How to cut a hole in a ceramic tile

How to cut a hole in a ceramic tile

hole, ceramic, tile

  • Tile drilling is necessary in various cases: from facing technological holes for pipes, sockets, switches to the installation of furniture and engineering equipment. Depending on whether or not the tile is installed, and the method of drilling is determined.
  • The peculiarity of ceramic tiles is that they have a very strong, but thin and fragile face layer, under which there is a relatively soft material.
  • Drill a hole for dowel for subsequent fixing of equipment or furniture on the mounted tile is better with a special drill on tiles with pobedite tip.
  • For zakernivanie it is necessary to either nakernit the hole, carefully chipping a thin layer of glaze or cutting through it, or stick a piece of masking tape or adhesive tape in the place of drilling, so that the drill was fixed perpendicularly to the surface zakernivaemy and did not slip.
  • After drilling, the upper layer must be passed with minimal pressure and at the lowest rpm. After removing the glaze over the entire diameter of the hole, you can increase the feed and speed. After passing the tiles, the drill bit is replaced by another one, necessary for working with the wall material. Large holes are made in several stages, gradually increasing the diameter. This method allows you to drill holes up to 15 mm in diameter.

Cut a hole in a ceramic tile, several easy methods

Drilling larger holes in an already installed tile is done with a diamond drill bit of the appropriate diameter. In this case it is important not to overheat the tool and to use a low RPM when passing the glaze layer.

  • When tiling, it is often necessary to drill a large diameter hole in the tile to be installed. Such a hole can be made in the following ways:
  • With a diamond drill bit, as in the case of tiles that have already been installed;

Peculiarities of working with tile

To neatly cut a hole in the tile for a socket, you should adhere to these rules:

  • Marking. On the area of the hole must be marked out with a marker mark the contour on the outer side of the tile.
  • Glazing. If we are talking about glossy tile material, you should cover the place of cutting with adhesive tape, adhesive tape. This process will prevent the drill from slipping when cutting. You can make the contour with a nail, scratching the surface according to the markings.
  • Wetting. Professional craftsmen usually use special equipment that wet the tile with water when cutting. But you can simply put the tile in water for an hour to reduce dust formation and prevent cracking. The tile must be cut at a low RPM. A diamond disc is used for dry cutting.
  • Cutting at a safe distance. It is necessary to drill with at least 15 mm distance from the edge, in order to avoid splintering.
  • Convenience. To make the hole conveniently, you need to drive the tool in the direction away from yourself from any edge. If in the process of drilling to change the direction of processing, the mowing line of the cut may not come together. Cutting should only be done from the front side. If the tiles are already on the wall, you need to drill a hole with a hand drill.

How to drill a tile so that it does not crack: step by step instructions

Ceramic tile is an excellent finishing material, which is widely used in private construction and during the repair in apartments. Durability, water resistance, high hygiene, practicality, easy care, relatively low price and plus all this. great decorative effect make tiles almost irreplaceable material for kitchen spaces. Bathtubs, toilets, for finishing entrances. porches, porches, hallways, etc.п.

Learn how to qualitatively lay tile. it is quite accessible for the average homeowner or apartment: a little diligence, diligence. and the experience will come very quickly. But it is no less important to know how to drill a tile. Holes, one way or another, you will need, for example, for hanging furniture, interior accessories, for wiring pipes or other communications for the installation of outlets and switches and for other needs. Never mind. let’s learn how to drill ceramic.

What is required for drilling ceramic tiles

In what. Actually, the crux of the whole ceramic drilling problem? Features of the technological process of tile manufacturing. high temperature firing, the high density of the material and its surface strength (especially if there is a layer of glazing) have in addition to the obvious advantages of the logical consequential drawback. Ceramic products are characterized by fragility, lack of any plasticity, and the tile in careless handling, cutting or drilling can easily give a crack, chips, and even break into several fragments.

Unfortunate result of unsuccessful drilling

In addition, the material itself has a very strong abrasive effect on the cutting tools during processing, and conventional drills blunt in a matter of seconds.

Conclusion. for drilling you can not apply excessive load, vibration action, a large number of revolutions of the tool. And, accordingly, the drills themselves should be made of high-strength materials that can pass a dense structure, and have the appropriate configuration or sharpening.

