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The Art of Drilling Tiles

 bathroom tilesThere have been countless situations where tiles, said to be durable and damage resistant, have cracked or split when trying to drill holes into them. Unfortunately, there may come a time where tiles do need to be drilled into, i.e. if you would like to attach a rack to the wall to hang towels or if you would like to install other types of hooks, for pots, pans and other kitchen apparatus. The process of drilling holes into tiles does take precision and care.

The policy here is safety first; always remember you eye protection before you start any work. There may be a situation in which stray tile fragments will chip off, which can cause blindness if eyes are not protected. Make sure that the surface of the tile is clean. This means that the flat surface of the tile is maintained and all stains and smudges are removed prior to drilling, which can cause issues whilst drilling. Check the tiles for cracks before hand - cracks will increase in size when drilled into. For accuracy it is advisable to mark the drilling area with a masking tape X which will prevent the drill but from slipping over the smooth surface of the tile, providing the necessary friction needed. This also prevents the outer rim of the tile from chipping.

When the tile has been prepped you can then prepare the drill for the incision. Use a carbide-tipped masonry bit into the power drill - battery or corded. You may need to use a smaller carbide bit initially to drill larger holes over a quarter of an inch as this acts as a pilot hole to follow through with a larger bit. Failing to do this will mean the larger bit will crack the tile on entry. Before you start to drill into the tile make sure the drill bit has some lubrication in the form of a small amount of water. While drilling you can trickle the water onto bit as it is rotating giving better ease of entry. Water around electricity does not mix so make sure you wipe up any spillages.

You need to apply a slow speed and moderate pressure as you drill through the tile. Do not force the drill through as this will result in cracking - instead guide the drill through slowly to avoid cracking the back of the tile. Once the tile has been drilled do the same to the backing board on which the tile will be placed.

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