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  • Drilling tile

    I need to drill 4 pilot holes for a shower head slide bar, into tile and I'm not sure what to use.

    The escutcheon for the bar does not offer much for margin of error so I want to make sure I get this right on the first shot, especially after all the work of the retile.


    I've tiled many floors but this is the first wall tiling I have done. It came out fairly good, not perfect, but at least now when the girls take showers it won't be dripping down into the coal bin

    Who ever did the original tile put it up with liquid nails over sheet rock.
    INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
    Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

  • #2
    Re: Drilling tile

    Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
    I need to drill 4 pilot holes for a shower head slide bar, into tile and I'm not sure what to use.

    The escutcheon for the bar does not offer much for margin of error so I want to make sure I get this right on the first shot, especially after all the work of the retile.


    I've tiled many floors but this is the first wall tiling I have done. It came out fairly good, not perfect, but at least now when the girls take showers it won't be dripping down into the coal bin

    Who ever did the original tile put it up with liquid nails over sheet rock.
    Use a drill and a drill bit.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Drilling tile

      Do you have a spring loaded punch?
      I've set many sliding bars with the 1/4" anchors.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Drilling tile

        1/4 in glass bit. They are a little spendy but a nice clean hole and no tile cracking. Just spin slow and let the bit work. We get them at fastenal. They look like a carbide tipped spade, they dont last real long but they do a good job.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Drilling tile

          of course the grout line is the safest and simplest.

          porcelain tile is a ***** you need a diamond core bit. ridgid now sells a diamond core bit at h.d. in 1/4''- 1.5'' sizes. the 1/4'' is approx $14.00. the trick is to start an edge to get the bit not to walk. then straighten it out. works great on the hard tile and glass with a little water to keep it cool and wash the grit.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Drilling tile

            I've had good luck drilling into wall tile with a high speed cutout tool and either a 1/8th or 1/4" masonry bit made for them. Just can't put a lot of pressure so as not to crack the tile.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Drilling tile

              Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
              I need to drill 4 pilot holes for a shower head slide bar, into tile and I'm not sure what to use.

              The escutcheon for the bar does not offer much for margin of error so I want to make sure I get this right on the first shot, especially after all the work of the retile.


              I've tiled many floors but this is the first wall tiling I have done. It came out fairly good, not perfect, but at least now when the girls take showers it won't be dripping down into the coal bin

              Who ever did the original tile put it up with liquid nails over sheet rock.

              As for the margin for error,put masking tape on the wall, then mark your layout lines on the tape.The tape helps to keep the bit from walking all over the tile.
              I have always had good luck with a masonry bit and a regular drill at low speed.{dont use hammer drill good chance tile will crack}
              good luck

              Huck

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Drilling tile

                S-P-R-I-N-G.. L-O-A-D-E-D..P-U-N-C-H.
                Drill with standard 1/4" masonry bit and set anchor.
                I don't care if it is porcelain.

                once your hole is scored with the punch there is no bit drift.


                Hundreds of holes done this way

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Drilling tile

                  porcelain and ceramic tile are not the same. a masonry carbide tipped bit on porcelain will glow orange hot drilling porcelain.

                  the newer glass tile is similar. takes a diamond core bit to drill without damage.

                  are you positive it is porcelain tile?

                  i have some at home and now we can have a new trade show game to play in the hotel. just make sure mark doesn't try to feed you gatorade as the carpets are still stained

                  bring your drill and bit, i'll pack some tile and a ridgid core bit

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Drilling tile

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    porcelain and ceramic tile are not the same. a masonry carbide tipped bit on porcelain will glow orange hot drilling porcelain.

                    the newer glass tile is similar. takes a diamond core bit to drill without damage.

                    are you positive it is porcelain tile?

                    i have some at home and now we can have a new trade show game to play in the hotel. just make sure mark doesn't try to feed you gatorade as the carpets are still stained

                    bring your drill and bit, i'll pack some tile and a ridgid core bit

                    rick.
                    Never...Never ran into what your talking about.
                    Slow bit.Hammer drill.
                    I have however ruined a bit going too fast with a non hammer drill.Is that what your talking about.

                    why you up so early.having a problem sleeping?
                    What's the big deal this morning?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Drilling tile

                      i just googled this about drilling porcelain tile from a tile forum

                      it dates back to 2005, but has some newer post.

                      interesting reading about drilling hard porcelain tile.

                      now with the availability of small diamond core bits, drilling is much easier and pretty cheap compared to the time and potential for damage to a finished tile installation.

                      they actually state that porcelain tile is harder than granite

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Drilling tile

                        I use wet type diamond core bits for tile and stone. You can get cheap ones on the well-known auction site, in sizes ranging from 4mm and up that are good for maybe 4-6 holes in 3cm granite or a few more holes in tile. Not many holes, but they're only a couple bucks each. For the common sizes, you're better off with a higher quality bit - you'll spend $40 or more (up to $150+ for the large ones for faucet holes and such) but they last a lot longer. Even the el-cheapos make a beautiful clean hole very quickly with little danger of cracking the tile (unless you really force things or don't use enough water).

                        Shower tile installed with liquid nails over sheetrock? Disaster. Hope you're going to inform the homeowner, in case they have another bathroom done by the same guy. That will be a moldy mess in short order and likely to cost them a fortune.
                        Last edited by Andy_M; 03-05-2011, 01:18 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Drilling tile

                          Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
                          Shower tile installed with liquid nails over Sheetrock? Disaster. Hope you're going to inform the homeowner, in case they have another bathroom done by the same guy. That will be a moldy mess in short order and likely to cost them a fortune.
                          This is in our own home. After rebuilding our other home you'd think we'd learn, but what do we do? Move into one of the oldest houses in town that sat empty for a few years.

                          People tell us all the time "Oh my god we loved that house. we checked it out but it needed so much work". YEAH, YOU DON"T HAVE TO TELL ME

                          According to the old duffer next door, the last real renovation (by pros) to take place here was in 1958.

                          Sometime after '58, I'm guessing late 70's-early 80's, This bathroom was "upgraded" by one of the sons after the father passed and the mother was no longer able to use the upstairs.

                          The retile project was on the wish list since we moved in (1yr ago) as we had other priorities, but the F.I.L. discovered water dripping into the coal bin. Candy suspected a leaking pipe so she opened a wall and it was dry as a bone. Then she started poking around the tile and did she ever open a can of worms.

                          Black mold etc...Instantly bumped the retile project to priority #1.

                          As soon as this is done, it's on to the kitchen.
                          INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                          Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Drilling tile

                            Thanks for the advice everyone!

                            Candy is getting a bit now and hopefully we'll have this project on the DONE list tomorrow.

                            I'll post some pics when it's all done.

                            It turned out pretty good I think for our first wall tiling.
                            We've done plenty of floors and even a counter top, but wall tiling is a whole new ball game.
                            INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                            Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Drilling tile

                              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                              i just googled this about drilling porcelain tile from a tile forum

                              it dates back to 2005, but has some newer post.

                              interesting reading about drilling hard porcelain tile.

                              now with the availability of small diamond core bits, drilling is much easier and pretty cheap compared to the time and potential for damage to a finished tile installation.

                              they actually state that porcelain tile is harder than granite

                              rick.
                              Where are you guys finding this stuff.I've always made it through...(till now,you guys have more than likely broken my run)

                              Comment

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