Drilling Tiles: Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Success

Drilling Tiles: Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Success

Tiles are practically not available from the bathroom to imagine more. Meanwhile, the material is also in demand as flooring in hallways, kitchens and other rooms of the house. In addition to the easy care, the relatively simple laying speaks for the tile. The only problem that do-it-yourselfers encounter after laying is the drilling of tiles. Those who are not careful here will break many tiles when laying.

Soap dispensers, a holder for towels or the toilet paper roll - this accessory is attached to the wall in a bathroom. There are usually the self-installed tiles. Do-it-yourselfers who have tiled their own bathroom know how much effort they have put into it. When attaching the necessary accessories, you will need to drill the tiles for better or worse. A small mistake and the beautiful tiles shatter.

In this article, we explain to do-it-yourselfers how to attach every conceivable accessory in the bathroom without damaging the tiles.

Are tenants allowed to pierce the tiles at all?

Tenants are basically one of them obligated to deal with all the things left to you the apartment with care. A normal wear by the use of the apartment is given. However, landlords may require that the renter remedy damage caused by him. The drilling of dowel holes in tiles is not one of them.

If the landlord places a bathroom that has only sanitary items (toilet, sink, bathtub), it is not contrary to the contract, if the landlord drills dowel holes to holders for mirrors, towels and Co. (Source: LG Hamburg, May 17, 2001 - 307 S 50/01).

In the case mentioned, the tenant has drilled a total of 32 dowel holes. Although this is a high number, according to the court ruling landlords may not set how many holes their tenant may drill. This question requires an individual solution.

We recommend that tenants talk to the tenant before drilling and inform them about their own plans. Peaceful problem solving is possible in most cases.

First check the wall with a line locator

After the plan has been agreed with the landlord, tenants have to deal with another problem before the actual work can begin.

Each house has so-called installation zones, which were laid according to a specific scheme. Depending on whether the handyman was there when they were misplaced, he knows where they are. In an old building, however, you can only find the installation zones with a so-called pipe locator.

The installation zones in a properly designed bathroom should take into account certain standards. Protection areas are usually located where splash water could come into contact with electrical installations. These zones are, for example, the walls around a shower or bathtub.

For old buildings, however, do-it-yourselfers can not rely on flush-mounted cables meeting these requirements. A pipe locator helps home improvement workers determine where power lines are actually going. Incidentally, this device is not only suitable for tile drilling, but basically before drilling or nailing.

Preparations and tools

As soon as home improvement workers have identified and marked power and water pipes, they can soon start working on them. Before that, however, they must make some preparations.

One of the preparations is the choice of tools. The indispensable tools include:

  • Impact Drill, Hammer Drill or Drill : The importance of the equipment is evident in the order. A hammer drill is the best tool for this job, followed by a hammer drill. A drill is really only suitable if do-it-yourselfers can not procure the other two tools.
  • Container / Bucket of Water : The drill may become hot during this work. Do-it-yourselfers need to cool it down as soon as possible.
  • Tile, Glass, or Stone Drill : This accessory is needed to drill the hole in the tile.
  • Marker to mark : Do-it-yourselfers must stand on the tiles mark the place where you want to drill. This marker can be made with a pencil, marker or felt-tip pen.
  • Masking tape / transparent tape : This tool should be found in every household. It is ideal in a width of three to four centimeters.
  • Hammer and scriber : Do-it-yourselfers hit the scriber with the hammer when graining.

General tips for drilling holes in tiles

  • Hole in the Drilling joints : If you only need small holes in the bathroom, you can save a lot of work by drilling in the joints between the tiles. Caution is also announced here. If you make a small mistake, you can damage up to four tiles.
  • Correct setting of the drill : Tiles are brittle, easily breaking material. When dealing with them, therefore, great caution is required. Do-it-yourselfers must adjust the drill so that its impact function is switched off. Furthermore, they should reduce the speed to a minimum.

Drilling tiles with a stone drill in 5 steps

The entire drilling process is basically simple, if you exercise caution. In the following, we explain in five steps how do-it-yourselfers drill tiles with a stone drill:

  1. Mark : First, mark the desired location with a pencil. After finishing work, do-it-yourselfers can remove the marked point with a damp cloth.
  2. Grains : Now the tile is grained. This small recess makes it easier to center the drill. When graining, place the point of the scriber on the marked area and give it a light blow with a hammer.
  3. Masking : In this step, the adhesive tape comes into play. Handyman glue this over the mark. It basically prevents the drill from slipping and damaging the tile.
  4. Drilling : Now the hole begins. The stone drill is clamped in the impact drill. When drilling care should be taken to be careful. Too high a speed or excessive pressure can cause the tile to jump.
  5. Finished : As soon as the desired depth is reached, do-it-yourselfers can remove the adhesive tape and the marking.

To prevent dust from falling to the floor when drilling into a wall, a helper can hold the vacuum cleaner under the drill site.

Tile with a Tile Drill and Glass Drill

The Operation when using a tile or glass drill is the same. The tile drill is superior to the stone drill because it is sharper and has a sharpened edge. Do-it-yourselfers can use it to pierce the glaze of a tile more easily. Furthermore, a tile drill minimizes the risk of a tile breaking.

The tile drill is only suitable for piercing the tile itself. For the masonry do-it-yourselfers have to change to the stone drill.

The glass drill is superior to both tile and stone drills. The spear-shaped blade has a particularly sharp tip. Otherwise, the same note applies to this accessory as for the tile drill: Pierce the tile and then switch to the stone drill.


Drilling tiles is not a big hurdle if do-it-yourselfers have the right equipment and a little sensitivity. Important is the use of a tile or glass drill, which pierce tiles easier. The remaining hole is made with a masonry drill.

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