Circle holes in middle of porcelain [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-03-2006, 10:38 PM
I need help with cutting a hole in porcelain tile for bath single control faucet. My husband has been throw several carbite drill bits and I don't know what else. We are at a loss on how to cut a circle in the middle of a 13x13 tile. FYI, my husband drills safes for a living so he knows about drill bits and blades for steel but porcelain. . . hummmmm. Your help is greatly appreciated.


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03-03-2006, 10:59 PM
Hi Clak, welcome! You will need one of these (

Tool Guy - Kg
03-03-2006, 11:17 PM
What Mike said. That carbide won't last in floor tiles. Diamond bits are the ticket.

He drills safes for a living, eh? I gotta little job I need..... :devil2: :D :tup2: :lol1:

03-03-2006, 11:26 PM
You could also take your tile to a stone fabricator and pay them to drill it.

03-03-2006, 11:43 PM
I thought about using the wet saw and try connecting the cuts then punching out the "square" with a hammer (of course with a towel underneath to absorb the impact) but from the archives I guess that's just not the answer. I will pass the advice/tips ya'll have offer to my husband and let you know tomorrow if my husband throws the tile in the middle of the street or if success was achieved.

Have a great night gents!


Tool Guy - Kg
03-04-2006, 12:22 AM
You can give that a shot as it will work, but you have to cut precisely from the back, and be real gentle as the blade pokes through to the front face of the tile. A little too much pressure, and you accidentally cut beyond the intended hole. The arc of a 7" blade is gentle enough that when you cut from the backside and the blade cuts through to the front, the tiniest slip results in cutting off too much material. It sounds like you only have a hole or two to cut and a new tool isn't justified. I'd mark the back side of the tile with over-sized cross-hairs on where to cut and take your time. Ideally, you'll cut a square hole with 4 cuts from the back side and it practically falls out by hammering to remove the dangling cutout....maybe a little tapping, but no hammering. :)

03-04-2006, 11:15 AM
This was a wall tile. However, it worked just as well on the toilet flange floor tile I cut. $7.00 at Harbor freight attach to a dremel and go to town.

03-04-2006, 12:39 PM
I have cut dozens of holes in ceramic and porcelain tile this way without ever having a problem. Mark the hole with a compass or freehand whatever you prefer. Drill a hole at the inside edge of the circle you just made. Use diamond bits like Tool Guy said. If the drill bit runs away from ya use the tip of a utility knife make a small indentation in the tile for the bit to bite into. Make sure you have safety glasses on. Then i use a jig saw with a diamond blade and duct tape on the bottom of the saw to protect the tile. Starting from the hole in the tile just follow the circle and before you know it you have a hole. Where a mask for the dust. If you decide to do it this way don't twist the saw too much just let the blade do the work. Don't force it. If for whatever reason you have to stop in the middle of a cut hold the saw still until the blade stops or else the tile could jump around and break. Hope this helps. randy

Larry R
03-15-2006, 06:32 AM
Further to Shawn's Mini Diamond Grinding Wheel method (thanks Shawn)...
Faced with the same problem, I found this thread. I don't have ready access to Harbor Freight (in Canada), but I found a set of Diamond Carving Discs at Lee Valley (Cat. No. 77J8L04). Works great!