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How to drill through tile without cracking

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Aizaz khan
Aizaz khan
Aizaz was the first person to get a byline on his blog on technology from his home in Bannu in 2017. Then, he went on to a career in breaking things professionally at my electric sparks which is where he eventually took over the kit as a hardware editor. Today, as the senior editor of hardware for my electric sparks, he spends time reporting about the most recent developments in the hardware industry and technology. If he's not reporting on hardware or electronics, you'll see him trying to be as remote from the world of technology as possible through camping in the wild.

It can be intimidating to drill through tile, especially considering the amount of work and money involved. It took to install the tiles in the first place. You might need to drill through tiles to install accessories or shelves in your bathroom or kitchen or to adjust the hardware in your shower.

Don’t start plowing through tile yet. Doing so haphazardly or without the proper equipment can cause tiles to crack under pressure. This guide will show you how to identify the type of tile you have and what kind of drill bit is needed. It also walks you through the actual process of drilling through the tile.

how to drill through tile
drill going through diagonal white tile Photo via Shutterstock

Which Drill Bit should I use to drill through the tile?

Before drilling through tiles, it is essential to be familiar with the various types of tiles available. RealSimple allows you to check different types of tiles to identify yours.

The material of the tile, substrate, or wall you are drilling into will determine the drill bit required to cut through it.

  • These drill bits with diamond-tipped tips are significant for drilling through hard surfaces like glass, porcelain, quarry tiles, and all kinds of natural stone such as granite, limestone, limestone, and travertine. These bits can be more costly, but they are worth the investment.
  • The carbide-tipped drill bits are more common and can be used to cut through ceramic and glazed tiles.
  • After drilling through the tile to reach a brick or concrete wall, you will still require a regular-sized masonry drill bit.
  • wood drillbit is ideal for sub-materials made of timber or other wooden origins.
  • standard drill bit is used for cement boards.

NOTE: Don’t use rusty drill bits.

Use new drill bits only. This can cause tile damage. If the tip is dull, it may need to be replaced.

hairline crack through white square tile Photo via Shutterstock

How to fix a cracked tile before drilling

Before drilling through the tile, make sure the tile has been cleaned thoroughly. A small crack, such as a hairline crack, can cause damage to the entire tile and make it more susceptible to cracking if it is drilled into. You can fix a hairline crack with epoxy first. Then, guide through the hole using the steps below.

Materials and Tools

  • Soapy water
  • Dish rag
  • Epoxy
  • Toothpick
  • Paint
  • Dry cloth
  • Urethane-based paint
  • Two exquisite crafting paintbrushes

Urethane sealer

Step 1: Clean the Tile

Use warm soapy water and a dish towel to clean the tile. Use a clean cloth to dry the tile. Let it dry completely.

Step 2: Apply epoxy

Use a little epoxy to coat the piece of cardboard. Dip a toothpick in the epoxy. The toothpick can be used to apply the epoxy to the crack. Let the epoxy cure as per the instructions on the package.

Step 3: Paint the Area

Use a fine brush to apply a little oil or urethane-based spray that matches the tile’s color to the epoxy. Let it dry completely.

Step 4: Apply sealer

To prevent the tile from peeling, use a small paintbrush to apply a urethane sealing agent to its entire surface. Let it dry completely.

You should replace the damaged tile before drilling into it if the crack is too large for the epoxy to fix.


How to drill through tile

Once you have identified the drill bit that you will need and if you know how to repair a tile crack, you can start drilling. But before you dig in, be sure to take accurate measurements of whatever you’re planning to hang to ensure you’re shooting in the right places–unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of room for guessing here. Take your time and drill slowly.

SOURCE sensibledigs

Materials and Tools

  • Measure tape
  • Masking tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Drilling and drilling bits will vary depending on the fabric of the substrate and tile.
  • Bowl of cold water
  • Dry cloth

Step 1: Measure the area, then apply tape

It is essential to measure the area you are drilling to ensure that you only dig into what you need. After measuring the site, use masking tape to mark it. Then draw an X at the location where you plan to drill. Video will create tension to ensure the drill bit does not slip on the tile.

Step 2: Get Drilling

There are many modes to a drill. Start in normal mode and apply steady, firm pressure to the tile. Do not increase the pressure as the drill penetrates the tile. Too much pressure could cause cracking. Keep the drill speed steady.

Step 3: Keep your drill bit cool

For seamless drilling, it is essential to keep the drill bit cool. Particularly drill bits with carbide tips are more prone to heating. This can cause them to stop doing their job and lead to tile cracks. After every five seconds of drilling, keep a bowl of water nearby. Dry the area with a clean cloth before you return to drilling.

Step 4: When you hit the wall, change the drill bit.

Once you reach the wall, you will feel an increase in resistance. Once you get that point, it is time to adjust the drill bit to match your substrate (which we have already described).

Do not try to drill through tiles! Do you have experience drilling through tile? Please share your experiences below.

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