How To Drill A Hole Into A Tile Without Breaking It

Drilling a hole into a tile is quite difficult, so you have to learn and practice this skill. Regardless of the fact that you might be skilled at completing your tiling work efficiently, acquiring knowledge about how to drill a hole is mandatory just like knowing how to use a handheld tile cutter is.

You just finished your tiling project, and it looks marvelous. The tiles are evenly cut, and it just fitted perfectly, everything on point. You will get a temporary burst of satisfaction because the next part is the hard part. Drilling a hole through the tile will be your ultimate challenge as a minor mistake might damage the whole tile.

Initially, it will look like a straightforward job to do, but a small mistake can ruin everything. This should be taken into consideration for both amateurs and professionals alike.

Luckily, there are plenty of tips that can teach you how to drill a hole into the tile without breaking it and if applied properly can save your day.

Here is the way you can drill a hole without breaking the tile:

How to Drill A Hole into A Tile without Breaking It?

How To Drill A Hole Into A Tile Without Breaking It

Know the Type of Tile You Are Working With

The first thing that you must know if you want to learn about drilling a hole into a tile is the various types of tiles. If you start working with them, you must know their characteristics.

According to their characteristics, you will be able to adjust yourself for the preparation that you need to drill a hole. For example, porcelain tiles are harder to break than ceramic tiles. Because porcelain tiles are very dense, drilling through it will need more work.

You must need good preparation for this task, and along with that, you will also need the right drill bit to create a hole by penetrating through the hard surface.

Choose the Right Drill Bit

Choose the Right Drill Bit

When choosing a drill bit, the first thing that you should ignore is using an old and worn out drill bit. These are less efficient and are not effective for drilling a hole. The worn out drill bits will not only ruin your drilling but will also damage the surface of the tile.

To penetrate the hard surface of the tile, do not go for regular drill bits as they are not strong enough to get the job done. For this task, there are 2 drill bits that are recommended.

First one is diamond-tipped drill bit. These are very durable and are very good at boring through hard surfaces like porcelain tiles. Though they are quite expensive, they will not burn out as quickly as the masonry bits.

The second one is carbide-tipped masonry bits. They are considered to be the most common of all when it comes to drilling through tiles. These are good at penetrating hard surfaces without cracking or damaging them.

Usually, these types of drill bits are not recommended for porcelain stoneware. Instead, they are good for drilling on glazed tile and regular stoneware.

Mark the Area

Marking the area to drill

Marking the area to drill a hole is very important as it will give you a specific area to target. The main problem during drilling is that the bits tend to slip from the surface, pushing you away from the marked area.

This will make things difficult for you and will create risks of scratching or cracking the tile. So to overcome that, start by putting a drop sheet onto the floor for protection. Measure and mark the area where you want to drill the hole. Put masking tape over the marking region and redraw it.

Masking tape is mainly used to create grip for the drill bits. If you are planning to drill multiple holes, there is another way to do it quickly. Create a template with a block of wood and cut a hole with the size of the drill bit through the wood. Now, place it over the drill hole and hold it with your free hand.

Start The Drilling Process

Start Drilling Process

Once you are done marking the area, take the drill and get on to work. Tiles are made in a way that they can withstand any kind of pressure. As a result, they are good at resisting when the drilling takes place.

So, you cannot be in a hurry while drilling through tiles as it might waste all your hard work and pull you back to level zero. During this task, do not lose your patience and drill slowly at low speed.

It will take time to create a hole in the tile, and if you believe going fast will save your time, you are wrong. Going fast will overheat the machine as well as the tiles, and can damage the surface of the tile. Avoid this mistake to save the tiles from getting cracked. You can always fix cracked tiles but it is not a fun experience.

Keep the Drill Bit Cool

It is better to keep the drill bit cool while drilling a hole through the tile. Overheating of the drill bit will make it dull very quickly leaving scratches or cracks on the tile.

To keep it cool, drip water on the drilling area or gently dip your drill bit onto a bowl of cold water. There are also other ways. You can use a small wet sponge and apply it on the drill bit to keep it from heating up or you can spray water on it by stopping the drill from time to time.

Carbide drill bits cease to work as they get overheated. On the other hand, diamond bits continue to work even they get overheated. It is not good for the drill’s lifespan if you work it despite being heated up.

So, you need to be aware of the fact that cooling the drill bits is as important as the drilling itself. Do not put too much pressure and keep it cool with water from time to time.

Change The Drill Bit And Replace It With An Effective One

When you have successfully drilled a hole into a tile without any damage, the next step is to bore through the wall and mount them. Your drilling needs to be slow to prevent any crashing into the wall surface.

Keep the process steady so the wall does not get ruined, and your anchor is properly in position. Change the bit when you feel the need to use a fresh one.

Finishing Touch

Use a screw with an unthreaded top on tile wall

Now, you can finally insert your wall anchors. Use a screw with an unthreaded top keeping the threaded portion inside the wall. If you use the threaded portion on the top of the anchor, it will expand within the tile, creating pressure on it, and possibly causing it to break.


Take a sigh of relief and observe the result in front of you. If your work finishes with zero error, you should be proud of yourself. You will be confident enough to manage your next tiling project successfully. If we’re talking about the next project, have you ever wanted to know how to cut tile without a tile cutter?

Always be aware of these things. Use the right drill for the project and if possible take advice from an experienced worker. Be patient and drill through the tile slowly and steadily. Watch out on the overheating of the drill bits and keep it cool to avoid cracks on the tile.

Practice will make your work perfect and smooth. You will notice your job getting easier and drilling a hole into a tile will be a challenge you can easily take on.

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