How to drill in tiles without breaking them ? The method!

Want to renovate the kitchen or breathe new life into the bathroom? Excellent idea, because the house does not have to stay in its juice forever. But in tiled rooms, the owner who wants to take care of this task alone may come up against a major difficulty when drilling the tiles. Which tool to use, how to go about it? We therefore revise the method well so as not to make any breakage.

The essential tools for drilling tiles without damaging them

Better to arm yourself adequate tools to perform his minor drilling jobs without the risk of breaking the tiles. The range is as follows:

  • A pair of protective goggles,
  • A earthenware drill whose diameter must correspond to the desired hole,
  • adhesive paper,
  • A variable-speed drill,
  • A drill bit for the support on which the tiles are laid.

A vacuum cleaner is also necessary in order to gradually remove the dust generated by the drilling. This is important because to be precise, it is better to see clearly.

Note that if you do not have an earthenware drill, it is possible to drill tiles with a ceramic masonry drill bit as the tungsten carbonate (CW). This extremely hard material is the result obtained from carbon and a refractory gray metal, that is to say extremely resistant, called tungsten. To drill tiles, we choose in this case:

  • Be one 4 point bit which only requires a traditional screwdriver.
  • Be one cylindrical diamond bit if you want to drill marble or porcelain stoneware tiles because this type of material is very hard.

To obtain a perfect result without taking the risk of damaging the tiling, it is necessary to check beforehand which category it belongs to.

Drilling tiles without breaking them: the different stages


If the tiling to be undertaken has not yet been laid, it is better to place it on a wooden plate so that vibrations are absorbed.

Start by marking the area of ​​the tiling to be drilled with a marker or pencil to make the hole in the right place, if it is for example to hang a decorative element or other. On the felt point, lay two pieces of adhesive crosswise, which will avoid the wick slippage. Indeed, the tiling is generally smooth, which promotes slippage.

Put on the goggles

As with many DIY jobs, care should be taken when drilling tiles as you may receive shards ceramic or dust in the eyes.


Adjust the drill on the slow speed but above all, do not activate the percussion function because there is a risk of the wick going through the tile, scratching it, chipping it or breaking it. Start drilling by going there gradually and possibly increase the speed of rotation of the drill bit by one degree but not more. Do not press too hard on the tile.

It is important to emphasize this notion of low speed drilling. This is fundamental for drilling tiles without breaking them. Non-experienced people tend to set their drill on maximum speed, so it’s not as effective, but it’s almost guaranteed to break! The tile is punctured slowly but surely


It is necessary to make sure that the hole thus made corresponds exactly to what one wished, if not, it is necessary to start the operation again to enlarge it a little.


An essential step, vacuuming eliminates all the dust accumulated in the hole.

Change drill bit to drill the support

This step is essential if you have to drill the wall on which the tiling is laid. There are different categories of wicks. We therefore choose the one that corresponds to the support (solid wood, brick, chipboard, plaster, stone, concrete block, etc.). However, it is necessary to opt for a diameter identical to that of the drill used previously to drill the tiles.

Do the finishing

Depending on the case, it may be necessary to mount the diamond bit this time to obtain a very smooth hole on hard or soft tiles.

Insert a dowel

If you want to hang kitchen furniture on a tiled wall, for example, the peg is absolutely essential for bear a heavy load. It is therefore chosen according to the weight to be suspended but also taking into account the support which can be solid or hollow, hard or crumbly, etc. There are many types of dowels: universal, knock, bolt, chemical, concrete, Molly or tilting… We don’t hesitate to ask for advice in a DIY store.

Be careful, even if the drilling method is enough simple, some goodwill who never tinker can still break their tiles. To limit the risks, specialists recommend using a wick for glass because they consider it more effective than a poor quality tile bit. We therefore obtain good equipment, even if it means paying a little more than the low end. But we can absolutely entrust the task to a craftsman. At least, we have the guarantee that the work will be done well and that no tiles will be damaged.

Leave a Comment