Cutting holes in porcelain tile [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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10-09-2006, 01:40 PM
Hi everyone,

I need some advice in cutting a 5 inch diameter hole approximately in the center of a 12"X12" porcelain tile. I am laying the tile on a 45 and the hole is for a light fixture.

Any help would be appreciated.


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10-09-2006, 03:25 PM
I alway use an angle grinder and turbo blade.

10-09-2006, 04:43 PM
grinders work wonders you shouldnt have a problem cutting a 5 inch hole with a grinder

10-09-2006, 04:52 PM
Thanks Dave,

I have an angle grinder but I do not know what a turbo blade is. I have a 4 inch diamond blade that goes with the angle grinder. The angle grinder is pretty cheap (picked it up at Harbor Freight) but I only have two of these large holes (5" diameter holes) to cut. Do you think the diamond blade and angle grinder will work. I also have a 10" wet saw that I was thinking of starting the process. How would you do it?

Also, what do you suggest to cut smaller holes for shower fixtures. I have about 12 1 1/2" in diameter holes to cut.

The material I am trying to cut is 12"X12" porcelain tiles. I have no experience cutting this stuff.

Any advice would be appreciated


Richard Tunison
10-09-2006, 05:01 PM
Like Dave and Derrick said on the angle grinders, it's my tool of choice for holes. Your diamond blade will work if it is a quality blade. You do NOT want ANY vibration from your grinder and blade. I'd have some extra tile on hand. I've cut many (hundreds) of holes in porcelain and sometimes your just standing there admiring your nice hole and you hear "tink" and see that the tile has cracked between the hole and the perimeter. :crazy: And then have it happen again on the next try :bang:

Alternately, if you have access to a wet saw you can lay out the opening on the back and front of the tile. Score the front lines, flip the tile and SLOWLY cut thru from the backside. Takes alot of patience.

Or...Score your hole on the front and back as deeply as possible then cut thru the hole in pie shape slices. You should be able to see thru the openings all the way to the score. Set the tile on a piece of cardborad or a towel face up and with the back of your margin trowel or a similar tool tap the pie slices out.

10-10-2006, 01:59 PM
If yer in the tile business, then I suggest u get one of these. Revolution XT ring saw.
It was $1200 bucks but it cuts circles, "S" curves and holes less than 2" in diameter up to anysize. Can cut straight any size and it can be brought inside right next to ya, and it's quiet. I customized mine by making a hole in the top of the water basin so it's easier to fill up.

10-10-2006, 03:59 PM
There are surely dozens of threads out there on this subject, Bob, many with pichers. All of'em will tell you basically the same thing you're hearing here.

Cutting the circle on both front and back is helpful to moi, as Richard described, and lots of cuts across the hole on the wet saw makes it easier. Thus: