Drilling tile has always been one of the toughest drilling tasks of them all.
The thing is, tile represents one of the most brittle materials out there, so drilling through it with a drill bit that’s not particularly made for this purpose will most likely result in the breaking of the tile in question – which then completely defeats the purpose of drilling it in the first place.
That said, there are still situations where you need to drill through tile, so some clever folks designing drill bits came up (through trial and error, no doubt) with a special kind of drill bit that can make a hole in a piece of tile, without shattering it to smithereens.
In this article, we’re going to talk about these curious drill bits and how they can go through tile so successfully. Also, we’ll talk about the different types of drill bits for tile, as well as present to you 6 different drill bit sets in this particular category. In the end, we’ve also ventured to answer some of the most frequently asked questions in this particular area, so you can get a better idea of what sort of drill bit you need to get in order to drill through tile without worrying about breaking it.
Right then folks, without further ado, here’s the deal.
What Type of Drill Bit Do I Need for Porcelain Tile?
Diamond-Tipped Drill Bits
Representing one of the hardest materials on Earth, diamonds are often used for making cutting or polishing contraptions. The idea behind equipping a drill bit with a diamond tip is that it will be able to penetrate the surface of a tile more effectively than the drills made out of other materials, thus reducing the risk of the tile breaking during the drilling.
Another attractive aspect of diamond-tipped drill bits is that they last a long time, so you won’t have to buy spare sets every couple of weeks or so. (Well, that would, of course, depend on how frequently you’re drilling with them. But if we’re talking about moderate use, you can rest assured that these will last a long time, indeed.) About the only downside to these diamond-tipped bits is that they tend to be quite expensive.
Carbide-Tipped Drill Bits
Speaking of the price, carbide-tipped drill bits are a less expensive version of diamond-tipped bit sets. In fact, these drill bits seem to be the most commonly used ‘weapon of choice’ for purposes of drilling through tile. Although not as hard as diamond, carbide still represents one of the hardest and toughest materials out there, so it’s pretty darn close to diamond. Plus, it considerably less expensive at that.
As far as the flipside to carbide as the drill bit material, it would be that it doesn’t work well on porcelain. For porcelain tiles, you would probably need to cash out and get a set of diamond drill bits instead.
Best Drill Bit for Tile – A List of Products
1) QWORK – 5 pcs Set Multi-Material Drill Bit Set
If you’re looking for a tough set of drill bits that will be able to go through tile like through butter without jeopardizing the integrity of the tile itself (aka breaking it to pieces), this QWORK set of 5 can be just the thing for you.
The thing is, these drill bits have been made for one purpose and one purpose only – drilling through tile AND the masonry behind it. Oftentimes, folks who want to install a shelf in their bathroom would need to first drill through tile itself, and then change the drill bit they’re using to something more suited for the masonry behind.
Now, what this thing does for you is it enables you to drill through these two surfaces with the same drill bit, which means you won’t have to buy another set of drills jut for the masonry. Also, this means that you’ll be able to finish the job more quickly.
- Can be used on both tiles and masonry
- Reduced breakout
- High-quality carbide tips
- Anti-skid triangular handle
- Does not work as well on glass
- Needs water lubrication for some of the harder materials
2) ZINMOND – Masonry Drill Bits
Designed for folks who have a lot of drilling to do on a lot of different surfaces, this ZINMOND drill set represents a well-rounded masonry drill set made out of tungsten carbide. Thanks to the toughness of this material, you can rest assured that you will be able to go through the wall, brick, plastic, marble, mirrors, and even wood.
As far as the drilling contraption you can use is in question, any sort of bench drill, electric drill, or a drilling machine will be able to work wonders. Similarly to the set from above, any of the drills from this set can be used for both drilling tile and masonry at the same time, so you can drill as many holes in your bathroom as you wish without having to fit different drill bits.
One of the most interesting features of this drill set is the U-shaped slot design, which removes the dust from the drilling hole you’re working with quickly and easily. This means the issues connected with overheating won’t present that much of a trouble.
- Spear pointed design
- Powerful tips made out of tungsten carbide
- Can drill through many different materials (wall, plastic, blocks, marble, brick, wood …)
- Lifetime warranty
- Some users reported that these can get worn out pretty quickly
- A bit pricey
3) Bosch – GT2000 Glass and Tile Set
Featuring a simple appearance and design that can fit into most drills on the market, this drill bit set from Bosch represents a great solution for drilling through glass and tile, as its name suggests. The bits in this set have been reinforced by carbide tips, ensuring the whole drill set is durable and will last a long time.
Another important design solution by the folks at Bosch would be the decision to include some diamond edges as well as the carbide tips, which makes the whole build of a drill bit much more resilient to damage.
As far as the applications of these go, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to use these to cut through glass and tile surfaces with ease. That does mean that you won’t be able to use these for masonry and concrete, for example, but glass and tile you could take care of well with these on your side.
- Comes with an effective precision tip made out of carbide
- Made of glass and tile surfaces
- Centering tip (reduced bit walking)
- Diamond cutting edges
- Three flat shank
- Does not work on surfaces other than glass and tile
- Some users reported that these can cause some chipping
4) Moffo – 6pcs Masonry Drill Bits Set
Made out of high-quality cemented carbide, this set coming from the Moffo company can be used to break through any sort of tile and masonry behind it with ease. This means you won’t have to buy an additional set of drill bits just for the purpose of drilling through masonry.
