How to Drill Porcelain Tile Still Keeping It Intact

Drill Porcelain Tile

To drill porcelain tile with perfection is not the easiest of tasks. There can be many situations when you need to make a hole in your new tiles in the bathroom or kitchen, be it for putting up a towel holder or a new wall cabinet.

Drilling through porcelain tile needs the highest level of sophistication and consciousness. The slightest of the mistakes can mess it up with a broken and deformed-looking tile.

Materials like glass might be slightly harder to drill yet drilling porcelain tile is not easier either. Because porcelain material itself is challenging to get through. But this challenge depends on the size of the hole you need to drill.

This job becomes the easiest when it comes to making a standard small hole for either holding a screw or fixing it. Though, it becomes slightly harder for making a hole for a pipe or something similar.

So here we guide you through some effective techniques that can help you get a perfectly drilled hole yet keeping your tiles just fine enough.

How is Porcelain Tile Constructed?

In my guide, at first, I have tried to get an insight into the construction method of porcelain tile. As it becomes easier to get through any material if you know it’s built procedure.

Porcelain tiles are one kind of ceramic tiles with a water absorption rate of less than 0.5 percent. For this reason, they are perfect to use in wet areas like bathrooms, showers, and kitchens. You can use them for covering both floors and walls and is available in either of the glazed or unglazed looks.

Although the clay used in porcelain tiles construction is generally denser. This is why it is harder and heavier than the general ceramic tiles. For its hardwearing nature, most of the time people use it on floors.

Porcelain tiles are burnt in a kiln. As a consequence, they become way harder and a tough solid substance to drill through.

So now you have all the ideas of what you are up against, let’s see some of the options that can really help you to drill porcelain tile and get you most out of it.

The Drill Bits For Drilling Through The Porcelain Tiles

You can find three kinds of drill bits that can be used to drill porcelain tile and these are:

  1.   Diamond-tipped bit
  2.   A masonry bit
  3.   A tile bit

See Our Product section for relevant Drill Bits

The ideal choice for this task is to have ‘diamond-tipped bits’, which might be an expensive option but worth it. It becomes a lot easier and safer to drill with the proper diamond bits. Although, I have gone for the masonry bit which works pretty well and saved me the expenses of buying the costly ones.

Then again, it is actually about the tile’s degree of hardness, thickness, and density you want to get through. The higher these degrees are, the tougher it is to drill through.

Another important thing to mention is to spray water while drilling with these bits. You need to spray water on the hole you want to drill to cool the bit down and allow it some more life.

Unfortunately, these bits last for a shorter period and I would suggest you spray on them with loads of water while drilling, to make them last longer.

After trying out various types and brands for quite some time, I finally came up with these diamond bits from SE which I tried recently. I must say these are great to use. I experimented with them on a hard material like granite but to my surprise, they got through easily.

They also seem to be getting great reviews from the customers. These reviews actually suggest that you can use them on different materials including porcelain. It is a very useful option to have these drill bits in your toolbox. You get to find a good range of these handy drilling bits below $7.

If you are looking for a whole set of drill bits for cutting larger holes, you can go for these well-reviewed Diamond City Bits which are great value for the price.

You find ten unique sizes of drill bits in this kit. You can use them on different materials like granite, marble, glass, ceramic, and porcelain for sure. They can even penetrate most of the rock types.

These are amazing to use and definitely worthy of keeping as the stock set. Actually, these are the bits I use on my daily basis for tough drilling tasks. They are one of the newest on the market though I have some very good experiences of using them for the last few months. All in all, it’s a very good one with regards to keeping the sharpness.

Spending $35-40 for a set of 10 pieces actually needs some very good amount of drilling for justifying such expense. These would be a good buy for doing something like replacing any fittings of the bathroom or kitchen.

You have to use them at a moderate speed on your drill or they might be burned out, even give you a high-speed jarring. You can buy these in single bits as well if are to drill a large size hole. Mostly, you need them for a pipe that needs to get through the tiles or something like this.

For the customer’s convenience, these are found in a single drill bit, and a pack of 5-bits set, according to the required sizes and usage amount.

Some Important Tips for Drilling Through Porcelain Tile

  • After marking the place where you want to drill the hole, cover the tile with masking tape and re-mark it to drill through the tape. This will help to stop the drill from getting slipped when the pressure is applied. The masking tape helps you protect the porcelain tiles even if the drill slips.
  • You need to drill porcelain tile at a slow speed, going too fast can break it
  • Spray water or any available coolant on the hole while drilling
  • Refrain from over exert pressure and keep it to a limited extent otherwise, the result will end up in a broken or cracked tile.


I hope I’ve been able to clarify the facts on how to drill porcelain tile through this article. My article shows an insight into the porcelain tiles construction and the reasons why it is harder to get through. It has also talked about the best drill bits available in the market. Especially, about some great diamond-ripped bits based on the user’s experiences and reviews. Finally, some effective tips have been shown that one should know to drill porcelain tile. In the main, it comes down to the fact that you need to get the right drill with the right bits and then apply the techniques right. This way you can successfully drill porcelain tile keeping it undamaged.

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