How should i drill through tiles?


I am looking to install some small bathroom fixtures, toilet roll holder, towel rack, etc on the walls of my bathroom.
The walls have already been tiled, so I want to be sure that I can drill through correctly without getting any damage to the tiles themselves.
I have been told that using a low torque setting for a drill and using masking tape around the tile can be an effective way.
How would be the best way for me to drill through the tiles?


Asked by MRS DAKIRI on 21st Oct 2019
Expert Trade Answers
"Good afternoon,
When installing bathroom fixtures I would place a piece of masking tape over the tile and mark where your hole is needed. Then use either a tile drill bit or a masonry drill bit but make sure the hammer setting on your drill is turned off as that will certainly crack the tile. As you rightly said, have the torque set low and your ready to drill. The key is to drill slowly without lots of pressure, once your happy your through the tile you can then set the drill to hammer for the rest but I would normally leave it off to be on the safe side. Hope this helps."
Answered on 2nd Jan 2020 - Member since Dec 2019 - report
"Yes you can drill into tiles without damaging them. You would need to get the correct size tile drill bit for your fixing which are available from Screwfix, B&Q etc. Put a strip of masking tape on the tile where you want to drill and then mark where you want to drill the holes with a pencil / pen. Use a combi drill or similar set to drill, start off slow to ensure you get the hole in the correct place, once the tip of the bit is in you should be able to take up to full speed. Using the masking tape and the correct bit should ensure you are as accurate as possible. When marking out the holes try to avoid the edges of the tiles / grout, appreciate its not always possible but it reduces the risk of damaging the tiles, if not possible just go easier on the drill speed. Once the hole is drilled blow out the dust and fit the fixing, its also worth if you are fitting anything which is going to continually get wet to use some silicone before putting in the fixing.

Fraser Handyman Services"
Answered on 31st Jan 2020 - Member since Oct 2019 - report
"You need to use a specific drill bit, I used a Erbauer diamond tile drill bit, which you can purchased from Screwfix.


Answered on 10th Jan 2020 - Member since Mar 2019 - report

Masking tape and low torque is ok but sharp concrete drill bit is essential and use 2 sizes of drill bits.
The first size should be the size of the plug and the second half a size bigger to resize in tile.

Hope this has helped."
Answered on 5th Nov 2019 - Member since May 2019 - report
"To efficiently drill tiles you should use a glass drill bit and after, use an SDS drill bit."
Answered on 24th Oct 2019 - Member since Sep 2019 - report
"yes a low torque setting and masking tape over the exact spot you are going too drill ."
Answered on 30th Mar 2020 - Member since Jul 2019 - report
"There are drill bits designed to cut through tiles."
Answered on 24th Nov 2019 - Member since May 2019 - report
"What you have been told is partly correct. You need a low setting and to place the masking tape over the point the drill bit will cut into the tile. This should be problem-free to drill into the tile. But to be safe make sure you try it on a tile you haven't used first. Some drill bits, if blunt will damage the tile."
Answered on 28th Oct 2019 - Member since Oct 2019 - report
"Best way to drill tiles is to use a drill without percution as this brakes the tiles when it knocks, so if you have a combidrill just use it on the drilling setting to make the hole ,under no circumstances use the hammer setting to drill as as i said above it will brake the tile .Hope this helps"
Answered on 9th Apr 2020 - Member since Jul 2019 - report
"Thanks for asking, yes it is possible to drill through the wall and floor tiles using a sharp masonry drill bit. Make sure your drill isn't on hammer setting and just let the drill do the work.
Answered on 6th Apr 2020 - Member since Jan 2018 - report
"You can go into Screwfix and pick up a tile drill bit. Needs a lot of water while drilling tiles."
Answered on 30th Oct 2019 - Member since Jul 2019 - report
"Use a tile drill. They are not expensive and are readily available in DIY or tool shops. Don't have your drill setting on hammer. I use the slower speed on my drill. They are brilliant. I've never had a broken tile even when drilling in the grout line between tiles."
Answered on 2nd Nov 2019 - Member since Mar 2018 - report
"The best way is to find out the type of tile you are drilling through.
Then make sure you have the correct drill bit for the tile you are drilling into.
Place masking tape on the tile and mark an x with a pen / pencil the location of the hole.
Start slowly on a low speed until the drill bit has started and increase your speed as you break through."
Answered on 25th Jan 2020 - Member since Aug 2019 - report
"You can buy special drill bits for drilling through tiles at most hardware stores.

Answered on 6th Jan 2020 - Member since Dec 2019 - report
Masking tape over the area you want to drill and set the drill to low, you can also get drill bits designed for drilling tiles which have a diamond tip, I’ve always used the masking tape method though as it’s low cost. Thanks"
Answered on 26th Nov 2019 - Member since Nov 2019 - report
"You can do this one of two ways. Use a drill bit for drilling into tiles but go slowly. Also, use masking tape to help keep the drill bit from moving.

