Drilling through bathroom tiles

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Booldawg | 08:36 Fri 06th Jan 2012 | Home & Garden
11 Answers
Whats the best way to do this?

I dont have any proper tile drill bits. I managed it by drilling a pilot hole and then the main 5mm hole. Trouble is the 5mm drill bit was dancing all over the place trying to gain purchase to the tile.

Managed it in the end without any disasters but is there a proper method?


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I understand the best way is to put tape or sticking plaster on the tile. This stops the bit from moving.
Masking tape.
An ordinary masonry bit will drill through tiles especially if you use a hammer drill which breaks through the glaze much quicker. A piece of sticky tape stuck over the drilling point prevents the drill bit from 'dancing'.
The proper method is to get a tile bit, sometimes called a 'spear' bit, and drill at low speed.
Some people recommend putting a patch of sticking plaster or something on the tile. This is supposed to reduce the bouncing effect.
If you are careful you can get away with using sharp masonry bits but definitely no hammer action.
Dave is right.

Mark the tile with a pencil cross, then two layers of sellotape over the top.

Get some masking tape and stick a small piece on the tile where the hole has to go. Mark the place to be drilled on the tape and then drill through the tape.
This stops the drill 'dancing all over the place' and ensures a clean hole with out chips. The tape just peels off cleanly afterwards.
Question Author
thanks all. the next hole I have to drill is 9.5mm so will use tape for that!
I always use masking tape to go on the tile then a masonry bit to make the hole. On no account use the hammer action on the drill if you still want a tile in one peice at the end.
Question Author
On closer inspection I dont own a 9.5 masonry drill bit. Would I get away with using an 8mm masonry bit then finishing off with a 9.5mm metal drill bit?
I always start the hole off by marking the tile with a small screwdriver (or even better a tile scorer). This stops the drill dancing. I find it easier than the plaster method.
I agree with johnny.

I use a tile scorer to break the glaze where I want to drill the hole then use the smallest tipped drill for the pilot hole. Never use the hammer action. I don't bother with tape.

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Drilling through bathroom tiles

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