How to Drill a Hole in a Porcelain Tile: A Guide

There is a right way and a wrong way to drill a hole in a porcelain tile! Knowing how will save you time and money.

Equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge is half the battle.

In this blog, we aim to provide you with the necessary knowledge.

So whether it’s a new mirror in the bathroom or accessories in your kitchen, this blog will show you exactly how to drill a hole in a porcelain tile.knowing how to drill a hole in a porcelain tile is important for DIY

















What we’ll cover:

  • The essentials and selecting the right drill bit
  • A step-by-step process to drill the hole without doing damage
  • If you can use a hammer drill or masonry drill bit
  • and more.

Continue reading and let’s begin.

What is the Best Drill Bit for a Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles can have hard, glossy surfaces which make them difficult to drill through.

The choice of drill bit makes all the difference.

Not all drill bits are the same though.

If you want to know the best for a ceramic tile, click HERE.

Here are the main types:

Diamond-Tipped Drill Bits: The Gold Standard

Experts in the field agree that diamond-tipped drill bits are the top option for drilling through porcelain tiles.

With drill bits coated in tiny diamonds, the hardest material on Earth, they can easily grind through the tile with precision and minimal risk of causing any damage.

Diamond-tipped bits offer a secure grip for cutting through tile smoothly, unlike standard drill bits that may slip or skate on the surface.

Ceramic city recommends diamond tipped drill bits when drilling through a porcelain tile

Carbide-Tipped Drill Bits: A Viable Alternative

Consider using carbide-tipped drill bits as an alternative for drilling through porcelain tiles.

Although not as tough as diamonds, carbide is a material known for its impressive hardness and durability.

Carbide-tipped drill bits are a cost-effective option for those looking to save money.

It’s crucial to drill with care, as they might not offer the same level of effectiveness and durability as diamond-tipped tools.

knowing what drill bit to use when drilling through a porcelain tile is important like these carbide tipped bits

Tips on Using them Correctly

  • Begin by drilling at a slow speed to avoid overheating the drill bit and to make sure your line is straight.
  • Consider using water to cool down the drilling area and extend the lifespan of your drill bit.
  • Consistent pressure is key when drilling to prevent the tile from cracking. Allow the drill bit to work on its own instead of pushing it too hard.

A Step-By-Step Guide: How to Drill a Hole in a Tile without Cracking It

Drilling into porcelain tile without cracking it is a common concern for many homeowners and DIY enthusiasts.

The key to success lies in the technique and preparation.

Follow these steps to ensure a clean, crack-free result:

Step 1: Mark Your Point

Place a strip of masking tape over the spot you plan to drill into.

Using tape serves a dual purpose: it prevents the drill bit from slipping and makes it easier to mark the exact spot too.

Step 2: Choose the Right Drill Bit

As we’ve outlined above, this is important!

For drilling through porcelain tiles, it’s best to use a diamond-tipped or carbide-tipped drill bit.

Make sure the drill bit is in good condition and the right size for your project.

use masking tape if you want to know how to drill a hole in a porcelain tile

Step 3: Start with a Guide Hole

Using a low speed on the drill, create a small guide hole in the tile.

This will help you keep the bit in place as you drill deeper.

Step 4: Have Water on Standby

Drilling generates heat, so it’s never a bad idea to have some water nearby to cool the drill bit down.

Plus, the heat can crack the tile too, so lightly spray water on it.

Step 5: Drill at Low Speed First

Avoid the temptation to put the power down straight away!

You want to start slow to get a nice little groove in the tile.

Gradually up the speed as this gets more profound.

But avoid going full power – it’s rare that you will need it.

Let the bit do the work.

Step 6: Apply Gentle Pressure

The drill will do all the work if you let it.

So don’t go putting your full weight behind it and risk cracking the tile.

Maintain a nice steady pressure.

Step 7: Final Touches

If you’re drilling multiple holes, make sure to let the bit cool down between drilling.

Again, you’ll avoid cracks.

After you drill the hole, smooth out any rough edges with a file to ensure a nice, clean finish.

Should You Use a Hammer Drill on Porcelain Tiles?

In short, you should not use a hammer drill when it comes to porcelain tiles.

As a matter of fact you should avoid them at all costs.

For those of you not sure what a hammer drill does – they are designed to drill through concrete and other tough materials.

They can do this by a hammering action that makes them loud, powerful and destructive – things you need to avoid when drilling porcelain tiles.

Porcelain tiles are brittle and if you are going drilling them, you need precision and patience.

Stick with the diamond-tipped drill bit.

Can you Drill Porcelain Tiles with a Masonry Bit?

Masonry drill bits are also not recommended for drilling porcelain tiles.

They are built for more aggressive drilling, as opposed to precision work, so you can really damage your tiles.

Masonry bits are bricks, concrete and stone and are usually made of tungsten carbide.

If you’re into your DIY, this blog on Removing a Ceramic Tile without Breaking it gives a great step by step guide.


When it comes to drilling into porcelain tiles, it may appear intimidating at first.

However, with the correct knowledge and tools, you can tackle the task with accuracy and assurance.

Just keep in mind that successfully drilling through porcelain tiles depends on how well you prepare and execute the task.

As you start your next tiling project, whether it’s adding a splashback in the kitchen, updating your bathroom or any other home improvement involving porcelain tiles, Ceramic City is here to support you.

This blog on the Most Popular Wall Tiles for 2024 will help.

With a fantastic range of tiles in Ireland, we are your ultimate destination for all your tiling needs.

For additional advice, techniques, and tutorials to enhance your tiling projects, stop by Ceramic City.

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