Porcelain tile has become a popular material in stylish homes and businesses. Its dense composition makes it highly resistant to water, stains, and wear, and you can customize its appearance for various aesthetics.
Because of porcelain’s hardness, drilling this material requires specialized tools. Use this quick guide to drilling into porcelain to cut efficiently and avoid damage.
Use a Diamond-Tipped Drill Bit
Cutting porcelain requires a diamond-tipped drill bit or diamond-tipped hole cutter for larger holes. A regular masonry drill bit is not equipped to cut porcelain, but will instead skip across the material. You may be tempted to put the drill into hammer action to pierce the porcelain, but the hammering mechanism will crack the porcelain and break off shards of the material.
A carbide ceramic tile drill bit is effective for glass and ceramic, but not for porcelain. The ceramic drill bit will make a dent in the porcelain, but the tool will break quickly. A diamond-tipped bit costs more than carbide, but it’s the right tool because porcelain is much harder than glass and ceramic.
Follow the Proper Steps for Drilling
Before drilling on a wall or floor, ensure there are no pipes or cables around the drilling site. Then, mark where you want to drill, either directly on the porcelain or on a piece of tape on the porcelain.
Make sure the drill is not in hammer action. Start the hole by tilting the bit at about a 45-degree angle. As you drill, straighten the bit so it is perpendicular to the porcelain.
Apply steady, firm pressure as you guide the drill bit in. Doing this is especially important for making a good starter hole that prevents the drill from wandering. Once you’ve finished drilling, put the tool aside carefully—the drill bit will be very hot.
Drill With a Hole Cutter
Hole cutters, also called hole saws, drill holes of larger diameters than standard drill bits. You can drill through porcelain to create access for pipes by using a diamond-tipped hole cutter.
A drill guide can help you keep the hole cutter on track so you drill an accurate hole. Follow the drill guide’s included instructions for use. If the porcelain isn’t installed yet, you can also fill the drill guide with some water to help keep the hole cutter cool.
Drill slowly to avoid overheating the hole saw. Rock the bit in a slight circle to start the hole, then keep it perpendicular to the porcelain to complete drilling.
With this quick guide to drilling into porcelain, you can safely use diamond-tipped drill bits to cut through hard porcelain. At Drill Bit Warehouse, we sell high-quality drill bits for cutting porcelain, masonry, metal, and more. Shop with us today for diamond-tipped drill bits that won’t crack porcelain.