How to Drill a Clean Hole Through Tile - Porcelain, Clay, Glass, Hard Tile

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Introduction: How to Drill a Clean Hole Through Tile - Porcelain, Clay, Glass, Hard Tile

There will be times when you are tiling that you will need to cut a hole through the tile to allow for plumbing or electrical wires. This is a very effective method for drilling through any type of tile using a drill and a carbide tile bit.

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28 Comments

Adding written instructions would be appreciated as the video hasn't loaded after ten minutes.

I, on the other hand, liked the video very much, and have tried for the longest time to drill through glass without success. I will try this method, it makes so much sense I don't know why I didn't think of it!

You do mean glass tile right? If you are talking about drilling through glass table tops or something like that, you can really only drill holes using this method through glass that is not tempered. If you try to drill through tempered glass - it will crack and splinter in a giant mess.

Not true. If you are careful and use proper technique, you can get about a 50% success rate at drilling tempered glass. However, you will forever have a stressed area in the glass that increases the likelyhood of it breaking. Not recommended, but possible if it absolutely needs to be done.

hey man...i've actually had success drilling holes in simple glass bottles by submerging them in water and using a stone dremel bit.   fyi.  :)

Were you making bongs or something mate? Just asking :)

Have you thought of using a diamond drill, they are circular like a hole cutter that you use for wood except the edges of the hole cutter for tiles and glass has a diamond sand paper edge which gives you a very clean hole of any size.

Thanks for the suggestion, I will certainly try this method.

I see a huge issue with this and other instructions about drilling holes in ceramic tile or any tile not already installed and using oil for any purpose.

If you check with the manufacturer of the bit you will find that they recommend and give instructions for using water, not oil, 100% of the time.
The only other substances they recommend are turpentine and kerosene (very, very light oils).
I'm not even going to go into the obvious problems with using very flammable substances when using an electric tool in combination with the potential of high heat caused by excessive friction of a tool surrounded by any of these very flammable substances.
I can't even fathom why the manufacturer would recommend these substances, unless it is directed toward a commercial application with other controls in place to control any combustion that may take place. I can't even see why a professional would take a risk with these substances in this application.

The only exception to the use of just water is in commercial high speed drilling which uses water, water soluble synthetic coolant and mineral oil.
But that has nothing to do with this or other instuctables for tile, clay or glass.
Also, oil is specifically not recommended for diamond bits.

My major issue is having oil coming into contact with a ceramic tile and soaking into the ceramic body and subsequently dispersing into the ceramic body and potentially causing an adherence issue in the future.
If you doubt this, put just one drop of oil on the back of a ceramic tile and let it sit overnight. In the morning you will be amazed at how far the one drop dispersed and soaked into the ceramic.
Your thin-set or thick-set will not adhere to that spot and as the spot enlarges over time the adherence will be further compromised.

The keys to drilling succesfully are low speed and low pressure.
With low speed and low pressure you will never see temperatures at the drill bit that will cause excessive wear on the bit.

One caution, if you are using water, which you should, you should also be using an electric drill that is double insulated.

Another point, if your drill is reversible, make sure it is set to drill "<--" not reverse "-->", otherwise you will be there a very long time. It will still work, but the time will be greatly increased as will the temperature of the bit. It will most likely crack your tile. Yes, this advice is from experience.

You can also just put a piece of masking tape where you want the hole? Mark the tape and drill through the tape.. It works for me every time! :) A bit faster than a putty mountain?