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Drilling porcelain tiles

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  1. #1
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    Default Drilling porcelain tiles

    Hi all,
    I'm in the process of renovating my toilet, I've laid the tiles but I need to be able to drill through the tiles to hold the toilet down, what sort of drill bit do I need to drill through porcelain tiles, I tried a normal masonry bit with a hammer drill, got half way through (slowly mind you) thought I was going ok, then the tile cracked I'm pleased this was only a practise run. Hope someone can help me.

  2. #2
    PLU.MBR.BL.DR. bricks's Avatar
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    Mostly I push hard with a new bit and no hammer
    Also the tile needs to be laid on glue first or it will crack every time
    If you dont play it, it's not an instrument!

  3. #3
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    you need to buy a special drill bit, i cant recall i think they are diamond tip, they look like a spade or spear head more so than a drill bit.

    The trick is to go very slow, it will take a very long time depending upon the tiles, dont get impatient the more you force it the more chance you have of cracking the tile, especially with porcelain it is completely different to terracotta etc.

    And dont use hammer, just normal slow and steady, dont rush it

  4. #4
    Tool Whore - 1K Club Member Vernonv's Avatar
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    I used a 6mm diamond holesaw, on low revs and a spray bottle filled with water to keep it cool. I found using a masonry bit to be very, very slow and you seem to need a new one every hole or two.

    Here's a link to the bits I used - 5pcs 6mm Diamond coated drill bit hole saw glass marble - eBay, Industrial Tools, Parts, Construction, Business, Industrial. (end time 23-Jan-10 20:01:16 AEDST)

    That's 5 for less than $10.
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ScroozAdmin's Avatar
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    For hard tile and porcelain these are about the best I've tried but not cheap, Promac Tools :: TILE DRILLING :: Armeg Porcelain Tile Cutters - Carbide 5 - 10 mm

    for normal ceramic tile you can use a glass (spade shape) drill which is a lot cheaper, always try and keep the bits cool and never set your drill to hammer.
    www.scrooz.com.au

  6. #6
    Tool Whore - 1K Club Member Vernonv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scruffydoo View Post
    For hard tile and porcelain these are about the best I've tried but not cheap, Promac Tools :: TILE DRILLING :: Armeg Porcelain Tile Cutters - Carbide 5 - 10 mm
    They certainly are expensive. The diamond hole saws I bought where less than $10 delivered (for 5 of them). So far I have used 1 and a bit of them while doing a bathroom and toilet (in 10mm hard porcelain tiles) - probably done 30 odd holes in total.
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
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    Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ScroozAdmin's Avatar
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    to be fair there RRP's so they'd be a fair bit cheaper at trade outlets probably (but still pretty pricey), not seen those you bought before, I guess a small holesaw is actually a pretty good idea (less contact area = less friction and heat) might try them on my reno, thanks for the lead.
    www.scrooz.com.au

  8. #8
    Apprentice (new member) eighty-eight's Avatar
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    For taps with plates mark the edge of the plate with a marker. As long as you stay inside the line you can do anything because it will be covered later.
    I just use a 4" angle grinder and cut a lot of shallow cuts from both sides in a sort of star shape. Even through 10 or 12mm of hard tile these will meet and some careful chopping will give a nice round hole, albeit with fairly ugly edges.

    I do all my tap holes like this and unless you take a plate off you can't tell the difference. So much faster than a hole saw, 5 mins max.

  9. #9
    Tool Whore - 1K Club Member Vernonv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eighty-eight View Post
    So much faster than a hole saw, 5 mins max.
    It only takes around a minute to cut a hole with a diamond hole saw ... and you end up with a neat hole.

    Also what would you use if all you wanted was a small (say 6mm) hole (like the OP was wanting) ... you can't use a grinder for that.
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
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    Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy.

  10. #10
    1K Club Member jago's Avatar
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    Default Hand holding

    An old tradie that worked for me swore by using super sharp carbid bits and a hand drill plus a bit of tape to gain intial purchase.

    His reason for using the hand drill; he had greater feel and control for what was happening with the tile and drill and it took him no longer than using an electric drill. He also bemoaned the fact younger tradies would "wallop" something and leave it for for the next person to sort out!

  11. #11
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    I have found the core drills mentioned in some of the posts above to be the best solution. I hate drilling porcelain tiles! But they look so much better

  12. #12
    1K Club Member autogenous's Avatar
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    If your drilling small holes no more than 10mm buy a diamond bit.

    Masking tape on top of the tile. Mark with a pen. Drill through at slowish pace.

    "No hammer"

    If its tap holes, 4 inch grind cross then sharp pincers to the edges.

    If its a couple of tap holes and you cant be bothered, mark the centres, take it to someone like Tilecut. Outsource the hole cuts. It will cost you less than a hole saw and done by specialist people.
    https://www.instagram.com/perth_bricklayer_wa

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