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?
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.
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.
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
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
Drill gently, with little downforce.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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
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.
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