Tricks/Bits For Drilling Bathroom Tile?

I need to mount two 4 hole brackets in bathroom ceramic tile. It's been
eons since I had to do this sort of thing, and I recall that getting the
holes accurately placed wasn't easy. I'll be using either 1/4" or 5/16"
diameter plastic expansion anchors. Two holes for each bracket can go on
a grout line, and I seem to recall that made things easier.
I have a couple of the old style carbide tipped bits with a regular sort
of point and a fat spiral grooved shank. I've also seen some newer bits
that have a sharper point & a straight shank that they claim can drill
through glass as well as tile. The sharp point seems like it might go in
straighter if I can get it started in the right spot.
One thought I had was to use a burr in my Dremel to get through the
glaze. I can then get the bit started in the softer tile material &
hopefully keep them from wandering.
Any other suggestions for bits to use and/or techniques for keeping
everything lined up would be appreciated.
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White
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Put a cross of masking tape where you want the holes and then drill. It helps stops the bit wandering until it's got under the glaze. Alternatively drill a hole through a bit of thin wood or metal and hold that hard against the wall while you use the hole to spot the drill bit.
Reply to
Dave Baker
I think your ideas are pretty good. I've used a hammer drill to drill through tile with the variable speed turned down quite a bit to reduce chipping. Without hammer function you'll probably notice the carbide tip glowing hot. Make a jig out of a block of wood with a hole drilled through it to help keep the bit from wandering.
-- Gary Brady Austin, TX
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Reply to
Gary Brady
That is exactly how I do it; (actually, I use a stone in the Dremel). I also have some limited success with drilling through a couple of layers of masking tape to keep the driff from wandering.
Reply to
Vaughn Simon
Actually those glass/tile bits work beautifully on tile in an ordinary electric hand drill (NOT a hammer drill). No problems positioning or starting them either. Always a good idea to locate holes over a stud and avoid having to use the expansion anchors which depend on the strength of the tile or its bond to the wall for structural integrity. I would also avoid the grout line using glass/tile bits but drill into the face of the tiles instead.
For a picture of the glass/tile bits see
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near the bottom of the page find them listed by that name.
David Merrill
Reply to
David Merrill
If you have a diamond point for the Dremel, that's the ticket for breaking the glaze, if it's thick. Otherwise carbide works well. That's the best way to get the starting point located where you want it. Carbide masonery bits work will the rest of the way through the tile.
bob g.
Doug White wrote:
Reply to
Robert Galloway
Here's a little tip for drilling any wall - tiled or not. Get an old (or new if you like) envelope, open it up a little to make a pouch, and fasten it to the wall with a little bit of masking tape just below where you want the hole. (If you mark the position of the hole on the masking tape it makes it easier to start the hole in the right place, but you need a new bit of tape for each hole.) Then, when you drill the hole, all the mess drops into the envelope. When you remove it, there's no mess to clear up.
Reply to
First, thatnks to everyone for their suggestions on my drilling task. I bought soem of the spear point glass & tile bits, and sometime this weekend I will start making holes. I haven't decided which/how many of the suggestions I caqn apply all at once, but we'll see.
I've been using a variation of Gary's suggestion for years, but I use a small box-type paper bag. Depending on what & how fast you are drilling, the debris can fly out further than an envelope can catch it. It also gives you a good sized target to tap the debris into that gets stuck in the flutes.
One additional trick is handy if you have to drill into a plaster ceiling. Take a small paper cup, cut it down so that it's short enough to allow the required drilling depth, and then punch it down over the bit. This keeps the debris contained, and avoids dribbling dust & abrasive junk into your drill chuck.
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White

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