Thanks to their curious shape, these drills are fairly kind to the surface they’re drilling through, so to speak. For example, the tremor phenomenon (which is probably the biggest culprit for cracks with tiles) is reduced to the minimum, so the risk of shattering the tile while working is greatly reduced, too.
Other than this important feature, these bits allow for easy and quick chip evacuation, so the risk of these drill bits getting stuck in the wall any time soon is quite low, indeed. As far as the materials go that these bits can go through, they include mirrors, brick, glass, porcelain, wood, as well as tiles, and ceramics.
- Made out of cemented carbide
- Small cutting resistance
- Can work on a variety of surfaces (wood, glass, ceramics, tile, brick, etc.)
- Easy chip evacuation
- Lifetime warranty
- A tad expensive
- Some users have reported problems with some of the bits breaking
5) Baban – Diamond Drill Bits
For all of you who need to remove a complete circle from a piece of tile, this drill bit set can be a perfect ‘weapon of choice’. Thanks to its shape, these diamond-coated bits will make a hole in a variety of materials including glass, tiles, marble, granite, and some others.
The most important thing to understand about these bits is that they’re coated with diamonds, which makes them extremely efficient in cutting holes in the aforementioned materials. That said, using these to drill at high speeds all the time will shorten their life span, so if you want to use them for as long as possible without having to buy a new set, try using them at lower speeds.
Similarly to other drill bits, incorporating some lubrication in your drilling procedure is also likely to extend the life of a drill bit set for quite a long time. This especially goes for those situations where you drill through materials that can get hot fairly quickly (such as glass, for example).
- Removes a full circle from the object you’re drilling through
- Made out of high-quality steel
- Coated with diamonds
- Can cut through a wide variety of materials
- Some users have reported that these can dull quickly
- Some users reported a fair amount of wobbling
6) BLENDX – Diamond Drill Bits
Last but not least, we’ve got another round-shaped drill bit set, that will leave a circle in whatever material you’ve been drilling through. Using these, you can cut holes in glass, tile, fiberglass, porcelain, as well as granite and marble.
As with the set from above, it is highly recommended not to use these at high speeds because that can reduce the lifespan of the set. This is because the bits of diamond this is coated with can fall off if you use this at high speeds.
Another fact to understand is that these drill bits tend to heat quite quickly when they come in contact with a material such as glass or porcelain, so it’s smart to use lubrication when drilling through a tough material – because you’ll both prolong the bit’s life AND reduce the chance of the material cracking halfway there.
- This set comes with 10 different sizes of drill bit
- Can work on glass, tile, fiberglass, porcelain, granite, and marble
- Made out of high-quality steel
- Diamond-coated for improved efficiency
- A bit expensive
- Some users have complained that these wear down quickly
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Do You Need a Special Drill Bit for Ceramic Tile?
Yes, you do – would be the short answer.
The thing is, ceramic tiles are notoriously brittle, which makes them a proper nightmare to drill through – especially if you don’t have the right tool for the job. Generally speaking, the best drill bits for drilling through ceramics would be diamond drill bits. They are the most efficient and most durable option for this purpose.
On the other hand, if you can’t afford the diamond ones, you can always go for the carbide drill bit sets, which aren’t as efficient but can perform pretty well, indeed.
2) What is the Best Way to Drill Through Porcelain Tiles?
Similarly to ceramics, glass, and other brittle materials of that ilk, porcelain can be really difficult to drill through, because it can break fairly easily.
To make matters worse, porcelain is also an incredibly tough material, so you have to exert a certain amount of pressure to drill through it – thus increasing the chances of breaking it.
So, the best way to drill through porcelain would be to use diamond drill bits, drill at lower speeds, and use plenty of lubrication.
3) How Do You Screw Into Tile?
The procedure itself is not complicated, but the task can be quite difficult nevertheless.
First off, you have to have a proper drill bit made out of either carbide or diamond-tipped. This way, you’ll decrease the chances of breaking the tile you’re working on. Once you’ve drilled a hole, empty out its contents and then drive the anchor in. When the anchor is tightly in the hole, you can insert the screw in the anchor and slowly twist it until it fits well.
4) Can You Drill Into Bathroom Tiles?
Yes, you can.
How successfully – depends on the sort of drill bit you’re using and your drilling technique, so to speak.
As we mentioned above, diamond-tipped and carbide-tipped drills tend to perform the best for this purpose, so you may want to get a couple of sets of these for your tile drilling task.
Make sure you drill slowly and use plenty of lubrication and you should be A-ok.
5) Can You Drill Holes in Porcelain?
Yes, you can.
Although porcelain is a bit tougher than ceramics, the drilling technique and the tools you need are pretty much the same as when you drill through ceramics. Throw in some lubrication for good measure, drill at low speeds to save the drill bits themselves for as long as possible, and Bob’s your uncle.
All things considered, drilling through tile doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you’re willing to do a bit of homework every now and again. The thing is, with the right set of drill bits on your side, you won’t have to worry about damaging the tiles, and save the drill bits, as well. We hope this article helped you figure out what sort of drill bits to use for drilling through these materials and we wish you plenty of luck with your purchase.