Drilling and cutting porcelain tiles?

Hi all
Just heard few horror stories about drilling and cutting porcelain tiles, people snapping drill bits etc. Is this just a question of not using diamond drill? What are the best methods of drilling /small and large holes/ in porcelain floor tiles and cutting them in shapes?
Regards
Rafal Zado
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A proper tile drilling bit is the best solution for drilling a pilot hole. The pilot hole can then be used to pass a tile saw through to cut internal shapes into the tiles.
As long as you don't try to rush tile jobs. And you always have a proper tile saw, a proper tile drilling bit and good straight cutting gear, then you're OK for most jobs.
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I've happily drilled 6mm holes in tiles using a standard masonry bit. I've noticed that my 5mm bit (which is mostly unused) seems to work better, which I believe to be because it has a sharper point (because its practicially unused) which gets through the glaze. I also use masking tape over the planned hole first which helps stop the drill from slipping at first. Once the glaze has been pierced the bit doesn't slip as easily.
Not sure if porcelain drilling is different from ceramic though.
D
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wrote:

If it comes in a box, you just pick another one out and try again - you'll lose a few, but not many. If it's an expensive hand-decorated one-off, then you might have more to worry about.
I treat them like drilling glass:
Use a drilling machine, not a hand-held drill. This is the most important part.
Use a carbide "leaf" bit
Use a good backing support, such as an undrilled scrap of timber and maybe even a layer of polyethylene foam (flooring underlay) on top.
Make a circular wall of glazier's putty and put in a little paraffin as lubricant.
Drill gently, with little downforce.
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The way I drill is this.
Buy BRAND NEW HSS drill bits, one per hole.
Put some masking tape onto the tile. Slowly start to drill, you need good control of the drill to stop it slipping, the glaze is the hardest part. Once you are into the glaze increase speed, but not a lot. If the drill bit becomes red 1) you are going way to fast 2) get a new drill bit.
It takes quite a while, its not like drilling wood or steel.
Rick

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Thank ypu very much for all suggestions. What about cutting porcelain tiles? Is regular tile cutter ok, or do I need circular saw?
Rafal
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Rafal wrote:

A small cheapo rotary diamond wet saw will pay for itself in wasted tiles in a day IMHO.

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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I have diamond saw's and ultrasonic diamond milling and drilling here, wouldn't bother with anything else for ceramics/glass and other *exotic* materials...
Niel.
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Could I ask what a porcelain tile is and how it differs from a 'normal' one?
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wrote:

tiles,
Porcelain is very fine glazed fired clay which is the same colour all the way through. A normal ceramic tile is a lump of shoddy clay with a coloured slip and glazed front.
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