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How to drill tiles without breaking them

In some instances, tile drilling can be more complex than at first glance, in the following blog we will talk through the methods best used for drilling through both ceramic and porcelain tiles without breaking them.

We have also produced a video for you to view, if preferred, and you will find this a little further down where Marcrist’s Application Engineer, Bernie, will show us how to drill tiles to ensure they do not crack or break firstly in ceramic and then in porcelain.

There are various reasons for drilling tiles such as fitting towel rails, toilet paper holders or toothbrush holders. For this you will need specialist drill bits that are designed for both types of tiles, the most common types of tiles are ceramic and porcelain, porcelain being the tougher of the two materials to drill.

When facing a tough material it is easy to think applying more pressure is the best route to success but in the case of drilling tiles it is something to avoid as it will inevitably lead to damaged or cracked tiles.

Before you get started you will need a few items to ensure you complete your project successfully.

A list of tools required for the job

  • Ruler
  • Marker Pen
  • Spirit Level
  • Power Drill
  • Specialist Drill Bit
  • Multi Material Drill Bit

First things first

Measure the distance between the holes you need to drill for your fixing, then mark the holes on the tile in the area you wish to drill.

At this point use your spirit level to ensure the holes are level and accurate before you begin to drill.

Make sure your power drill is in rotary mode, if you’re unsure, see the video below and Bernie will show you how to do this.

Then use the specialist drill bit, in the video, Bernie uses the Marcrist CD850 for ceramic drilling and the Marcrist PG750X for porcelain drilling. For drilling the material behind the tile Bernie uses the Marcrist MM850, we will explain why it is important to use a multi-material drill bit later in the blog.

Time to Drill

Once you have selected the correct drill bit for the material it is time to start drilling, for inexperienced individuals we recommend using a drilling guide with the PG750X, this may or may not be provided when purchasing.

Before your start to drill it is important to make sure you have a clean working area and you are wearing the correct protective equipment including goggles and face mask.

Place the drill bit inside the drill guide or inline with the marked drill point and gently begin to drill into the tile, after 2-3 seconds you will have made a shallow hole in the tile, at this point the drill bit will be able to grip the tile well, you can now remove the drill guide and begin to drill deeper until you have drilled through the tile.

When you feel the drill bit go through the tile you must stop drilling and then swap to a multi-material drill bit. Why is this important? Swapping to a multi-material drill bit ensures you do not damage the tile drill bit which would make drilling further holes much more difficult, it would reduce the lifetime of the tile drill bit and increase the likelihood of damaged or cracked tiles. Also it is important to ensure you do not drill the tile with a multi material drill bit as this will most likely lead to damaged or broken tiles.

After swapping to the multi-material drill bit you can continue to drill into the hole, this will then drill and clear the material behind the tile which will ensure when inserting fixing plugs into the holes they will sit flush and level with the tile which in turn provides a secure fixing and an aesthetically pleasing finished project.

If you’re drilling several holes – for example, two holes to hang a toothbrush holder as Bernie does in the video – you can repeat this process for the other hole. It’s best to drill a shallow hole in each of your drilling points before you start drilling deeper into each hole and don’t forget to swap drill bits after drilling through the tile!

The clean up…

Once you’ve finished drilling, it’s time to clean the tile surface. Wipe away any dust on the tile using a wet cloth, you can then attach your bathroom fixing. Drilling through tiles might seem difficult, but it’s relatively easy if you work slowly and use the correct equipment. Be patient and ensure your drill bit remains as cool as possible throughout the process and you’ll rarely, if ever, crack any tiles.

Demonstration

Watch the video in this blog to watch , Marcrist’s Application Engineer, Bernie, drill both ceramic and porcelain tiles without breaking them by following our guide on how to drill tiles without breaking them. Thanks for reading and watching!

Marcrist CD850 - Used on the ceramic Tiles

Marcrist CD850 drill bit

Premium precision CD850 dry tile drill bit is perfect for ceramic drilling fixing holes and also in the hardest tiles including granite, natural stone and porcelain tiles.

View CD850 Video

With pinpoint accuracy when drilling into tiles with this self-centering, easy to start drill that doesn't slip or wander and has a diamond ground long life tip. Available in two sizes of 6mm or 7mm.

View the Marcrist CD850

Marcrist PG750X - Used on the porcelain tiles.

Marcrist PG750X diamond drill bit

The 6mm PG 750X dry tile drill bit has a self-sharpening diamond tip for long lasting results, suitable for drilling into all types of tiles and highly reccomended for use on hard tiles such as porcelain and granite.

View PG750X Video

This fast tile hole cutter by top brand Marcrist has a self-cooling benefit and is perfect for cordless drills. Available in alternative sizes including 7mm, 8mm and 10mm.

View the Marcrist PG750X Diamond drill bit

Marcrist MM850 - Used to go into the material behind the tile.

Marcrist MM850  multi material diamond drill bit

A world's first in multi-material drilling. The 6mm Marcrist MM850 multi material tile drill bit is the fastest and longest life multi-material drill bit around, with guaranteed reliability its designed to save both time and money. Drill with pinpoint accuracy with this self-centering, cutting edge, no slip or wander precision tip.

View MM850 Video

Hex bit and round shaft fits all cordless machines and avaialbe in multi kits and also in sets with other Marcrist popular products, including the ones in this blog.

Take a look - View the Marcrist MM850 Multi Material drill bit


Perfect Drill - TDM 1

Best drill for tile drilling

If you are looking to match up with the perfect drill bits with a new drill - look no further than the Marcrist TDM1 drilling machine, which enables you to drill the perfect holes with any Marcrist drill bit.

Features:

  • PRCD for added safety (cuts off the machine within seconds)
  • Available in separate models 230V & 110V
  • 1100 Watt Motor 230V / 950 Watt 110V

View more information about the - Tile drill - enables you to drill tiling and fixing holes in seconds.


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