Instructables

Drilling holes in hard porcelain tiles with diamond drill bits holesaws granite and marble

Picture of Drilling holes in hard porcelain tiles with diamond drill bits holesaws granite and marble
Do you need to cut holes into very hard materials like porcelain tile, granite and marble? We can show you how to use diamond drilling kits made for the construction industry and used by professional installers, tilers, plumbers, builders, electricians and commercial shop fitters.
 
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Step 1: Locate the area of the tile to be drilled with the diamond holesaw

Picture of Locate the area of the tile to be drilled with the diamond holesaw
Find the area on the tile where you are going to drill the hole with the diamond tile drill.

Step 2: Locating the non-slip guide plate onto the tile ready for the tile drill

Picture of Locating the non-slip guide plate onto the tile ready for the tile drill
Place the anti-slip guide plate into the correct area on the tile ready to accept the diamond holesaw or tile drill.

The more you push against the plate the tighter it grips the porcelain tile, or granite, marble, glass, mirror, or other hard stone material.

Step 3: Slot the drill into the guide plate ready to form the hole in the tile or marble

Picture of Slot the drill into the guide plate ready to form the hole in the tile or marble
Place the diamond crown or holesaw into the correct size hole of the drill plate and press the drill bit up against the porcelain ceramic tile or other hard material lik granite or marble.

If you have slightly wet the drill bit first by dipping it into water then this helps to cool it.

Slowly drill for between five and ten seconds but no more. You do not want to build heat into the holesaw.

Step 4: Remove the drill to expose a small pit into the tile

Picture of Remove the drill to expose a small pit into the tile
If you remove the drill and the anti-slip guide plate from the wall you will see the porcelain tile now has a small pit sunk into its mass. This will also be the same for marble tiles, granite worktops, travertine, slate, pottery and many other hard materials.

At this point you can discard the guide plate (drill plate) because it is no longer required.

The diamond holesaw will sit back easily into the ring and no pilot drill is required to hold everything in place.

Step 5: Place the diamond drill back into the porcelain tile to drill hole

Picture of Place the diamond drill back into the porcelain tile to drill hole
The drill bit will slip back into the porcelain tile and lock into place without sliping.

It is very safe to drill the hole into the tile without the need of the guide plate.

Hard stone tiles including granite, marble, travertine and porcelain are very dense and so of course heat will begin to build up quickly as the diamonds grind away at the surface.

You must control the heat build up of the tile drill
fmnjewel7 months ago

with your drilling holes can this tools cut for this kind of porcelain, please advise to fmnjewel@gmail.com, thanks so much.

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Birch3 years ago
This tool is unnecessary. The wet sponge is a great trick, otherwise you're using a squirt bottle. The trick (which does take a little practice), is to start drilling with your bit on an slight angle, so that only a small amount is touching at first. Notice how in the video he doesn't drill straight on? That's to let it cool a bit, too. Just start it on an angle dry, stop, wet the surface, then continue. That's the pro way. If you're only going to be making a couple holes ever then this tool will help you. But then why would you buy a tool for two holes?
hazellr (author)  Birch3 years ago
The anti-slip guide plate does just that... Its a safety device to hold the core central to the tile and guarantees the diamond tile drill will never slip.

Can you imagine the effect of a diamond drill slipping on a very expensive marble tile?
1) You have to remove and replace the tile. Perhaps smashing it off the wall with a hammer and chisel. Regrouting and refinishing.
2) The cost of the tiles to replace and the cost of labour.

It is possible to drill a tile freehand and at an angle with practice.

With the anti-slip guide plate there is no chance of the drill slipping and you will have a 100% accuracy when drilling a hole into a very hard tile.

So the question then becomes: Why risk it?
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Try using automotive anti-freeze. It's a trick I learned as a glazier. It doesn't boil when heated, and is much more slippery!
lemonie5 years ago
Could you tell us why you were drilling holes like this? I'm sure it wasn't to spy on people, but I saw a video in the 80's... L
hazellr (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Haha! well yes I guess you could use it to spy on people..... But thats not what this system is for! Its a set of diamond drills to put holes into tiles. Holes are needed for two things. 1) Service Pipes 2) Fixtures and fittings. The service pipes include things like radiator pipes, shower heads, tap feeds, waste pipes for baths, sinks, toilets. Fittings include mirrors, towel rails, loo roll holders, curtains, cabinets. These drills are designed to cut the stone tiles to facilitate this function.
lemonie hazellr5 years ago
Yes, but what were you fitting? It's quite a wide diameter hole - I'm interested L
hazellr (author)  lemonie3 years ago
This is the item we fitted

http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/F7F/JIES/GHI9CUX6/F7FJIESGHI9CUX6.TINY.jpg

Its a hot tap. A cold tap.  And a spout.  To fill a bath.


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lemonie hazellr3 years ago

Thank you, that's my curiosity satisfied (after >20 months)

L
Lftndbt lemonie5 years ago
"Yes, but what were you fitting?" LMAO I could so see that coming....
Lftndbt lemonie5 years ago
I heard B&D is in the process of dealing with a suit on "drill silences". Some thing to do with public toilets...
hazellr (author) 3 years ago

Karletto5554 years ago
i read a tip in diy book that before you start drilling into a tile you should first tape the spot with duct tape. with duct tape it won't crack but still you should drill slowly and don't force.
hazellr (author)  Karletto5554 years ago
 That book tip is accurate but only for the small sizes of say 6mm and 8mm.

The thing with the larger holesaws for items like service pipes, radiator pipes, hot and cold feeds to sinks is that the hole is much bigger.

If you try to drill on duct tape alone the core will not bite into the tile.

On bigger core drills you need some mechanism to hold it securely in place and thats the reason for the application of the yellow anti-slip guide plate.

Once stated the hole actually self guides so the plate is no longer required after about 10 seconds of drilling. 


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Don't push too hard, or you'll push the wall down.
jeff-o5 years ago
Ah, this reminds me of the sponge cooling method used on my dad's stained glass grinder. Neat trick!
hazellr (author) 5 years ago
Cheers guys great comments. We produce the kits but also give the "how to" so that you do actually "know how to..."

About the cooling of the diamonds - yes it is important to eliminate heat from the crown (or rather the bond that holds the diamond to the metal part of the crown). So I am pleased you noted that we covered that part (Whew...) Agree - Yes a wet sponge simply held underneath is THE quickest way to cool them. And of course it collects the dust! Sometimes the simple ideas huh..... And perhaps thats half the point of sharing stuff on instructables.

YES YES YES we are looking for someone in Australia to help us get this product to the retail market. I will contact and send you details Lftndbot but if anyone out there reading this post knows of any retailers (plumbers outlets, tile shops, builders merchants either large or small) then please call me direct on
0044 1992 410636 or email me anytime at richard@365drills.com

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Lftndbt5 years ago
As a salesperson in a DiY style store for the past 8 years I commend you on your steps 3, 5, 6, and 7. They all mention the "heating" factor on the bit. When I clicked on this I'ble and noticed it was a product for sale I had all intention of blasting you with all my knowledge of not cooling diamonds whilst grinding. You have successfully halted my tirage and have done yourself a great service by fully describing the downsides of diamonds if not cooled correctly. The cooling methods you describe are innovative in themselves and certainly out do my "spray mist technique". Job well done to say the least! On a side note, I know a major Australia corporation in DiY that would be very interested in bulk well priced kits, as we have no available distributors of kits equalling this standard. Contact me if you want details.
This is a sales pitch, right?
Which is fine if they give an independently useful how-to. This clearly passes.