Drilling a tile without cracking it

Many installations in kitchens involve making fixings in a tiled surface. It is essential to use the correct technique for drilling through tiles so they do not crack. The dust created from drilling ceramic tiles can discolour grout and silicone sealant, so try to vacuum dust from holes as you drill them
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Tools and materials


Felt-tip pen, masking tape, drill and bits, vacuum cleaner, wall plug

1. Mark the point for the fixing using a felt-tip pen. Apply some masking tape over the mark – it should still be visible.

2. Fit a tile drill bit. Remember to switch off any hammer action.

3. Position a vacuum cleaner below the mark and switch it on. Start up the drill on a low speed, and slowly increase the speed.

4. Once through the tile, change the bit for a masonry bit or wood bit, depending on the surface below. Drill to the required depth.

5. Remove the masking tape from the tile, then plug the hole with the appropriate wall plug, and insert the fixing as required.

Changing a bit


Take care when changing a bit after operating a drill: the bit may be hot. Wear gloves to avoid a burn.

Selecting a tile bit


Tile bits differ in shape to masonry and wood bits. The spear-shaped tip penetrates the tile, then enlarges the hole to the diameter of the tip’s base.

DIY Doctor, published by DK
DIY Doctor, published by Dorling Kindersley (priced £9.99), provides quick-fix techniques for tackling the most common DIY problems. Presented with clear, straightforward instructions and step-by step photographs, this book shows readers exactly what to do and provides advice on the best tools and materials for the job.

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