Tile drill bit: what do recommend ?

Mar 10, 2012
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Had some disappointments over the last couple of years with tile drill bits and as it's one of those jobs that i only occasionally do i kind of make do any carry on... The next week or so i'm finishing the shower i've installed downstairs (with 5 ladies in the house there's no chance of me seeing the upstairs bathroom...) and there's a few holes i need to drill.

I used to have a nice arrow headed bit that worked well but seems i've lost it, bought a replacement set from eBay and they are bobbins, bought a Wolfcraft diamond 6mm tile bit (like a mini core drill) not much better....

I drill glass without any issues and have to regularly for my aquariums, 25mm thick is my record so far and that drilled really nicely. But when it comes to tiles:tmi: most of which are cement based and not the easy peazy terracotta ones.

What do you guys use, any recommended bit types and even brands before i waste more money:oops:
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Break the glaze on the tile with a centre punch first, thats what I do anyway and works for me (y)
I endorse that approach. I usually do it just by hand in a circular grinding motion; you can tell by the sound when it's starting to bite.
The important thing is to get even a slight starting groove so the drill bit doesn't wander at the start.
In my early DIY days I was taught to place masking tape over the spot which also is meant to stop wandering, I found you needed multiple layers though and even that wasn't always successful.
If you haven't got specialist ceramic drill bits a sharp masonary bit can do.

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pappajohn

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I've always used a standard masonry bit without hammer action.
Once through the glaze it's plain sailing.
I wouldn't attempt drilling tiles that aren't already on the wall/floor.
 

meanders

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In my early DIY days I was taught to place masking tape over the spot which also is meant to stop wandering, I found you needed multiple layers though and even that wasn't always successful.
I was told similar but using a good quality electrical tape, or even sellotape rather than masking.

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Jun 30, 2010
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Got mine from B&Q, the Arrow head version, use them for 1 job then Skip them, use with just a normal drill , slow speed, "slowly slowly catchee monkey! "
 
Sep 10, 2012
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I use bits that are sold as 'glass' bits.
Lidl and aldi often have sets for not very much money. Use them a few times then throw away.
I always drill the tile a size up say 10 and then masonry bit 8 for the plug. Silicone the screw as its fixed.
No stress on the tile doing it that way.
 
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Use a masonry bit as said above backwards till it breaks through the glaze then forwards,
If your going to use a raw plug drill the hole bigger than needed and redrill with the right size once your through the tile into the wall. You should be able to use on hammer once your into the wall a little bit, but try without first

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makems

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If you have to drill a porcelain tile be warned! They are hard as f*** and only a diamond drill will do. And don’t bother with cheap bits unless you only have a couple of holes to drill - I went through a couple of sub £15 bits when renovating the bathrooms in a couple of our flats And only got half a dozen holes out of each. I bit the bullet and got a bit that cost £40 and it just kept going and going..
 
OP
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Lots of great tips and suggestion. Must admit i've never used masonry bits on tiles as i'm always concerned about cracking a tile and usually i want a very precise location and the arrow head or diamond types are good at starting the cut.

Centre punch to break the glaze sounds a good idea although the issue is usually drilling the tile body itself, last 2 i did yesterday took about 20mins each hole.

Found this Armeg bit that sounds good although doesn't everything on YT.... but it's clear that life expectancy is shorter than i'd probably realised and probably drilling a few holes here and there each year means i need to change bits every few years or so and that's something i haven't done....

Going to do a test with the masonry bit in reverse to see how it copes with the glaze and then in regular forward motion to drill the tile itself.

These tiles i drilled off the wall in prep for the taps, much easier with a diamond core drill, 25mm in this case.

IMG_8773.jpg


IMG_8774.jpg
 
Sep 29, 2019
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Always used a masonry bit slowly as others have said, until the last lot of tiles.

They were cheap massive ones from B&Q and harder than Chuck Norris! I only needed to drill 4 holes of 6mm for a radiator and was utterly defeated. After 10 minutes they had barely scratched. I tried an arrow tile bit but may as well have used my nail for all the good it did.

As I had a shower screen and shower to also put up I just went and fetched this.


Still have no idea how they got the tiles so hard, but the above was the only thing that would touch them.

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Jun 29, 2015
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I have drilled hundreds over the years, I use DeWalt massonary bits, on a couple of occasions I did resort to the big sds drill and had to put it on hammer to get through some tough tiles, I warned the customer first and got a disclaimer signed, but both times has no problem.
 
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