So, what you might need for tile drilling:

PictureBrief description
Electric drill. The main condition for it is the mandatory presence of the smooth speed control.
A quality electric screwdriver with a powerful autonomous power supply may be quite enough.
Do not forget about the already forgotten hand drill. For drilling small holes such a tool will be quite sufficient, and the adjustment of the rotation speed is not a problem at all. By the way, sometimes even an ordinary hammer drill can be useful.
Standard drills with carbide tips. Frankly, not the best choice. this option of sharpening will create difficulties in passing the strongest upper layer of the tile. They are more likely to be needed to deepen into the wall thickness after the holes in the tiles have been made with other drills. designed for percussive-rotary action.
Special lance drill bits for working with tiles. Very convenient for making small-diameter holes (for example, for dowel fasteners). Can have a regular cylindrical shank for clamping in a drill chuck. There are drills and with a hexagon, the size of standard bits. they are convenient to work with an electric screwdriver. Usually such drills are enough for a couple dozens of holes in the usual tile. Porcelain tile is more difficult. They can’t handle more than two or three holes.
Special carbide drills with a one-sided, sharp-edged sharpening. They “dig in” into tiles, easily penetrate the outermost, densest layer. Drills like these from a good manufacturer will work hard.
Special drill bits with diamond or corundum coating. They belong to the category of professional tools, they can cope both with tiles and porcelain tiles. They are a hollow tube, which facilitates the drilling process. there is a free outlet for the waste. Mostly produced for holes of big diameter.
Similar to the already mentioned, they are drill bits with tungsten carbide coating. Can be applied not only to ceramic tiles, but also to natural materials, such as marble, granite, etc.п. Usually sold in sets for a range of diameters, that is, they are purchased more often by professionals who are constantly faced with this technological operation.
For single works, if you need to make holes of large diameter, it will be more profitable to buy a special drill. “ballerina”. They are not expensive, but they are good for a range of diameters from about 30 mm up to 90 mm. The design is simple. a central drill bit (usually lance-shaped) and a tungsten carbide tipped foot located parallel to it. the plug stem extension can vary. This is how the desired hole radius is set.
Some models of tile cutters are equipped with a built-in manual “compass”. a device that allows, without the use of other tools, to cut a hole in the tile. The scheme is similar to the “ballerina,” and the rotation is transferred manually, with the help of a handle.
For convenience, for precise drilling of flat holes, special appliances. jigs can be used. They are attached to the surface, usually with suction cups, and do not let the drill go sideways, which is especially important when you start drilling.
When drilling some types of tiles the tool quickly gets hot, and the quality of work is reduced. have to resort to artificial cooling with water. For this purpose they use special blowers that supply water under low pressure to the place of the cut.
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After you have decided with a tool, you can move on to practical work.

How to drill a tile

  • If possible (there are fragments of unnecessary tiles), it makes sense to start with a little training. When everything starts to work out, you can move on to the task at hand.
  • It is very important to make a precise marking. You can, of course, draw the point of the future drilling with a pencil or marker directly on the surface of the tile. However, firstly, not every pencil will leave a mark on tiles (especially. on glazed). Secondly. this mark is very easy to smudge with an awkward movement. Optimal seems a very simple way. the area of the hole is sealed with a piece of ordinary masking tape, and then you can already hold the marking. everything will be perfectly visible.

The positive “impact” of the tape is not limited to that. Practice shows that in this way it is much easier to start drilling. the sharpened edge of the drill bit will not slip from the intended point. This is much better than trying to hammer the center. When working with a core (let it be a hardened dowel nail or a sharp nail), there is always the possibility of damaging the tile surface or even allow a chip (crack).

  • You should never use high rpm when drilling tiles. Speed range. from 100 to 400 revolutions per minute. It is difficult to specify the exact value. it also depends on the type of drill. both on its diameter, and on the thickness and material of the tile itself. But in practice the required frequency is very quickly found by experience.
  • It should be taken as a rule of thumb. if a drill is used. which has an impact function, you should always check that this option is turned off before starting work.
  • If you drill not yet laid tile, then you must prepare a comfortable place to work. The surface must be flat, stable, not vibrating. The bottom should be laid material that will not be an obstacle to the drill. it can be wood, plywood or even an unnecessary piece of drywall.

