiles is using a masonry drill on low speed (a battery powered drill is perfect for this).

Drilling large holes

Drilling larger holes in ceramic tiles is also necessary to fit pipes through the tiles in bathrooms and laundries. However specialised tools are needed for the task. While some cheap options are available at your local hardware these are not ideal. Cheap tile drills will work once or twice if you are careful. However the quality of these is fairly low and thus good results are not guaranteed.

There are high quality drills and drilling machines available, however you will find that the cost will be too high and is only really an option for full time professional tilers. The best are good quality drills that will fit into a battery powered drill and will last a few bathrooms depending on how hard the tiles are. These are available at your local tile supplies or professional tile tool shop. This type of drill comes in set sizes and is not adjustable like the cheap drills, so you will need to know what size hole you need to drill.

Tile drilling tips

  • Always drill your tiles on a flat piece of timber, for example, use a piece of chipboard flooring that is bigger than you tile.
  • Drill on slow speed.
  • Adding some water will help cool your drill (it will last longer).