How to carefully drill a tile without chips with your own hands: Review + Video

How to carefully drill a tile without chips with your own hands: Review + Video How to carefully drill a tile without chips with your own hands. Ceramic tiles are an excellent finishing material that is often used for private construction and during renovation work in an apartment. Waterproofness, durability, high hygiene, ease of maintenance, practicality, relatively low cost and excellent decorative effect make the tile an ideal material for decorating a bathroom, kitchen, bathroom, as well as for a porch, veranda or hallway.

Learning to lay tiles with high quality is quite realistic for the average man who has his own house or apartment - a little effort, diligence, and experience will come very quickly. But it is equally important to know how to properly drill the tiles.

Holes will be required in any case, for example, in order to hang furniture, interior accessories, for installing pipes or other communications, for mounting sockets, switches and other things. There is nothing wrong, and we will teach you how to drill ceramics.

General information

What is required for drilling ceramic tiles

And what is the essence of the drilling problem ceramic surface? Features of the technological process of making tiles - high-temperature firing, high density of the material, as well as its surface strength (especially if there is a glaze layer) have, in addition to obvious advantages, a logical disadvantage. Ceramic products are fragile, there is no plasticity, and due to inaccurate handling, drilling or cutting, tiles can easily crack, chip, or even completely fall apart into several different fragments.

Moreover, the material itself during processing will affect the cutting tools due to the strong abrasive effect, and standard drills will become blunt in just a few seconds.

The conclusion is as follows - for drilling, you cannot apply heavy loads, set the vibration action, and large number of tool revolutions. Naturally, the drills themselves must be made of high-strength materials that are capable of passing a dense texture, and also have a sharpening or at least a configuration corresponding to the set goal. When you have decided what you will use for drilling, you can move on to the practical part.

How to drill a tile so that it doesn't crack

To get started, he suggests reading a few general tips and tricks:

  1. How to carefully drill a tile without chips with your own hands: Review + Video If you have the opportunity (there are unnecessary tiles in the presence), then you should try to practice on them. When everything starts to work out for you, you can move on to fulfilling your goal.

  2. It is very important that you make good, and most importantly, accurate markings in advance.Naturally, for this, a point for future drilling should be marked with a marker or pencil on the surface of the tile. But pay attention to the fact that, firstly, on the tile (in particular on glazed), not every pencil will be able to leave a mark. Secondly, such a mark will be quite easy to erase even because of one awkward movement. The best way in such a situation is to glue the area of ​​the hole with a standard masking tape, and after that it will be possible to make markings and in this case everything will be perfectly visible.

  3. The benefits of using masking tape do not end there. As practice has shown, it is much easier to drill a tile this way, since the sharpened edge of the drill will not slide off the marked point. This is much better than trying to drill the center. When working with a core (although it can be a hardened nail or a sharp file), there will always be the possibility of causing damage to the surface of the tile or even creating a chip (crack). As you can see, even a small piece of duct tape can solve several problems at once.

  4. Never run the power tool at high speed while drilling tiles. The range of rotation frequency should be from 100 and reach a maximum of 400 revolutions. The exact value is difficult to indicate, since everything will depend on the type of drill used, diameter, thickness and components that make up the tile. But as practice has shown, the required frequency will be very easy to find empirically.
  5. You should make it a rule for yourself - if you use an electric drill that has a hammer function, then you should check the tool before starting work that this option is disabled.

  6. If you plan to drill a tile that has not yet been laid on the floor or wall, then a convenient place should be prepared for work. The surface must be flat, not vibrate. There must be a material below that will not be an obstacle to the drill - wood, plywood, or even an old piece of drywall.
  7. In order to drill a tile, a stable, stable table must be prepared in advance, which had a plasterboard or wooden backing. Be sure to check that there are no hard fragments left on the table that will interfere with the tight fit of the tile to the surface.

  8. The cutting tool can become very hot during work, and overheating of the drilling site often leads to cracks in the tile. For this reason, try not to exert too much effort, but rather spend a little more time getting the hole. You can cool the drill itself, for example, by dipping it in machine oil.In some cases, when working on a horizontal surface, it is possible to resort to "local" cooling, namely to mold plasticine holes around the intended center, and fill the resulting container with water.
  9. If a hole is drilled on a wall with tiles already laid, then be careful when cooling the oil drill, as drops can get into the grout, and it will take a long time to get rid of such stains.

    In some cases, it will be necessary to resort to a forced supply of liquid for cooling. Most professionals have a pressure vessel that uses a hand pump to create pressure, and a special jig that will center the drill and provide cooling fluid to the drilling area.

  10. The drill should be positioned perpendicular to the tile surface, and if there are no special holding devices, you will need to constantly monitor this yourself.
  11. Drilling into ceramic surfaces (especially when making large holes) can cause very small but extremely sharp tiles to fly off. Be aware of this and therefore use personal protective equipment, especially for the eyes and hands.

Now that you have learned the basic concepts, you can safely proceed to typical drilling of ceramic tiles - small holes for dowels, as well as large holes for laying communications and installing plumbing, switches or sockets.