Be sure to check that there are no hard fragments on the workbench, which will prevent a tight fit of the tiles to the surface.

  • The cutting tool can get very hot while working, and overheating of the drilling site often leads to cracks in the tile. So, you should not make excessive efforts. it is better to give a little more time to obtain the hole. The drill bit itself can be cooled periodically by dipping it in machine oil, for example. Sometimes, when working on horizontal surfaces, resort to “local cooling” around the intended center of the hole molded from plasticine circular shaft, and the resulting “container” is filled with water.

If the hole is drilled on the wall with the tiles already installed, then you must be extremely careful with the oil application of the drill. oil droplets can get into the interstitial grout, and will have a lot of pains to get rid of such stains.

Sometimes it is also necessary to use forced feeding of the coolant. Many professionals have a special tool for this purpose. usually a pressure vessel, in which overpressure is created by a hand pump, and a special conductor, which both centers the drill bit and ensures the flow of fluid into the drilling area.

  • The drill must always be positioned perpendicular to the tile surface. if there are no special holding devices, it will be necessary to constantly monitor it yourself.
  • Ceramic drilling (especially with large-diameter holes) can be accompanied by microscopic but very sharp splinters. Do not forget about it. protect your hands and especially your eyes.

Now that the basic concepts are outlined, we can move on to the consideration of the most typical ceramic tile drilling. small holes, for dowels, and large diameter holes. for routing utilities and installing plumbing fixtures, outlets or switches

Drilling small diameter holes

A typical situation is when the wall is necessary to hang some piece of furniture, a mirror, a rack for towels, cupboard or shelf, another bathroom or kitchen accessory. In this case we usually use hammer-in plastic dowels, with a diameter of up to 12 mm. The situation is considered when working on a wall that is already tiled and the glue underneath is fully cured.

First of all, it is necessary to determine the place of the hole. The fact is that it is desirable that it should be no closer than 15 mm from the edge of the tile. Otherwise, it is very likely that either the drill bit will slip into the joint between the tiles. or the edge will simply break off or splinter off due to overheating or vibration while drilling.

  • After marking it is necessary to insert the drill chuck of the desired diameter into the drill chuck. We proceed from the size of ready to install dowels. the hole in the tile should be 1 ÷ 2 mm wider than the diameter of dowel plug.
  • The drill is set in the intended center (the tape should not allow the tip to slip), and then begins drilling at low speed. The most difficult thing is to pass the upper layer of the tile. further drilling will go “more fun”.
  • Once the thickness of the tile is passed, and the drill has reached the wall, it is removed. there is no point in blunting an expensive tool. Take a regular drill bit for peorirovanie walls, with a diameter that exactly matches the size of the dowel.
  • The drill should freely pass through the hole in the tile, and then you can continue drilling in the wall to the desired depth. Of course, this is done very carefully, so as accidental warping does not damage the edges of the hole in the tile, as a long drill can be a small “runout”.
  • Then the only thing left is to insert the dowel into the hole made and gently hammer it in. Remember, an awkward movement can ruin all the work done. from an accidental blow on the top tile can give a crack.
  • After that, nothing should prevent you from screwing in a hook, screwdriver, other fasteners.
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Drilling holes of large diameter

Holes with big diameter (20mm and bigger) are most often drilled into the tile before placing it on the wall or floor. A careful marking is carried out with the definition of the centers, and the tiles are placed on the workbench.

Here the technology of drilling may vary slightly. depending largely on the type of drill used.

If you use a “ballerina”, then it is advisable first to pass through the center of the tile with a drill of small diameter (about 3 ÷ 4 mm). this will greatly simplify the further process.

When installing the movable foot “ballerina” do not forget that in this way we set the radius, that is half the diameter. do not make a mistake here. Once the desired radius is set, the locking screw is tightened firmly so that the movable foot is not displaced by vibration and centrifugal force.

