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Old 03-10-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Drilling in tile


I need to install a couple of shower rods into very basic ceramic tile. It's plain jane white tile, probably 1/2" thick. What drill bits can I use on it aside from the tile/glass bits?

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Old 03-10-2010, 01:16 PM   #2
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Drilling in tile


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Originally Posted by n0c7 View Post
I need to install a couple of shower rods into very basic ceramic tile. It's plain jane white tile, probably 1/2" thick. What drill bits can I use on it aside from the tile/glass bits?
Perhaps a masonry bit! I tried drilling in ceramic before and it kept slipping on the tile. Id recommend using the unglazed side to drill into because its not slippery however it may chip the finished side when the bit pokes thru. Maybe you could tape the area first to prevent it from chipping

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Old 03-10-2010, 04:29 PM   #3
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Drilling in tile


Masonary bits will do fine. To keep from "skating" accross the tile, just take a drywall screw and tap the top with a hammer to put a small divot in the glazing. If you use a small bit to drill a pilot hole, you should eliminate the skating issue.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:34 PM   #4
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Drilling in tile


I like the drill bits shaped like an arrowhead. Which ever you chose, use plenty of water when drilling to cool the bit. If you don't, chances are you will simply overheat the bit and it will be useless.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:28 AM   #5
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Drilling in tile


those're carbide bits - when drilling vertical surfaces, unless you're a pro & have the investment in equip for keeping bits cool & flushing out slurry to keep the hole clean, forget it - those bits're cheap !
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:28 AM   #6
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Drilling in tile


I ended up with the spade looking tile/glass bits. They worked great, except each hole took at least 10 minutes to drill(5 minutes towards the end as I gained confidence). After 12 holes, my arm was ready to fall off.

I couldn't get a masonary bit to work without sliding all over the surface. I tried slightly tapping a test tile I picked up to learn how to do this and I snapped it about 8 pieces.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:28 AM   #7
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odd - when i recently mtd 1 down at the shore, ea hole took seconds 14.4v battery drill, too,,, bet you got the wrong bit.

don't feel bad about the broken tile - how else do you think pro's know that ? ? ? plumbers aren't born w/innate sense that **** flows downhill someone must teach them next time tap slighter
experience is the best teacher - sometimes these forums're like trying to explain ' blue ' over the phone to ea other good luck !
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:26 PM   #8
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itsreallyconc,

I used a 14.4V at very low speed as it was recommended to use something like 300-500rpm's. I didn't want to shatter the tile like my sample one.

The bits I used were:



I'm glad I practiced on the spare tile, had to learn the hard way as the shower tiles were a one shot deal.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:48 PM   #9
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I would say you probably could have been more aggressive. I can generally drill a tile in just a couple minutes but what's a minute here or there? Better a little light that too heavy and breaking a tile though.

btw: a spray bottle of water makes it real easy to keep adequate water on the bit and wash away any detritus while drilling. At least that is what I use.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:25 AM   #10
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THAT'S the problem right THERE - never read the directions that came on the pkge then again, don't on most things yet

as i recall, had drill on lower set of gears, tho ! luckily my tiles were on the shower wall therefore supported more by thinset that your sample - probably why yours shatter'd & mine didn't altho i don't recall using the ' starter hole ' or ' ' centerpunch ' approach.

where's bob mariani or ? ? ? they outta know !
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:28 AM   #11
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Drilling in tile


I drill holes in tile all the time!! I'm glad nobody told me how hard it was--would have scared me to death.

I use a cheap-o hammer drill(small is good with tile).Hammer drill is the key-$35.--$40

I also use only Bosch carbide masonry bits---Any thing cheaper just burns up on the first hole...

I also keep a cup of water handy so I can keep the bit cool.

Softer ceramics are usually rather uneventful--I'll gently peck a tiny chip with a nail or screw to keep the bit from slipping and drill with a gently but firm push----

The porcelain tiles that are so popular are much more scary----
I can't peck a starter chip into that--It's just to hard.

What works for me is a steady hand actually holding the bit in place with my left hand--the drill in the right--and a gently push with my chest-hip or thigh.

Short busts with the trigger will 'Peck' the starter chip--then you are good to go--

My hands are very calloused--I don't know if this method is safe or even possible for any one else.

On particularly nasty ,hard tile .I will drop down in bit size and drill a smaller starter hole --then move up to a larger bit for the final hole----That's it---



On a side note---While I've never broken a tile using this method---I have had a tile or two pop while installing the screw into the hard plastic anchor-------

This is what I do--Throw the plastic anchors in the trash---Split and whittle a wood plug using a cedar shim---tap that into the hole--cut it flush and you're ready to go---

Folks--This works for me--I have no ides if it will work for you----

Good luck-Have fun--Mike---
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:05 PM   #12
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wouldn't a tiny pilot hole be the way to go if you were trying to prevent skipping?
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:45 AM   #13
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gawdblessya, bud ! hammer/drill on tile ? mikey, you do like living n the fast lane
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:57 AM   #14
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Drilling in tile


I've tried all sorts of drill bits over the years---

I may pick up some of the newer diamond bits and give them one more try,

I drill a lot of holes in a year--I sure would like to find an easier way--

The porcelain tiles are so brittle--I'll see what's available --try them and get back to you all.---Mike---
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by racebum View Post
wouldn't a tiny pilot hole be the way to go if you were trying to prevent skipping?
It's more certain to tap a small divot on the ceramic tile face to give any bit size a place to nest. A small bit will skate just like a larger bit with someone with little or no experience in doing this.
Many times the advice given is very simplistic. The people with more experience can get away with a more direct approach.
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