Best Way to Drill through Porcelain Tile (The Right Way) Guide

Porcelain tiles are a common material used in homes.  Their durability is a huge benefit – until you want to drill into them to spruce up your space!

Below, our experts share a simple guide on how to drill into porcelain tiles to create a clean hole, while avoiding cracks and breakage.  Let us know how you’ve successfully drilled into porcelain!

What You Need

  • A drill
  • A drill bit
  • A marker pen
  • Masking tape

How to Drill Through Porcelain Tile: The Easy Way

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is pick the right drill bit and to do that, you want to keep in mind that porcelain is a hard material.

That means that you need a bit that can withstand the hardness. We would recommend going for a diamond-tipped or carbide tip.

You also want to make sure that the tip can fit into your drill.

Step 2

Next, you want to spread a piece of paper or newspaper on a flat surface and place your tile on there. We emphasize on the flat surface because you do not want the tile wobbling as you drill.

The paper is for trapping the debris that will be produced from the drilling job but you can skip that part if you do not mind the cleanup process that will follow once you are done drilling.

Step 3

Once your tile is positioned in place, you want to take your marker pen and mark the area where you want to drill your holes.

Note that the holes should not be too close together or too close to the edge. You see, when that happens, you are likely to end up with bigger holes than you anticipated or damaged edges and you do not want that, do you?

Step 4

At this point, you are ready to begin drilling and your drill bit should already have been fitted into the drill.

Turn on the drill at a low speed and gradually increase. Do not go overboard with the speed because even though porcelain is a tough material, it is delicate as well.

Step 5

Make and use a wooden template, as that will help you keep your tool on track. You do that by using a standard drill bit that is the same size as the diamond-tipped bit you intend to use for your porcelain tile to create holes on a piece of wood.

You then want to use one hand to press the wooden template against your tile or ask for someone else to help you press it down as you begin to drill.

Start drilling at an angle focusing a single edge of your bit to create an indention or track. As you penetrate the surface, gradually lift your drill into an upright position for the remainder of the drilling process.

Step 6

Note that drilling through porcelain tile will not happen as fast as you may want it to so you want to be patient here.

If you do it too fast, you may end up with broken tiles or a damaged drill bit. Take your time and be comfortable with waiting especially if you are going to be drilling more than one hole. Apply firm and consistent pressure but do not be forceful as that can break the tile.

Step 7

Finally, you want to have a bit of water while drilling. This is because a lot of friction is caused when the drill bit and tile come into contact and that results to overheating.

Granted, diamond-tipped bits are tough, but they are not untouchable so you will need some water for them too.

Should you allow your drill bit to overheat, you lower the quality of the holes you create and reduce the lifetime of your tool.

So How long Will the Drilling Take?

This is a common question and although we do not have a definite answer, you should expect to spend about 3-5 minutes for each hole.

With the right drill bit, the process tends to be more efficient and faster. Remember not to rush through the process – it can cost the entire project.

Tips to Keep your Drill Secure

Nothing can be as frustrating as your drill jumping around in the middle of a drilling session. You also want to keep in mind that the same puts your safety at risk.

Here are several tips to help you keep that drill in place.

1. Always mark the area where you want to drill your holes. You can do that using a marker pen but you want to add masking tape to the mix as it helps keep your drill focused on the site rather than jumping around.

2. Never apply too much pressure or drill too fast. Even though porcelain is a tough material, it can easily break if you apply high drilling speed or extreme pressure.

3. Use water to prevent your drill bit from overheating but do not pour too much of it as it could damage your tool. You want to sprinkle a bit every so often to be on the safe side.

4. Use the right-sized drill bit, which should be ¼ or ½ inch depending on the depth you want for your holes. The tip of the bit should also be resilient enough to go through porcelain without falling apart.

5. Mark the spots where you want to create holes and use masking tape to prevent your drill from slipping. You also want to ensure that the holes are not too close to each other as they could fuse to create larger holes than you want.

Read More: Best Quality Drill Bit for Ceramic Tile

Final Thoughts

The way we see it, there are only two ways to drill through porcelain. Your way, or our way. Now, we are not saying that your way is not the best but we can assure you that ours will give you clean and accurate results. Try it and thank us later.

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