Alternatively, you can use a masonry drill bit but use a small size first and gradually make the hole to the desired size. If you are going to use a regular battery drill you can use it on hammer action but just take it easy."
Answered on 3rd Nov 2019 - Member since Oct 2019 - report
"You can get a drill bit specifically for tiles. Use tape where you need to drill and keep your drill on a slow speed until you are through the tile, as long as you take your time you will be OK. Anything else just let me know.

Answered on 5th Feb 2020 - Member since Feb 2020 - report
"Purchase a tile drill bit, they are around £9 and you will achieve a perfect hole in your tile. Start drilling on low speed, then swap to the correct drill bit required when the tile is breached for the correct wall type behind."
Answered on 5th Nov 2019 - Member since Mar 2019 - report
"Using masking tape is a waste of time unless you are using a tile drill bit, available form any DIY store.

If you do not have a tile drill bit, you can if possible position your fixings where the joints are between the tiles, that way you can use any masonry drill bit."
Answered on 3rd Apr 2020 - Member since Mar 2020 - report
"Your best way would be to mask the area, mark it and use a diamond tipped tile bit."
Answered on 3rd Dec 2019 - Member since Nov 2019 - report
"You can drill through tiles, however, make sure you use a tile drill bit and the correct size for the intended wall plug i.e, if you are using red wall plugs, use a 5.5/6mm drill bit. You can purchase the tile drill bits from most DIY or tile shops. The key is to go slow to avoid cracking the tiles. Once through the tile, you are able to use a standard bit to go through the wall behind."
Answered on 5th Nov 2019 - Member since Nov 2019 - report
"You need to drill through tiles with a tile specific drill bit."
Answered on 12th Nov 2019 - Member since Oct 2019 - report
If you use special drill bits for tiles this should be very easy and for sure you're not going to damage any tiles. You can find these drills in any DIY shop like B&Q and SCREWFIX etc."
Answered on 13th Jan 2020 - Member since Jan 2020 - report
"To drill tiles, using the lowest torque is the right way. You can buy tile drill bits but I tend to use just an ordinary bit but start with a 2 mm then gradually get bigger until you have the size needed."
Answered on 14th Nov 2019 - Member since May 2019 - report
"Thank you for your question. This can be tricky to drill. Low speed is a must and tape the area but be prepared for cracks. I must say I do not do this on a regular basis. All the best, try youtube for advice."
Answered on 21st Oct 2019 - Member since Jan 2019 - report
"I would use masking tape to stop the drill piece slipping off the tile and go slowly with the drill."
Answered on 21st Oct 2019 - Member since Jun 2019 - report
"You need a tile drill bit. Toolstation sells a tile & glass drill bit set. There are other suppliers. Keep it cool with water and use masking tape as someone said before. Remember when drilling tiles to take your time."
Answered on 22nd Oct 2019 - Member since Aug 2019 - report
"First you have to make sure that you don't hit any live wires or pipes, in order to do that you need to use a detector device. If the area is clear to make a hole, apply a masking tape on your target area. Mark it using a hammer & medium size concrete nail.
Then you can proceed to drill a hole."
Answered on 25th Dec 2019 - Member since Nov 2019 - report
"Hi nice and steady with no pressure and a tile drill bit
Answered on 27th Mar 2020 - Member since Mar 2020 - report
"Use a specialist tile drill bit fairly cheap to buy from Screwfix.

Hope this helps."
Answered on 30th Jan 2020 - Member since Jan 2020 - report
"With a non-hammer diamond drill and water for cooling down the bit"
Answered on 24th Oct 2019 - Member since Oct 2019 - report
"Need a tile drill for this otherwise tile could split."
Answered on 15th Jan 2020 - Member since Jan 2020 - report
"Drilling through tiles is very tricky and sometimes you need a special tool. Different types of tiles often require a different drill to go through effectively. Some tiles are really hard and you will need to go and get the right drill bit that is intended for your type of tile. There will be a drilling list which will tell you if the tool is suitable for the tiles you want to use it on. I got a specialist bit from Topps tiles for around £40."
Answered on 25th Oct 2019 - Member since Oct 2019 - report
"Use a tile drill on constant speed and not the hammer setting then use a masonry drill to drill wall behind on hammer setting."
Answered on 6th Jan 2020 - Member since Apr 2019 - report
"I would say put masking tape around the hole you want to drill and use low talk on your drill but also use a tile drillbits it can be purchased from any building merchants"
Answered on 27th Mar 2020 - Member since Oct 2018 - report
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