When drilling, keep low RPM, keeping the drill perpendicular to the surface and not too much, but constant and even pressure downwards. With excessive force the drill can jam, and to keep the tile on the surface of the workbench will be extremely difficult. The sharp cutting edge of the tool has to do its work by itself.

It is necessary to pay attention to maintain the same depth of cut along the entire length of the obtained circle.

Sometimes it may be necessary to undercut the edges of the hole

Sometimes the edges of the hole will require a little refinement. this can be performed with pliers, and then sanded with sandpaper.

When drilling with the “ballerina” you should be very careful. it itself is an eccentric, so the process may be accompanied by increased vibration. For more safety use of the “ballerina” tool with a plastic safety cover is recommended.

Ballerina drill bit with safety guard

If the craftsman has diamond, corundum or carbide-tungsten drill bits at his disposal. then the process is simplified.

These drills can have their own shank to fit into the drill chuck. or be a collapsible construction with an interchangeable crown for several diameters.

Note. the photo shows drill bits with a center guide drill bit. The work with them should not be too difficult. the center is set at the intended point and then the drilling with light pressure at low speed. The holes are usually very straight, with even, unmachined edges.

Some drill bits are not equipped with a center drill bit

However, it is possible to meet drill bits that do not have a central drill bit. this is especially true for small-diameter tools.

How to center them, how to properly set the center of the drilled hole? For this purpose the already mentioned devices. conductors are used. Often they are even sold in one set with drill bits.

A handy drill bit set with a conductor that can be connected to forced cooling

the conductor is fastened to the wall (usually with a suction cup) so that the hole of the desired diameter is exactly above the center. After that it will be simply impossible to make a mistake. drilling will be carried out exactly where it is necessary.

There are also “Lite-versions” of such a device. templates that are attached or taped to the wall in the desired location, and then the hole is drilled. Of course, in this case, it is less convenient, but the accuracy will be observed. By and large. this jig is only needed until the bit goes slightly deeper into the tile surface. By the way, some craftsmen, saving money. Cut out themselves such a template and from an ordinary sheet of 10 mm plywood.

Finally, we can mention the most “popular” method of drilling holes with a large diameter into ceramic tiles. It is resorted to when there is no possibility to find a suitable drill bit.

An old method of making a large hole with a drill of small diameter

The point is that on the planned circle a number of holes of small diameter are drilled. Then you will need to carefully break out the central fragment, and then refine the resulting opening to the necessary round shape. files, files or sandpaper.

This method can by no means be called quick and easy. but nevertheless it has a right to exist.

And in the end of the article. a visual lesson on how to drill tiles from a professional:

One more small instruction on how to drill a tile

Let’s look at the example, how to drill tiles with an ordinary drill bit.

First, prepare all materials and tools, and lay the tiles on a flat hard surface. It’s best to position it on a piece of drywall or wood.

Draw a marking. How to do it on a smooth tile surface? Very simply. Put a piece of masking tape over it where the hole will be and mark the spot with a pencil.

Position the drill strictly perpendicular to the tile, setting the drill bit at the point where the hole should appear.

Carefully drill the hole.

If the tiles are already fixed on the wall, then after it has been drilled, you need to change the drill bit to a concrete drill bit and drill the wall further if necessary. And it is also worth periodically wetting the drill bit in water or pouring a little water on the place of drilling.

Small-diameter holes: how to drill them correctly

Usually on a wall covered with ceramics, mount:

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Then use driven plastic dowels Ø up to 1.2 cm. It is worth considering the situation when you have to drill a wall that has already been tiled, and the glue under it has had time to freeze completely.

Step One. Define the place of drilling. It must be at a distance of up to 1,5 cm from the edge of the tile. Otherwise the drill can slip into the joint between the tiles. The edge can also chip off during drilling or from overheating.

Step two. Having made the markings, insert the drill chuck of a suitable diameter to install the dowel. This means that the hole must be 1-2 mm wider than the diameter of the dowel plug.

Step Three. Insert the drill bit into the intended center. Drilling should be done at low rpm. The hardest part is getting past the top layer of cable. Drilling deeper is easier.

Step four. Once the drill has passed the thickness of the tile and reached the wall, it is removed. There is no need to spoil the tool, it is not cheap.

