Everything You Need to Know About Drilling Porcelain Tiles

Posted on by Ruwag UK

Everything You Need to Know About Drilling Porcelain Tiles

Drilling porcelain tiles can be a bit more challenging than drilling other types of tiles. Porcelain tiles are made from a more refined clay than granite and fired at higher temperatures. This makes the material denser and longer-lasting. In turn, drilling through this type of tile can require more work and preparation. You will also need a drill bit that can get through the hard tile without the risk of breaking the bit, drill or tile. 

Today, we’re sharing some tips on drilling porcelain tiles. Whether you’re updating your bathroom walls or floors or doing other renovations around the home, these tips will make it easier to drill through porcelain for the best results.

The Ultimate Guide to Drilling Porcelain Tiles

Here’s what you need to know about drilling porcelain tiles.

Use the right bit for the job

As with any other project, always make sure that you choose the right bits for the job. Although some tile bits are safe to use on all types of tiles, including ceramic, natural stone and porcelain, you will need specialised bits to drill this type of tile. Using a multi-purpose bit can cause a lot of damage, potentially cracking tiles and even breaking your drill. Diamond core bits are the most effective for tougher tiles, with a diamond cutting edge that allows you to drill into porcelain smoothly.  

Drill slowly and carefully

When you start drilling, make sure that your drill is on a low setting. You will need to break through the glazed surface of the porcelain tile so make sure that you go very carefully. You’ll need plenty of patience and a steady hand.  Lubricating the tile as you go will make things easier and prevent the drill from overheating. Once you have drilled all the way through the tile, you can change your bit to suit the material of the wall behind the tile. You can change to a masonry bit, for example. You can increase the pressure once you get through the tile and reach the wall. However, it is still best to go slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the substrate behind the tile.

Avoid these mistakes

Avoiding these common mistakes will help you avoid a lot of stress. 

  • Don’t use a hammer drill. These drills have a hammer action that moves back and forth. They can crack your porcelain tiles and damage the bit as well.
  • Don’t let your drill overheat. Signs that this is happening include the drill bit turning red or starting to smoke. Continuing to drill when your drill is overheating is extremely dangerous. Lubricate often and always go slowly.
  • Don’t forget to be careful around the edge of the tile. The parts away from the middle of the tile are more prone to cracking so go extra carefully in these areas.
  • Don’t forgo protection. Always use safety goggles and a mask. Porcelain releases very fine dust particles that can get into your eyes as you drill. Lubricating as you go can remove a lot of debris. 
  • Don’t go full throttle. Keep your pace slow, go carefully, keep your hand steady and be patient as you drill. 

Looking for more tips on drilling through tile and other material? Read our blog to get expert advice for your project. 

You’ll find a wide range of drill bits at Ruwag that are made for every material and project. Shop our premium quality bits to take the hassle out of drilling porcelain tile.