Drilling your tile wall is a necessary process you need to go through when looking to mount any fixtures you may want. Whether it’s a toilet paper holder, a shower rack, hooks or even mirrors, you will need to drill through your tiles without damaging them.
Because of the risk of this process, many people hire workers to do this for them. However, drilling into tile successfully and without damage may be easier than you have imagined. Though ceramic tiles are exceptionally strong and are prone to resisting hard drill bits, tiles have low tensile strength, meaning it is easy to crack them if you are not careful enough. Both tile strength and fragility play a role in making ceramic tiles so hard to drill.
Next, to the strength of the tiles, you should keep other steps into consideration as regards the process and materials when it comes to drilling into the tile. Things such as which drill bit to use, how to make drilling points and such are all important aspects of successfully knowing how to drill into the tile. By following the easy guide on how to drill into tile below, you will be able to safely drill into your ceramic tiles to mount whatever you may need on your wall.
Tools and Material
The first thing you will need is a power drill with a carbide or diamond drill bit. This is because a standard drill bit is simply not solid enough to cut through tiles. Save ordinary drill bits for wood or some other soft materials. We recommend a diamond drill bit to a carbide one. The hole will turn up cleaner and it’s easier to be precise. They may be a bit more expensive but diamond-tipped drill bits are much more durable and are especially recommended for boring through tile surfaces.
Your drill is your most important tool when it comes to knowing how to drill into tile. After having a power drill and appropriate drill bit, you will need masking tape. This will help you note the right drilling locations on the wall. A spirit level is another thing you will need to line up the spots you have marked for drilling. A pen or a pencil is also necessary for you to mark each location.
Marking drilling points
Marking the drilling points of any area you are about to drill is an especially important step to the process. Getting this part correct makes the difference between a wall-mounted mirror and one that is at an odd angle. Hold your desired accessory straight over the wall. After this mark the rough location of each hole. After this you will have to be a bit more precise as being even a millimeter off can make keep the accessory from fitting.
Mark the wall through the pre-cut holes in whatever bathroom accessory you plan to mount in that position. After marking each point with a dot, you can draw a small cross on each location so you won’t miss them later. If you want to be extra safe in regards to mounting the accessory up straight, you can always use the spirit level to check the line between every two points. After you are satisfied with the marks you have made, it’s time to start drilling!
Starting to Drill
After marking the appropriate locations of the hole, you can begin drilling into the tile. Chances are your drill has a guide plate. A guide plate is a plastic or rubber guide made from anti-slip material. Simply hold this guide over the point to prevent your drill from slipping.
Before you begin drilling, make sure your work area is clean and tidy so there is no risk of you falling while going away at the tiles with your drill. Line up the drill bit and guide to the marked crosses and gently start drilling into the tile. You can do this for about two to three seconds. This is just enough to create a shallow hole in the surface of the tile.
After this is done, cool down the drill bit with cold water. If you have several holes you need to drill through, repeat this process for the other holes. This beginning phase is important to get right. The glazed outer surface is hard to get through without damage. How to drill into tile steps should be followed as precisely as possible.
Getting through tile
Once you have cooled the drill bit and have drilled shallow holes into all of the necessary tile spots, you can begin applying more pressure to your drill to get through the tiles. However, you need to be careful so that you do not damage the tile. Begin to drill slowly and carefully at low speed. You may want to gauge and slowly increase the speed as appropriate but do not go too fast.
The pressure you apply to the drill should be constant and firm but not overbearing as this could lead to breaking the tile rather than drilling through it. To keep the drill from overheating or breaking, remember to lubricate and cool it with some water now and then. Prepare to take your time and be persistent as boring through ceramic tiles may take a while. A good rule of thumb for the whole process is 5 to 8 seconds.
Use the drill for 5 to 8 seconds before cooling it with some cold water. After 5 to 8 seconds of use, the drill bit will be extremely hot, so avoid touching it with your hands. Also, make sure not to get water over the motorized part of the drill, only the tip of the drill bit. When drilling through the tile in this phase of the project, make sure to keep a cool head while remaining persistent and patient as possible.
After you have gotten through the ceramic tile, you should have no problem with the rest of the process. You will know you have gotten through the tile when your drill works smoothly while pushing through the mounting surface or wallboard. This is probably a great time to decrease the pressure or the speed of the drill. You can even consider switching to an ordinary drill bit at this point. You should have no problems working through the wallboard.
You should still be careful not to crash through wallboard surfaces as you can limit the wall’s ability to hold up wall anchors. Make sure you clean up the tile surface after you have finished drilling the necessary holes. Remove any masking tape you have used to mark the holes for drilling. Wipe away dust and similar debris with a wet cloth. After this, you can go ahead and insert your wall anchors.
An unthreaded screw top can be housed by the portion of the anchor that sits into the tile. Make sure you do not attempt to expand an anchor in a tile with a threaded screw as this could crack the tile. Once you have drilled through the tile, cleaned up and attached your wall anchors, you are ready to start attaching your accessories. By using the right tools and following the instructions listed above, you should have no problem whatsoever in drilling through ceramic tiles without damaging them at all.
Patience and persistence are an important part of the process as well. Though ceramic tiles can be hard to get through, that should not be an obstacle for attaching the right type of accessories that you need.