How to Drill Through the Tile Without Breaking It?

Now since you’ve got your favourite tiles up on the wall, it’s time to finally give some finishing touches to get just the kind of look you were going for. That said, there might come a time when you feel the need to drill through those tiles.

Honestly, drilling through the tiles is no less than a daunting task, especially when it’s your first time. There is always this train of thoughts that builds up in your head that “Can I actually drill through this tile?”, “Will the efforts be worth it?”, “Can I successfully pull this off without breaking the tile?”.

If these are some of the troubling thoughts you have, then rest assured, we’re here to help. Do not worry as drilling through the tiles is a fairly tricky task. Moreover, if done with the help of the right equipment and techniques you’ll be able to drill into the tile in no time.

So, if you’re looking to find the answers to “How to drill into a tile?” then keep on reading ahead as we’re going to walk you through the whole process.

How To Drill Through the Tile?

Step 1: Figure the Kind Of Tile You’ve Used

This is one of the most important steps that should never be missed. There is generally 4 kind of tiles. Glazed ceramic tile, Glass tile, Natural stone tile, and Porcelain tile.

The glazed ceramic tile is perhaps the most common type of tile available out there. That said, they are the easiest when it comes to drilling through a hole.

Then we have the glass tiles which generally have a delicate surface. Whereas, the stone tile and the porcelain tile are much harder to drill a hole through. So, you ought to be careful!

Step 2: Make Sure You’ve Got the Right Tools and Equipment to Do the Job

Regardless of the kind of tile you’ve used, making sure that you’ve got the right tools, protective gear, and equipment is a must!
Here’s a list of things that must acquire before getting started with the drilling process.

  • Measuring tape
  • Tile marker or pencil
  • Drill machine
  • Wooden block
  • Masking tape
  • A wet sponge
  • Wood drill bit
  • Diamond tipped drill bit
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Carbide tipped drill bit

This goes without saying that standard drill bits are ineffective on tiles. Therefore, possessing the right kind of drill bit is necessary.

If your tile is based on glazed ceramic then drill it through with a carbide bit. Whereas, in order to drill through porcelain and glass tile, you will require a diamond-tipped drill bit to do the work.

Step 3: Mask, Measure, Remeasure, and Mark

Drilling through a tile is much more different from drilling through a wall. One thing that makes it a lot more tricky is the fact that while you try to penetrate through the tile, chances are you might find yourself steadily skidding around the surface.

In order to avoid that, you need to create a bit of tension on the surface of the tile with the help of a masking tape. Once you’ve done that, measure the area where you want to drill. Remeasure to make sure you’ve got the right.

Now since you’ve made sure, mark the area with an X. This will ensure that you’ve got the precision and accuracy of where you want to drill the hole.

In case you’ve got multiple holes to drill on the tile, you can make use of the wooden block to make a template. The block will serve as a guide for your drill machine and will further help you drill through the surface efficiently.

Step 4: Get Started With The Drilling

Now the step where all the real action takes place. All the prepping, measurements, and gear will aid you in this step.

As we’ve discussed before, the surface of the tile is a lot more difficult and trickier to penetrate. Therefore, while starting to drill a hole you’ve got to be patient with the whole process.

So first off, you will need to start the process real slow. Set your machine on a low speed while applying the pressure evenly. You will have to continue this step until you’ve bored through the initial layer of the tile.

As you successfully drill through the tile, you can gradually increase the speed as you deem fit while applying the pressure evenly.

However, be sure to not get carried away and try drilling the tile at a very high speed. One of the reasons is your drill machine would surely overheat and create vibrations. The vibrations will then directly affect the whole drilling process and may end up cracking or breaking your tile.

Things You Must Know and Be Mindful About During The Whole Drilling Process

1. Let Your Drill Bits Cool Off

A trick to successfully drill through the tiled surface is to keep your drill bits at a cool temperature. In case if you think that you might have to wait an hour or so for your drill bit to cool off then no! We’ve got a much easier way that can help you cool off your drill bits in a few minutes.

All you need is a wet sponge to do the trick. To help your drill bit to cool down you will have to dab it on a wet sponge occasionally. In case the drill bit is much hotter, you can cover the bit with a wet sponge and hold it for a while till it cools off.

2. Change The Drill Bits In Accordance To The Surface Tension

Knowing the use of different drill bits can work best in your favour. Not only would it help you penetrate different kinds of surfaces with ease but will also minimalize the risk of damaging the surface.


Drilling through a tile is not as difficult as it may seem. All you will need is the right information (which we hope to have delivered successfully), tools and equipment, protective gear, and a lot of Patience.

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