Tiling Question

Drilling through tiles

Our bathroom is fully tiled and I'm looking to install a loo-roll holder and a shower curtain. Had a word with a few people that do DIY and they said diamond drill bits and such aren't really required, just some masking tape over the area and a low torque setting on your drill? Will this be ok?

12 Answers

Best Answer

Again use masking tape, sharp masonary drill bits. Dont use hammer action when drilling through the tile as it could crack it, keep it nice and slow! Switch over to hammer when you get through to brick... job done!

Answered 17th Feb 2011


Member since 26 Oct 2008

A tile drill bit every time!!! Arrow head type. if you use a sponge soaked in water and gently squeeze on the drill bit whilst drilling will keep the drill bit cool and therefore the bit will last longer, rgds Al

Answered 17th Feb 2011

AEB Bathroom Installations

Member since 20 May 2009

Thin ceramic tiles - use a standard cheapy tile drill (£2-3). No need for masking tape, just put the tip where you want the hole, give the back of your drill a sharp whack with your free hand and drill away at a moderate speed with no risk or wander.

Porcelain tiles - a small diamond hole saw is necessary (maybe a fiver). Starting is much harder with these - without a guide of some kind, you have to start with the drill at an angle until you have made a start on the cut... then you can slowly level up the drill to start drilling a full hole. Unless you've shelled out for a high speed water cooled bit, you have to take it steady. I usually drill at low speed for twenty seconds max, then dip the bit into cold water for five seconds, then repeat.

The only tile I'd risk with a (brand new, razor-sharp) masonry bit is natural stone as they tend to have a bit more give than man-made ceramics, but there is still a risk of cracking the tile... so why not buy the right tool for job!

Answered 17th Feb 2011


Member since 18 Dec 2010

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.
I have never used a standard bit, but should imagine that if they are sharp enough they would eventually get through.

Answered 17th Feb 2011

Pure Building and Plumbing

Member since 31 May 2010

With great care this can work, but you do risk cracking the tile. The best way is to go to a diy store and buy an arrow head drill bit for drilling into tiles. These are inexpensive and will give you a professional finish.

Answered 17th Feb 2011

Wilsons Property Service

Member since 20 Dec 2010

if your tiles are soft ceramic a arrow head bit is needed but for porcelain or hard ceramics a tile drill bit is needed , most tile retailers will stock a olympic tile bit £5 no probs for any tile no need for tape just keep dipping it in cold water good for 6-8 holes in most hard tiles .

Answered 18th Feb 2011

S.E.S Tiling

Member since 3 Aug 2010

Masking tape is key to avoid the drill bit slipping and scratching the tile. Again ensure the drill is set on a low torque setting and take it slow. These holes cannot be rushed...

Answered 17th Feb 2011

N.J STEWART Services

Member since 17 Feb 2009

No feedback

but if they are porcerline tiles, go through the grout as none of these bits will go through easy, but will glow bright orange and melt the tip

Answered 17th Feb 2011

northview property mainenance

Member since 13 Sep 2010

Use a Dewalt masonary drill bit. These drills have a needle sharp point for penetrating the tile before the actual drilling begins. It stops the bit from slipping. Do not use on porcelain tiles. They cost a few pound from Screwfix Direct. That's all I use unless drilling porcelain where I use a diamond drill. Do not drill slowly or apply too much pressure. High speed drill with a little pressure. It will go like a knife through butter.

Answered 25th Feb 2011

Monray Domestic Services

Member since 6 Aug 2008

hi arrow head drill are the best fot sure we use them all the time cost around £10 to £15 for 3 bits srew fixs

Answered 20th Feb 2011

complete joinery service

Member since 3 Mar 2009

Arrow head are no good, use bosch multi drill bit work like a dream. Plus they are diamond tipped still got to use water on porcelain.

Answered 30th Oct 2013

a j group

Member since 8 Oct 2007

All the above are correct but the biggest factor is to use a sharp drill bit!

Answered 17th Feb 2011

ab carpentry&joinery

Member since 18 Nov 2008

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