How To Drill Through Tile Without Cracking? (2023)

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If you’re looking to drill through porcelain and ceramic tile without cracking it, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take in order to successfully drill through porcelain tile without cracking it. We’ll also provide some tips and tricks that will help you avoid cracking the tile in the first place.

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are popular choices for both indoor and outdoor use because of its beauty and durability. But while it’s a tough material, porcelain tile can still crack if it’s not drilled properly.

That’s why it’s important to use the right drill bit and to take your time when drilling through porcelain tile. With the right tools and technique, you can drill through porcelain and ceramic tile without cracking it.

What kind of drill bit for tile?

When it comes to drilling through tile, you need to make sure you have the right type of drill bit. If you use the wrong type of drill bit, you could end up damaging the tile or causing the drill bit to break.

So, what is the best type of drill bit for porcelain tile? The best type of drill bit to use is a diamond tip drill bit. These drill bits are designed to cut through hard materials, like porcelain tile, without damaging them.

(Video) How To Drill Through Tile Without Cracking It In 60 Seconds

If you don’t have a diamond tip drill bit, you can also use a carbide-tipped drill bit. These drill bits are also designed to cut through hard materials, but they are not as effective as the diamond tip bits.

There are a few different types of drill bits that can be used on ceramic tile, but carbide-tipped drill bits are generally the best option. These drill bits are made with a harder material that can withstand the rigors of drilling through tile. They also tend to stay sharper for longer, which means you can get through your project faster.

Choosing the right drill bit for drilling tiles

Porcelain tile comes in both glazed and unglazed varieties, and each type requires a different type of drill bit. Glazed porcelain tile is harder and denser than unglazed tile, so you’ll need a diamond drill bit specifically designed for porcelain.

On the other hand, unglazed porcelain tile is more porous than glazed tile, so you’ll need a carbide-tipped drill bit.

Once you’ve selected the right type of drill bit, you need to consider the size of the hole you need to drill. Porcelain tile is very strong, so you’ll need a smaller drill bit for a smaller hole. For a 1/4″ hole, for example, you’ll need a 3/16″ drill bit.

What kind of drill for drilling tile?

When choosing a drill machine for porcelain tile, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, consider the type of tile you’re working with. Porcelain tile is harder and denser than ceramic tile, so you’ll need a drill with more power.

(Video) How to drill into a tile wall without cracking it

Consider the thickness of the tile. Thicker tiles will require a more powerful drill. With these factors in mind, you’ll be able to choose the best drill machine for your porcelain tile project.

You should also consider the power of the machine. You’ll want a machine that is powerful enough to drill through the tile without too much effort.

Drilling into ceramic or porcelain tiles- 5 step process

If you’re looking to add a new backsplash or update your bathroom tile, you’ll need to know how to drill into tiles. Here are five easy steps to get the job done:

  1. Start by selecting the right drill bit. For ceramic tiles, you’ll need a carbide-tipped bit that’s specifically designed for drilling through hard materials.
  2. Once you have the right drill bit, mark the tile where you’ll be drilling. Use a pencil or a Sharpie to make a small dot on the tile. This will help you keep the drill bit steady as you start drilling.
  3. To drill through the tile, apply gentle pressure and keep the drill bit level. Keep the drill bit level and straight as it penetrates the tile.
  4. Slowly release the pressure on the drill bit and trigger when the bit has reached the desired depth.
  5. Drill slowly. This will help to prevent the drill bit from overheating and damaging the tile.

Bonus tips on drilling porcelain tiles

Always use a sharp drill bit – a dull bit will make it difficult to drill through the tile and can cause the tile to crack.

Use a slower drill speed – this will help to prevent the drill bit from overheating and will make it easier to control.

Apply gentle pressure when drilling – too much pressure can cause the drill bit to slip and can also damage the tile.

(Video) How to Drill Through Tiles Without Cracking Them

Use a water-based lubricant – this will help to keep the drill bit cool and will also help to prevent the tile from cracking.

Start drilling at an angle – this will help to prevent the drill bit from slipping and will make it easier to control the drill.

Reasons for tiles to crack during drilling

There are several reasons why tiles may crack during the drilling process. In many cases, it is due to the type of tile or the drilling method being used. Here are five of the most common reasons for tiles to crack during drilling:

Incorrect Drilling Method

One of the most common reasons for tiles to crack during drilling is using the incorrect drilling method. When drilling through tile, it is important to use a hammer drill on the lowest setting. If a standard drill is used, it can cause the tile to spin and crack.

Type of Tile

Another common reason for tiles to crack during drilling is the type of tile. Some types of tile, such as glass or glazed tiles, are more brittle than others and more prone to cracking. If you’re not sure what type of tile you’re dealing with, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and go slowly when drilling.

Too much pressure

If you apply too much pressure while drilling into tile, you run the risk of cracking the tile. Cracks can occur in the tile itself or in the grout lines. To avoid cracking the tile, apply just enough pressure to keep the drill bit moving steadily forward.

(Video) How to Drill a Hole in a Tile - TOO EASY!

Hardness of the tile

One of the reasons that tiles may crack during drilling is due to the hardness of the tile. If the tile is too hard, it is more likely to crack when a hole is being drilled into it. In order to avoid this, it is important to choose a tile that is of an appropriate hardness for the project at hand.

Age of the tile

Age is one of the primary reasons why tile may crack during drilling. As tile ages, it becomes more brittle and therefore more susceptible to cracking. Additionally, repeated exposure to water and other elements can also weaken tile, making it more likely to crack when drilled.

FAQ on drilling tiles

How to drill porcelain sink?

To drill a hole in a porcelain sink, you will need to use a carbide-tipped drill bit. Start by putting a piece of tape over the area where you will be drilling to help prevent the drill bit from slipping. Then, use a slow speed and steady pressure to drill through the porcelain. Be sure to wear eye protection and gloves while doing this.

Can you cut holes in ceramic tiles?

It is possible to cut holes in ceramic tiles, though it is not always recommended. Doing so may cause the tile to crack or break, which can lead to costly repairs. If you must cut a hole in a ceramic tile, be sure to use a sharp, diamond-tipped saw blade to minimize the risk of damage.

How to drill through porcelain floor tile?

To drill through porcelain floor tile, you will need to use a carbide-tipped masonry bit. First, mark the area where you will be drilling with a pencil. Next, use a tape measure to find the center of the area you will be drilling, and make a small pilot hole. Finally, insert the carbide-tipped masonry bit into your drill, and drill through the tile.

How to drill large holes in porcelain tiles?

To drill a large hole in a porcelain tile, you will need to use a hole saw with a carbide-tipped blade. First, mark the center of the hole on the tile with a pencil. Then, using a hammer and chisel, make a small indentation at the center point.

(Video) How To Drill Tiles Without Breaking Them! No One Knows This Secret

Next, attach the hole saw to a drill and slowly start drilling into the tile. Apply gentle pressure and keep the drill steady. As the hole saw starts to cut through the tile, it will create a lot of dust. So be sure to wear a dust mask and eye protection.

Once the hole saw has cut through the tile, remove it from the drill and clean out any debris from the hole.


I think I have covered a lot regarding drilling through pocelain and ceramic tiles. You have be extra careful while drilling because it may create crack and destroy your valuable and precious tiles. Additionally, choose the right method and tools for right kind of tile to avoid any mishap. If you have liked my suggestions, you may share this article to your friends. Have a good day!


How do you drill a hole in ceramic without cracking it? ›

Go slowly, particularly at first, to make sure the hole ends up where you want it. Once the hole is started, you can increase the drill speed, but don't run it at full speed. Steady pressure and a medium speed will drill the hole without overheating and damaging the drill bit.

How do you prevent cracking when drilling tiles? ›

Drilling The Tile

When drilling, remember to apply constant pressure but never too much as this could crack the tile, let the drill bit do the work. Start at a slow speed, operating in rotary mode only with the hammer action switched off.

How do you drill porcelain tiles without cracking them? ›

Use a Diamond-Tipped Drill Bit

Instead, use a diamond-tipped drill bit, which you can find at any hardware store. Aptly named, diamond-tipped bits feature a tip coated in diamonds that can safely grind away your porcelain tile to create a neat and clean hole.

How can you tell if tile is ceramic or porcelain? ›

  1. Porcelain tiles will have low water absorption. ...
  2. Porcelain tiles are considerably harder to cut than ceramic. ...
  3. They are denser and you can often tell from just holding a porcelain tile that it feels heavier than a ceramic of identical size.
  4. Check the price. ...
  5. If a tile is described as polished it is likely to be porcelain.
Jun 28, 2016

Do you need a special drill bit for ceramic? ›

You may have grabbed the wrong one. A drill bit used for wood or metal is not going to do much to drill into ceramic tile. You need a special drill bit that's got a carbide tip. It's important to realize not all ceramic tile is the same.

Should I use water when drilling tile? ›

They will continue to work even when they heat, as long as you allow them to cool down from time to time. If you want to increase the lifespan of your tools, then you need to drill slowly, don't put too much pressure, and lubricate the drill with cool water.

Do you use hammer setting when drilling tiles? ›

Ensure the drill bit is not worn-out or blunt. Never apply too much pressure; let the drill bit do the work. Never use a percussion or hammer action drill – plain rotary only.

What are the best drill bits for porcelain tiles? ›

Ceramic tile drill bits are the best choice for drilling into porcelain tiles. For granite tiles, a diamond core drill bit is a better choice. A general glass and tile drill can be used for medium-wear tiles as well as glass.

How easily does porcelain tile crack? ›

Once installed, it is highly unlikely for a porcelain tile to crack, and the most common time for cracking to occur is during installation or if something very heavy and hard is dropped from height onto the paved area. Porcelain paving tiles offer several benefits over natural stone or ceramic tiles.

How do you drill through thick porcelain tile? ›

If you're drilling through a soft material, you can usually use a basic masonry drill bit. However, if you're drilling through a harder material, such as porcelain, you may need to use a drill bit with a diamond coating.

Why is it so hard to drill into tile? ›

As mentioned earlier, drilling through tile requires a specialist drill bit – regular or even masonry bits simply won't do the job as they're not strong enough to penetrate tiles' hard surfaces. Instead, you should opt for either carbide-tipped or diamond-tipped drill bits.

What speed do you drill ceramic tile? ›

Ensure that the drill is in "normal" mode and set the drill to between 1000 and 1500 rpm. If you have marked the tile with a marker it is best to drill into the tile using a method called "leaning in". "Leaning in" ensures that the drill will not slip and wander off centre as you begin to drill into the tile.

Can you drill ceramic with regular drill bit? ›

If you want to drill a hole in your ceramic pot, a particular drill bit with a carbide tip is what you need. You can use a regular drill bit made for tile, stone, or glass. If you use a drill bit for wood or metal, it may not work correctly. You can use a masonry drill bit and a diamond drill bit for better results.

Why are some porcelain tiles so cheap? ›

A tile will be less expensive if its clay body is more brittle or not colored to match its glaze. Through-body and color-body porcelains are usually more expensive than glazed porcelains, as the clay is dyed to match the glaze on the surface.

Which is more expensive porcelain or ceramic tile? ›

Price Differences

Ceramic tile is the cheaper option, on average ceramic is about 60 to 70 percent of the cost of porcelain. However, both ceramic and porcelain tiles in the price range of the top 15 percent are typically fairly close in their price.

What type of drill bit do you use for tile? ›

Also, don't use your regular drill bits for this task. They are not strong enough to penetrate the hard surface of the tile. Instead, you should opt for either diamond-tipped drill bits or carbide-tipped masonry drill bits.

How can you tell if a drill bit is for tile? ›

Regular drill bits can make a rough and ugly hole, and they may cause the tile to crack. Tile bits with ground tungsten carbide or diamond tips are the best for this purpose. They are both designed to drill into hard surfaces, and both of them puncture the tile with a cone-shaped hole.

Is it better to cut tile wet or dry? ›

Dry cutting is ideal for indoor projects and for areas that require smaller tiles. Wet cutters, on the other hand, work best for projects that are more intense.

How long should it take to drill through tile? ›

Drill through the tile slowly.

Set your drill to the lowest speed and apply modest pressure to the surface. Work slowly, as this will help prevent the tile from cracking. This may take three or four minutes.

Why does tile have to be wet to cut? ›

Wet Tile Cutting

Wet cutting is recommended when cutting through metal, reinforced concrete, thick tiles and other stones. The method uses water to aid in the job, reducing the amount of dust that comes with cutting the material.

Will hammer drill break tile? ›

Using a hammer drill is an effective method for removing tiles as quickly as possible. With a chisel tip attached, the hammer drill functions much like a jackhammer when applied to tile floors. This is still a laborious process, but less so than using a hammer and chisel to remove every tile one by one.

Can masonry drill bits be used on tiles? ›

Ideally a tile drill bit would be used, mask the area you want to drill initially so that the drill bit doesn't slip and off you go. You can also use masonary drill bits, these perform just as well but are more likely to slip.

What is the difference between porcelain and ceramic drill bits? ›

Types of Drill Bits

Glazed ceramic tiles often require a carbide bit, while porcelain and glass tiles call for a diamond-tipped bit because they are much harder. Don't worry if you don't know which type of tile is installed in your house.

What cracks easier porcelain or ceramic? ›

The clays used for ceramic tile are less dense than porcelain clays, which means ceramic tiles are somewhat more prone to cracking and breaking.

What can damage porcelain tile? ›

Porcelain tiles tend to be harder, more resilient and more stain-resistant than ceramic tiles. They are one of the easiest types of tile to maintain but their surface can eventually be eroded by the regular use of corrosive chemicals such as ammonia, bleach or acids that can also damage the grout and loosen the tiles.

What are the disadvantages of porcelain tiles? ›

Cons to consider:

Although porcelain tile is extremely durable, it does occasionally chip, particularly around the edges. This may not be noticeable with through-body composition, but it is a concern. Porcelain tile is typically more expensive than ceramic and other popular flooring materials.

What is the hardest tile to drill through? ›

Porcelain is the hardest, followed by ceramic and then glass tile. Never use a carbide-tipped drill bit for porcelain tiles; instead, use a diamond drill bit.

How thick is most porcelain tile? ›

The vast majority of porcelain tiles are 6mm to 10mm thick and a tile in this range will serve most purposes. Wall tiles typically range from 6 to 10mm thick. Mosaics and decorative wall products also range from 6 to 10mm thick to make combining them easier.

How long should a tile drill bit last? ›

These bits do 50-75% of the tiles I encounter and last around 10 holes. For usage I recommend SLOW about as slow as a good 18v cordless will go in 2nd but fast enough not to grip and stop working up to medium speed. Only use light pressure and don't wet the hole it stops the cutting.

How do I stop my diamond drill slipping on tiles? ›

Setting the drill to “drill” setting (not “hammer”). Using a piece of tape to stop the drill bit slipping.

How long do diamond tip drill bits last? ›

Varying with application, an average electroplated diamond core drill/bit will last you 80 to 120 holes. Whereas a conventional metal bond (sintered) diamond drill should last you about 1,200 holes. And a diamond drill with SMART CUT™ technology will last more than 2,000 holes.

What kind of drill bit do you use for ceramic? ›

Types of Drill Bits

Glazed ceramic tiles often require a carbide bit, while porcelain and glass tiles call for a diamond-tipped bit because they are much harder.

Is there a special drill bit for tile? ›

Regular drill bits can make a rough and ugly hole, and they may cause the tile to crack. Tile bits with ground tungsten carbide or diamond tips are the best for this purpose. They are both designed to drill into hard surfaces, and both of them puncture the tile with a cone-shaped hole.

Should you drill tiles fast or slow? ›

One of the most important things you need to keep in mind is that drilling through tile is a task that requires a lot of patience. Start drilling on low speed and slowly. Take your time – it might take a while before you penetrate the hard glazed surface.

How do you drill through thick ceramic? ›

If you have a ceramic pot, you will need a diamond drill bit to drill through it. These are also sometimes labeled as masonry drill bits. This is a bit designed for drilling into tile – kind of like a wet saw.

What is a diamond tipped drill bit? ›

Diamond core bits are drill bits that are welded with tiny particles of diamond, the toughest material known. As such these drill bits can cut through the hardest of tiles, including porcelain, ceramics, marble, granite and vitrified tiles.

Does putty work on ceramic? ›

Full cure strength reached in 24 hours. Loctite GO2 Repair Adhesive Putty is the ideal product to fill, rebuild and repair all types of materials such as wood, particle board, MDF, cork, metal, ceramic, terra cotta, tile, glass, stone, marble, concrete, brick and more.

What do you use to seal ceramic tile? ›

GlazeGuard Gloss sealer is developed specifically for ceramic and porcelain tiles. It will put a clear sealer across the floor tile and grout, giving it a high gloss wet look appearance, as well as provide a barrier that will protect against chemicals and soiling and make the floor much easier to clean.

Is it OK to seal ceramic tile? ›

We do not recommend any sealing of ceramic tiles. When using a non-slip floor sealer you need to expect that reapplication may be required often and a new cleaning problem can be created. Thirdly, the ultimate solution is to re-tile with a suitable tile or surface for the application.


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