2 hours to drill 1 hole in a bathroom tile!

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    2 hours to drill 1 hole in a bathroom tile!

    Now, I'm no DIY expert... but throughout this tortuous episode I could not help but think I was doing this wrong... I taped over the point where I wanted to drill, I ensured my drill was not on hammer, I put the tile drill bit in, I set off going ever-so-slowly and pretty soon I could see a real dimple... that's my hole started!

    I then pressed down on the throttle and went faster... on level 1 it wasn't enough so I soon got the confidence to go to level 2 on the 18v drill, I also exerted plenty of forwards pressure as time went on.

    Almost 2 hours later I finally have finished this hole... the tile must be about 15mm thick... the drill bit kept overheating so I needed to dip it into water every 20 seconds or so. I kept losing faith in the tile drill bit as minute pieces of dust were coming out after each drilling bout... so I put a normal drill bit in, carbide-something, which started smoking and went all black at the end... oops. Back to the tile drill bit... eventually I made it through and the hole is - really - a lovely hole, it has to be said... sharp, clean edges... very nice. Quite proud of it.

    But like going through butter it was not.

    Now I have to start on hole 2. I'm going to do it tomorrow...

    I still have the nagging feeling I was doing it wrong for it take to take that long.

    #2
    Use a Dewalt masonry bit. Those really do go through a tile like a knife through butter.

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      #3
      Check that your drill is not going in reverse! Sounds stupid, but I've seen it done! Their tears of frustration turned into relief coupled with face loss after they realised!

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        #4
        There are specialist drills for tiles... eg
        http://www.screwfix.com/c/tools/tile...ing/cat5930010
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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          #5
          These are what I was using, the arrowhead ones. Can't face starting the next hole... will leave it until another day... I will drill more, more exciting, holes in the meantime.

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            #6
            Tiles are only soft clay, it should take a couple of seconds to drill one, and that's being careful. Have you started your hole with a pin punch? Just enough to break through the glaze?

            Artful might be right about your drill being set to reverse as well. Make sure it's going clockwise and let the weight of the drill take it through, look at your drill bit have you got a 12 degree cutting edge on the correct face of it?
            I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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              #7
              Nah, I know how to use my drill very well - I've been drilling breeze blocks in the garage today to put up B&Q's modular garage storage system (which is great). This was just so hard, it deserved comment. I don't think these tiles are soft clay at all... as I say, a normal (not the tile kind) drill bit started smoking and went black from the heat generated (and no progress with drilling the tile)... I think the tiles must be something from the Space Shuttle. I think they must be porcelain.

              I do wonder if it's possible my arrowhead drill bit might have been worn out, though.

              Scanned the web after the event and several DIYers do say "take it slow, they cannot be rushed" but 2 hours!?!

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                #8
                I draw the hole that I need with marker pen and scribe it with a hand tile scribe until the glaze is broken. gentle tap with chisel removes the glaze, small pilot hole, and then the main one.

                No need for expensive drill bits and the fear of "crack"=! darling do we still have those leftover tiles for the bathroom?"
                Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Hippogriff View Post
                  I think they must be porcelain.
                  If so, those are certainly way harder than conventional clay tiles. But 2 hours...??? I'd be trying a new drill bit. I also wouldn't necessarily shy away from using the drill in hammer mode - but proceed cautiously!!

                  How wide are your holes? Have you tried starting off by drilling a tiny hole, and then working up to the required diameter?

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                    #10
                    Hole is 6mm... but I only have a 5mm, 6mm and 8mm tile drill bit. So I'm kinda limited in my choices. I am going to give the second hole I need a go tomorrow - I might try the 5mm bit, it's never been used before... see if it goes any better.

                    The length of time taken was because it was like 20 seconds of drilling, following by 20 seconds of dipping the drill bit into a cup of water and hearing it go "ssssss" until it had cooled down again... then repeat. The Internet told me to be patient and not rush it, but the length of time really got me thinking something was badly wrong. I don't - now - think anything was. You just have to suck it up.

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                      #11
                      I ain't gonna start in hammer mode after doing 1 hole somewhat successfully... as holes go, it is a very pretty looking hole indeed. I would be totally gutted if the tile somehow shattered now due to my own impatience.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Hippogriff View Post
                        the length of time really got me thinking something was badly wrong. I don't - now - think anything was.
                        Something's definitely wrong somewhere - no way should it take 2 hours to drill a hole in a tile! Will be interested to hear how the brand new drill bit fares.

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                          #13
                          I would go to a tile merchant and buy a set of new bits. You need special ones for porcelain. Start with the smallest size and work up.

                          Do not buy them from B&Q or Wickes.

                          Once, I had a stainless steel cooker hood custom made that I had to rivet together.
                          I picked it up one evening and stopped off at Wickes to get a some drill bits for the holes for the rivets.
                          2 drill bits later I had drilled a hole and a half.

                          Next day I went to an engineering suppliers to buy a box of bits, figuring I would need loads.
                          One of their bits did the other 12 holes with no problem.

                          I don't buy drill bits or silicone or paint from DIY stores.

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                            #14
                            I thought about this... I suspect you may be right. However, this is the first hole I've had to drill into this kind of tile in my life and I can't see any more (after this next one) on the horizon... is it worth me buying more tile bits? I know that I can get through, eventually, and the hole is fine (a very attractive hole)... I just need a fair bit of time.

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                              #15
                              They are right. The average drill bit in a DIY store is for one or two jobs and thats it.

                              Tiles especially need very sharp and very hard bits and in a builders merchant 1 costs what 8 cost you in "big DIY". It is the same for wood metal and masonry bits. I installed a kitchen for a chum and after four holes into old brick his, proudly offered , new bit was polished smooth and rather than drilling into brick, simply chewed a big hole!
                              Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                              Comment

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