Small diameter drilling

"How to drill a tile tiles so they don't crack? " - this question worries many, especially if you plan to drill small diameter holes. Let's imagine a standard situation when you need to hang any piece of furniture on the wall, maybe a hanger, mirror, shelf or cabinet, in general, any accessory for the kitchen or bathroom. In this case, plastic dowels with a diameter of up to 1.2 cm are usually used.

The situation should be considered when the work is carried out already on a wall lined with tiles, and under which the adhesive is completely frozen.

First you need to decide on a place to drill a hole. The fact is that the best option is when it is located no lower than 1.5 cm from the edge of the tile. Otherwise, there is a high probability that either the drill will slide into the inter-seam space, or the edge, due to overheating / vibration during drilling, will simply crack / completely break off.

  1. After the marking is done, insert the drill with the required size (diameter) into the chuck of the electric drill. Based on the size of the dowels that you are preparing to install, the hole inside the tile should be a couple of millimeters wider than the diameter of the plug from the dowel.
  2. Set the drill in the marked center (the tape will prevent the tip from slipping), and then you can start drilling at low speeds.The most difficult thing in this case is to go through the top layer of the tile, and then it will be easier.
  3. As soon as you pass the thickness of the tile, and the drill reaches the wall, it should be removed, since there is simply no point in blunting an expensive tool.

    Next, take a standard wall surface drill that has the same diameter as the wall plug.

  4. The drill should freely enter through the hole in the tile, and then you can continue drilling to the depth you require. Naturally, everything should be done carefully so as not to damage the edges of the material due to accidental skewing, since a long drill sometimes has a "runout".
  5. Next, it remains to insert a dowel into the finished hole and carefully hammer everything. Remember that just one awkward movement can make the whole work smudge, and even from an accidental blow, a crack can appear.

  6. After that, nothing will interfere with screwing in hooks, screws or other fasteners.

Now let's look at how to drill for large holes.

Large diameter drilling

Large diameter holes (from 2 cm and more) are most often made in the tile before being glued to the wall or floor. Careful marking should be carried out with the determination of centers, and then the tile material should be placed on a workbench. In this case, the drilling technology is slightly different, and in many ways everything will depend on which type of drill you choose.

If you are going to use a "ballerina", then for a start it will be advisable to go through the center of the tile using a drill with a small diameter (approximately 0.3-0.4 cm), and this will greatly simplify further process. When installing the movable leg of the "ballerina", do not forget that this is what will set the radius, that is, half the diameter, and here the main thing is not to make a stupid mistake, as was the case with most masters. After mounting the required radius, the locking screw must be screwed in firmly, with force so that the movable part of the leg does not move under the action of centrifugal force and vibration.

During drilling, maintain low speed, the drill should be positioned perpendicular to the surface and the pressure should be constant, even, down. With excessive force, the drill can jam, and it will be extremely difficult to keep the tile on the surface of the workbench. A sharp edge for cutting a tool should do the job by itself. Also, make sure that you get the same cutting depth along the entire length of the resulting circle.

To properly drill a tile without chipping, you know what to do.

But what should you do when the edges of the hole need a little tweaking? Everything can be fixed with pliers, and then with sandpaper for sanding. When drilling with a ballerina, it is important to be especially careful, as it is itself an eccentric, and therefore the process may be accompanied by an increased level of vibration.For safety, which is so important when cutting tiles, we recommend using a "ballerina", which is equipped with a plastic protective cover.

How to carefully drill a tile without chips with your own hands: Review + Video If the master has corundum, diamond or tungsten carbide drill bits, the process will be much easier. Such drills either have their own shank in order to be fixed in the drill chuck, or are of a collapsible type with a replaceable crown in several diameters.

Please note that the photo shows crowns that have a center pilot drill. Working with them should not be very difficult, because the center is set at the intended point, and then drilling is performed with low pressure at low speeds. In this case, the holes are obtained with even, correct edges that do not require modifications.

However, sometimes there are crowns that simply do not have a central drill, and this feature is typical for instruments with a small diameter. How do you center them and set the center for the hole you will be drilling? To do this, use the fasteners that have already been mentioned - conductors.

They are often sold in a single set along with drills. The kit is quite convenient, because you can connect a conductor in order to make forced cooling.

The jig should be attached to the wall (usually with a suction cup) so that the hole of the required diameter on it is located directly above the marked center. After such a move, it will be impossible to make a mistake, since drilling will be performed in the place where it is required. There is also a light version of this type of device, namely, templates that should be applied or glued with tape on the wall in the right place, and then a hole is made.

Convenience of course will be less, but the accuracy will be observed. By and large, such a template is required only until the crown slightly deepens into the tiled surface. By the way, in order to save money, some of the specialists cut such templates from standard sheets of plywood with a thickness of 1 cm.


And in the end I want say about the old folk way of making holes with a large diameter in ceramic tiles. It is used when there is no way to find a good drill.

The point is to drill a hole with a small diameter along the marked circle, and then carefully break off the central fragment. Next, it remains to modify the opening with files, sandpaper or a file to a round shape.

The latter method cannot be called easy or fast, but it still has the right to be. And at the end of the article, we suggest watching video tutorials on how to drill ceramic tiles from real professionals.