Next, you can work with a drill for peorizing walls. Its diameter should match the size of the dowel. To continue drilling to the desired depth, you need to make sure that the drill goes through the hole in the tile freely.

Step five. All that’s left is to put the dowel in the hole and hammer it in carefully. But an awkward movement can easily spoil all the work. Any accidental strike on the tile gives a crack.

Step Six. You can screw in a screw, a hook, other fasteners.

How to make a hole of small diameter?

In order to hang shelves or hooks in the bathroom, you need to drill a small hole in the tile, so that it could fit a dowel, up to 12 mm in diameter.

Carry out this operation can be when the tile is already firmly seated on the wall, when the glue under it is well seized. The algorithm of action is as follows:

  • Determine the place of drilling, trying to mark it so that it was not closer than 15 mm to the edge of the tile.
  • In the chuck of the drill is inserted drill of the required diameter, when choosing a drill keep in mind that the hole in the wall should be a couple of millimeters wider than the diameter of the dowel plug.
  • Cross glue strips of construction adhesive tape on the marked place.
  • Very slowly at low speed drill the tile. It will be difficult to pass the first, top layer of tile, then the progress will go much faster.
  • Once the thickness of the tile will be passed with a drill and a drill will reach the wall, the drill should be stopped, remove the drill bit and replace it with a conventional nozzle designed for peorivaniya walls. The diameter of the nozzle must match the diameter of the dowel.
  • Drill into the wall to the required depth. It is easy to control, if you pre-mark the penetration depth with a marker on the tip of the nozzle. Exercise extreme caution when using the tool because the long drill bit can cause a slight “run-out” during operation.
  • After the drill will enter to the desired depth, dowel is inserted into the hole made and gently hammered.
  • The last step. in the installed dowel is screwed any desired fastener (self-tapping screw or hook).

Detailed instructions on how to drill a tile, make a small hole, will help avoid the most common mistakes.

The main difficulty lies in the fragile structure of the material. If there is a significant point mechanical impact, it breaks, chips and cracks are formed. This is common to all types of ceramic products. That’s why you need to know how to properly drill a hole in ceramic tiles without its uncontrolled deformation.

During drilling, there is a significant temperature increase in a certain area of the product. This entails a change in performance and technical qualities. One of the problems lies in the structure of the decor. It consists of a ceramic base and a layer of glaze. The second is much harder and prone to destruction at a sharp increase in external pressure.

Before cutting a round hole in ceramic tile, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the most common mistakes:

  • Improperly selected tools. This applies to the cutting part, which should gradually break down the glaze layer and then the ceramic base;
  • Working conditions do not meet the standards. The tile must be on a solid base. It does not matter whether it will be horizontal or vertical plane;
  • Excessive loads. The chosen drilling technique should not involve pressure, but cutting the ceramic. Otherwise, the probability of chipping increases.

Considering these nuances, you can choose several ways to form holes of different shapes and sizes. First of all, it is necessary to determine the thickness of the tile and choose the optimal tool according to this indicator.

Useful tips

The carbide drill bit, or rather, with a pobedite tip, is made specifically for drilling holes in concrete. But it’s great for cutting through tiles, if you follow some rules:

  • Drill only at low speed.
  • Do not use the impact mechanism of the drill when drilling.
  • It is recommended to drill a hole in the tile with light pressure on the drill.

When the drill passes the tile and bumps into the concrete base, then you can turn on the percussion mechanism of the peorator and increase the speed. Drilling holes in tiles is not difficult, so any home handyman who knows how to handle a drill can cope with it.

How to make a hole

Before proceeding to the disassembly, some rules and warnings should be read.

  • It is easier to make a hole in a rectangular tile than a round one.
  • Ceramic tile has a glossy surface of increased smoothness. The cutting tool on it can slip, which will lead to its inaccurate installation. In any case, it will not be so easy to do. Therefore, it is recommended to make notches on the tile surface, for example, with a core drill. It can be a point or line notch.
  • If you put the tile in water for one hour before drilling, you can avoid the appearance of cracks when cutting.

As for cutting tools for drilling a hole in the tile, there is a fairly large list. The main thing is to have the right approach to this difficult operation, taking into account the characteristics of the chosen tool.