View Full Version : Is porcelein a gift from an alien intelligence?

26th Sep 2006, 03:35
I'm building a countertop for my new bathroom and I need to drill a hole through a porcelein tile.

Fark me! it's almost impossible. I even went and bought a special drill thingie, but it can hardly touch it. I might need to rethink this and make it a ceramic tile countertop :(

26th Sep 2006, 03:45
The cutting of porcelain tiles is much harder than standard ceramic tiles. Professional tile cutters such as the Rubi TX700 make the job simple because of the longer cutting bed, larger breaking bar and re-enforced carriage rails which allow for increased breaking pressure.
Drilling Porcelain Tiles
Armeg Porcelain Tile Drills
Drilling holes in porcelain tiles can also be tricky because the tiles themselves are so hard, although this problem can be minimised by careful placement of grout joints. Where holes are needed for the fitting of sanitary-ware etc, we would recommend the use of purpose made diamond borers such the Armeg Porcelain Tile Drilling Range available from our Tiling Accessories section.
Drill Bits for Porcelain Tile
Porcelain Tile Drill Bits
Porcelain tile drill bits have a tough job. They drill through some of the toughest stone with ease. These bits must be cooled with water or cutting fluid. You may be able to mount it directly on to a standard drill. Using the proper tile drill bit prevents chipping or cracking. Make a a starter hole when drilling.

26th Sep 2006, 03:46
You could try some real delicate work with a sledgehammer.

26th Sep 2006, 03:53
Would it need to be a diamond-faced sledge hammer?

26th Sep 2006, 04:15
I can cut it ok, because you can get a wet saw now for less than a hundred bucks and they work just fine. It's drilling a hole in it that I'm having a problem with. I want the tailpiece of the sink to go through it and of course the service lines for the faucet...er, sorry the tap

26th Sep 2006, 04:25
Diamond-tipped hole drills seem the answer. http://www.365drills.com/
Don't bother trying to use anything made of carbide or like this on the right. You will waste your time, effort and money.
Tiles produced today are much harder than this tool can cope with which is why you need a diamond hole cutter.
Diamond drills are used on glass, stained glass, ceramics, ceramic tile, porcelain, porcelain tile, limestone, marble, granite, slate, stone and fiberglass. Drills used on wood or metal have a sharp metal tip or teeth, that cut into the material. These types of drills do not work on glass, marble, etc. as the tips do not "bite" into the extremely hard material, and cause heat buildup that burn up the bit and cause "heat fractures" in the material. Carbide tipped Spear Point drills are sometimes used on the "softer" types of hard materials - like untempered glass, sandstone and marble and some of the less hard ceramic and porcelain tiles. While they sometimes work, they tend to chip the hard surface very badly, leaving a rough hole and often cause breakage due to fractures from the chipping and heat. Diamond drill bits are designed differently - they have diamond tips that "grind" into the extremely hard materials.
Core drills only drill out a portion of the resulting hole, so they tend to drill much faster than blunt nose drills. Core drills can be used to drill large holes and can be used on most nonferrous hard materials such as glass, stained glass, ceramic, porcelain and fiberglass, ceramic or porcelain tile, limestone, slate, marble, granite and other stone materials. Bonded diamond drill bits have the diamonds bonded to the the edges of the drill bit tip, generally using an electroplate bonding process. These drill bits are generally slow-speed bits and are fairly inexpensive. During use, the diamonds eventually wear off of the bit due to the hardness and abrasives of the material being drilled. Bonded diamond drill bits must not be used on metal, concrete, or masonry and require proper speed and adequate water lubrication.
The life of any type of diamond drill bit depends upon the hardness, abrasiveness and thickness of the material being drilled and the specific drilling techniques used (drill speed, pressure and lubrication), however, the diamonds of a drill bit don't actually wear out as much as they wear off due to heat and friction caused by the extreme hardness and abrasiveness of the material drilled. Drilling in glass, ceramic, marble, etc. is a slow process compared to softer materials such as wood or even metal. A fairly deep hole can be drilled in wood in just a few seconds, while it can take 20 or 30 seconds or longer to drill a hole in standard 1/8" thick glass. In some very hard stones and tiles, it may take 2 to 3 minutes to drill only 1/4" deep. Using diamond bits to drill in hard materials is not difficult, however, it takes time. A person should consider that they aren't 'drilling' a hole, as much as 'grinding' a hole.

26th Sep 2006, 04:50
Why are you complicating a simple thing, Aaaaaaaaa..........rgh?
Have the tile cut to your requirements by the joint you bought it from (or any home improvement places).
Unless you like the challenge or are masochistic.

Save the diamond for the lady in your home.........

Loose rivets
26th Sep 2006, 07:49
Have the tile cut to your requirements by the joint you bought it from

Where's the fun in that?

I have just made my first cast shower base. I used the foot square sheets of diddy tiles, and all was going well until I had to make the drain hole. Even on my drill-press I couldn't make a hole without a diamond tip. However, I was able to start the cuts from the edge and use the diamond wet weel to make lots of cuts and then break the 'teeth' out and smooth off with the wheel again. Pain in the but. However, it does require an edge to start from.

Oh, just to be anoying. I'll mention that I got my diamond wheel machine from goodwill for $10.

26th Sep 2006, 12:47
Have the tile cut to your requirements by the joint you bought it from bought it? :confused: I went to a tile store and asked for a sample. I'd feel bad asking them to actually cut it as well :cool:

unless you are masochistic :O

LooseMaking a shower - that's my next job. I've done what you said to make a hole in the tiles around the flange on the septic line from the toilet, but with that of course, you have the advantage of hiding it all under the actual toilet.

how did it go with the pvc liner?

26th Sep 2006, 12:57
Make some enquiries and see if Bagger is available? Bagger will surely assist you with the drilling/cutting/slicing

You do remember Bagger, yeah?:E

Bagger (http://gruppen.greenpeace.de/aachen/klima-braunkohle-bagger.jpg)

brain fade
26th Sep 2006, 13:12
I've got a diamond tipped cutter here. It goes through granite like a hot knife through butter. Eats it alive. Should make easy work of porcelain.

Impress to inflate
26th Sep 2006, 18:37
Try a Rotazip from a well known DIY store with Q and B in the name. I borrowed one last year and it worked a treat. You could always watch satellite TV and buy some drill bits made of chocolate that will drill through diamond or your money back. Good luck.

26th Sep 2006, 18:41
All these problems! I never have any like this. I have a telephone, and I call a chap Who Does That Sort of Thing. There are many such splendid people. Works all the time.

26th Sep 2006, 18:58
I saw a craftsman do this in our new house. He used a device in which he mounted an electric hand drill (it looks like the supporting frame of a router). The device has a lever that can raise the drill straight up and down like a drill press. He used almost no pressure and his helper sprayed water non-stop to cool the surface. I don't know what sort of drill bit was used.

26th Sep 2006, 19:47
1. I saw a craftsman do this
2. I don't know what sort of drill bit was used.

Exactly! Those are the key words.

Gingerbread Man
26th Sep 2006, 20:33
Mosaic?? He be the necessary superfluous characters

gorgeous spotter
26th Sep 2006, 20:58
I've got a diamond tipped cutter here. It goes through granite like a hot knife through butter. Eats it alive. Should make easy work of porcelain.

Oh, for goodness sakey, please do be careful with all this plugged in buzzing machinery; unless you know what you are doing you could end up with a hand off. :uhoh: I agree with other post and get someone in!!:)

27th Sep 2006, 00:41
please do be careful with all this plugged in buzzing machinery; unless you know what you are doing you could end up with a hand offthe same applies when transiting Jerricho's airspace :}

...wait a minute, I missed the REAL joke . . .

27th Sep 2006, 01:22
i use an ordinary masonry drill bit and a (slow speed) battery drill. works every time.

27th Sep 2006, 01:36
I like you Mr Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh.......remind me to kill you last.

Buster Hyman
27th Sep 2006, 02:12
My only experience with this material is when I drive the Porcelain Bus!

27th Sep 2006, 02:34
So that means 'expert level' then? :}

Buster Hyman
27th Sep 2006, 03:39
More like 'expell' level...:yuk:

Loose rivets
27th Sep 2006, 05:30
LooseMaking a shower - that's my next job. **********how did it go with the pvc liner?

Talking of PVC...one elected not to use a membrane. It was a tough call, cos it's ‘code'. What I did do was to use Hardybacker, a flat board from the folk that make sidings. Its concrete based formula is guaranteed to survive being soaked in water for ten years, so it should see me out. The really annoying thing was that the 1/2" thick board...just isn't, it's 3/8. I phoned them and they said "yes, that's correct......." and continued with some banal excuse–to save on materials I guess.

Anyway, I used about four tubes of silicone to seal every join and screw head..(special self cutting screws with a square-drive bit.)

The idea in leaving out the ‘pig skin' is this....

Normally, if any grouting does fail, the normal backing (green plaster-board /sheet rock) would be wetted by the lead and the membrane would protect the stud-work. But where does the water go? A grisly wet layer between the shower bed and the slab...forever. Ugh!!!!

On mine, I stake my reputation on it never leaking...but when it does, the water seeps to the drain surround and through the sandy mix to the earth. One hopes. Then there is the bowl stability. I just can't imagine how they expect the thin layer of concrete to stay stable when it is cast on a layer of thick PVC. So, I poured mine straight on the slab to get a bond.

One is wondering where I can introduce a 40 foot RSJ into the equation.

tony draper
27th Sep 2006, 05:33
One notes that none of the afore mentioned advice has come from a shed owner because they have omitted the most obvious piece of advice to the would be tile driller,do not use the hammer setting on your drill,use a new masonary bit of the correct size,do not, repeat, do not try and drill a small pilot hole first ad then a larger drill bit stick a piece of cellotape over the point to be drilled and the bit will not slide and skip al over the place when you commence to drilling.
Small caliber masonary bits contrary to the manufacturors advice are generaly only good for one hole especialy when drilling tile, so buy a couple.
Oh yea and let the drill do the work,only amatures press and push and grunt like someone giving birth.
Bah!! civilians!!

Loose rivets
27th Sep 2006, 06:03
Edit: Very good points FSL.. Did you have tiled bathrooms on board ship?

Really in the ramble mode again, the Rivetess is in the UK so no one to talk to when the g-children go home:{ So, back to bathrooms.:rolleyes:

Here's two I did earlier. The pink is not nearly so.....pink, and looked quite nice. The bath was vast and would have cost over three thousand quid to replace alone.... I agonized over the colour but left the original suite in. It was a terrible job, there is a walk in shower and the box section contains some FS pipe, so it had to stay. I used conti-type board for the cabinet and corner feature, the little light was supposed to shine on three glass shelves when finish. When the folk looked at this room I heard the wife say "I love this Suite." just imagine if I had ripped it out cos of the colour.


This bathroom I created out of a long skinny cupboard and a sort of bay window that was to the north, so not used. When I cut the vertical wall (11" brick), I did it with a petrol driven disc cutter wearing a plastic bag over me head with a tube from the garage airline. Was not the easiest of jobs.



The cabinets are Wrighton, (Kitchen cabinets) from a time when they were going out of business I guess. They were cheap and very, very good. ( S'why they went under I suppose ) I cut them down a little and got a nearly full sized piece of mirror from a well known supplier. They put safety backing on. The surround is solid mahogany, with classical routing. I mentioned this before, but when I got it all in place, there were two pinhead sized holes in the silver...right where you look. I agonized over this as well, then had it swapped. But I had to do all the work. Note the way that such a mirror makes the room look so big. It was really just under 100 squ ft but had a nice....erm, roomy feel.

When I was putting the top row of tiles over where the bath was to be, I put one of the legs of the three-step stool over the bath drain hole in the floor board. I fell into a load of debris having fallen a good six feet. One mentioned one's displeasure to anyone that happed to be withing listening distance.....about three miles.
There were between five and eight people living in my house for many years. By the time I had done all this everyone had left. Life is strange sometimes.

27th Sep 2006, 12:37
An "interesting" way to build your shower Loose . .

Hardiboard eh? :hmm:

27th Sep 2006, 12:37
Is that you Mr Rivets flashing in the bathroom?:8

27th Sep 2006, 12:51
There are a lot of interesting medicinal items on the countertop. What's thet yellow one say on it? Prepar-something :}

27th Sep 2006, 12:58
Yeah, and is that one of those large terry-towel nappies/diapers (from way back) stretched out beside the bath?:}

27th Sep 2006, 13:00
theres a product called aquapanel made for shower enclosures.
best wall panel for the job. absolutely waterproof. highly recommended.
just tile on top in the normal way.

Loose rivets
27th Sep 2006, 16:45
theres a product called aquapanel made for shower enclosures.
best wall panel for the job. absolutely waterproof. highly recommended.
just tile on top in the normal way.

Yep, same as the Hardy product one thinks. Hard to cut...outside with a disc cutter, score half way through then break...clean up edge with disc.

If you care to tilt your heads to port a tad, all will be clear. Note the silicone.


Loose rivets
27th Sep 2006, 16:51
Is that you Mr Rivets flashing in the bathroom?:8

No, me head had just exploded:}

As for the alchemy...well the Rivetess is one who would sooner rub herself with tree-bark than take medicines.

Edit...me son just mentioned these, but they are $$$$$$$$$$$$$$


27th Sep 2006, 21:40
heres one i did today.
hole for the lecky cooker box fixing.
shes got me tiling the feckin kitchen now!