An easy instruction on how to cut a hole in tile for a socket

The question of how to make a hole in the tile for a socket or pipe, often arises with masters who perform repairs in bathrooms or kitchens. Drill a hole in the tiles can be using different tools. In this article we will consider all possible options.

Before you drill a hole in the tile material, you should prepare for the work. The circle under the electrical socket on the surface of the wall must be made before installing the tiled covering.

Be prepared for the fact that in the process of cutting a circle the tile may split. The difficulty of working with this material is due to the fact that it is hard, but it is easily damaged. If the tiles are covered with glaze, it creates additional difficulties, because it is difficult to fix the working tool on the surface of the smooth and slippery material, and the drill bit can slip from the mark on which you need to cut a circle.

Therefore, the master must have a reserve of tile in the order of 10-15% of the total amount. You should also remember that the marking and drilling of the hole in the tile is performed from the outside of the material. If you do it from the inside, the cut will not look neat enough.

To keep the drill in one position on the surface of the ceramic tile, it is recommended to cover the treated area with masking tape or medical adhesive tape. Tape will protect the tile from scratches and chips, and will not allow the drill to change its position.

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Crowns and ballerinas

There are special tools that can be used to easily make a straight hole in the tile for a socket or pipe. The easiest way is to use a crown, of the appropriate diameter. It is put on the drill, set exactly where the drilling process will take place and turn on. In just a few seconds, the diamond cutting tool makes an even hole of the desired diameter in the tile.

In order not to displace the tool relative to the center of the hole, you must choose it with a centering element. This is a cone sticking out in the middle, which must be set exactly in the center of the future hole. It is possible to use special templates for drilling, made of metal or plastic. They are installed on the tile plane in the required place, and through it the crown drilled a hole. The template prevents the tool from slipping to the side. At the same time on one template there can be several holes with different diameters.

By the way, the teeth can be different in terms of their cutting edge. It can be a conventional diamond or tungsten edge. Teeth can be of different configurations, made of tungsten carbide or carbide tips.

Attention! Drill vibration is the cause of fracture of the tile. That is why it is obligatory to put a wooden base plate under it. One should drill only at low rpm, for one hole it usually takes 1-2 minutes.

As for the ballerina, it is an ordinary drill with two cutters on both sides. All three cutting tools are on the same holder. It also has a ruler, by which you can set the distance from the drill to the cutters, which determine the radius of the future hole in the tile. It is important. correctly set the drill in the center of the cut circle. The cutting tool is installed in a standard drill chuck.

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It should be noted that these two cutters (crown and ballerina) are the best way to cut a hole in the tile. Its edges will be even, clean, without burrs, chips. Cracks will never appear if the process is done correctly, because the cutting edges themselves are either diamond-coated, tungsten-coated, or hardened steel. That is, materials that can withstand heavy loads and cut almost any hardest material.

Large diameter hole: how to make it

If you need to drill a hole in the tile Ø 2 cm or wider, such work is done before laying tiles on the floor or wall.

  • A marking is made, the center is determined. The tiles are laid on the workbench (other suitable plane).
  • If you want to apply the “ballerina”, then first in the center drill a hole of small diameter (3-4 mm). It will be easier to work in the future.

Important! Installing the movable leg of the “ballerina”, you must remember that in this way sets the radius. half the diameter. And when the desired diameter is set, the locking screw should be firmly fixed. Otherwise the movable leg moves from the vibration and the effects of centrifugal force.

Drilling should be carried out at low rpm. The drill must be held strictly perpendicular to the tile surface. If you apply too much force, the drill bit will jam. Besides, to hold a tile on a surface equipped for work will be not easy.

But just a side note. The depth of cut should be the same throughout the circumference. This must be monitored.

Drilling “ballerina” requires the master to observe increased caution because of the strong vibration. It is desirable to use tools with a plastic safety guard, then the safety is guaranteed.

  • The drilling process can be simplified by using especially resistant core bits. corundum, diamond, carbide-tungsten bits. Such drills have their own tail that promotes fastening in the drill chuck. Models in the form of collapsible structures can be used, in which the core bit is replaceable. adapted for drills of several diameters at once.

Drilling with a tungsten carbide drill bit

  • Special appliances. conductors. can be used for alignment. Sometimes they can be found in a set with drill bits. Attach the fixture to the wall using a suction cup. Make sure that the hole with the desired diameter is above the marked center.
  • It is also possible to use the simplest way of making holes of large diameter, it is the most popular among nonprofessionals. This “popular” method is an alternative to using a suitable drill, if you can not find one.

A circle is drawn. Many small holes are drilled according to this marking. After that, with the utmost accuracy the central fragment is cut in a circle and broken out. The selected aperture must be refined to obtain a round shape. This is first accomplished with a file or coarse grit emery cloth. Then use emery boards, fine-grained sandpaper.

Step by step instructions on how to putty walls with your own hands, read here.

How to drill a hole for faucets or sockets?

To drill holes larger than 20 mm for pipes or electrical outlets, a fine drill bit is not enough. Here you have to use drill bits or a ballerina. The first option is more expensive, but also easier to work with. And the second option allows you to dispense with a single tool, with which it is possible to drill holes of different cross-section in the cross-section.

If there is no ballerina or crown of a suitable diameter, you will have to drill several small holes around the perimeter of the large. After you have drilled them, you must carefully cut out the center with the wire cutters and trim the edges with a rasp.

You can also resort to using an angle grinder. But it is difficult to drill a straight, round hole. This is more of a tool for trimming tiles to the desired dimensions or cutting rectangular pieces out of them.

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Drilling with a thin tile drill bit

If you only need to drill a couple of holes, then it’s not reasonable to buy a drill bit for them. In this case, you can do with an inexpensive thin tile drill bit. Also make a hole outline by gluing painter’s tape.

Then, around the circle make a fine drill, trying to indent between them as little as possible. Always immerse the drill bit in water to prevent it from overheating.

Then drill the walls between the holes at an angle. After that, the tile inside the circle will fall off. The projecting jagged edges can be broken off with the pliers.

Grind away the torn edge of the hole. To do this, wind sandpaper on the pipe, and level the contour with an improvised file.

Drilling: general advice

It is not necessary to use too high revolutions to carry out work on drilling: it is enough if the tool creates rotation at a speed of 100 to 400 revolutions. The exact number of revolutions desired depends on the type of material and its coverage.

Do not create too much pressure on the working tool. this can lead to the destruction of the tile and overheating.

In the absence of water blowers and working on a horizontal surface, the method of local cooling can be applied. To do this, a plasticine funnel is molded around the work area and filled with cold water.

hole, tile

To drill correctly, the drill or screwdriver should always be positioned perpendicular to the area of work. Without special tools, you have to keep an eye on this parameter yourself.

Never disregard protective equipment. tile drilling is always accompanied by flying small splinters, which are especially dangerous if they get into the eyes.

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What you need for drilling ceramic tiles

What, in fact, is the essence of the whole problem of drilling ceramic? The peculiarities of the technological process of tile manufacturing. high temperature firing, high density of the material and its surface strength (especially if there is a glazing layer) have besides the obvious advantages a logical consequent disadvantage. Ceramic products are characterized by fragility, the absence of any kind of plasticity, and the tile with careless handling, cutting or drilling can easily give a crack, chips, and even collapse into several fragments.

The unfortunate result of unsuccessful drilling

In addition, the material itself has a very strong abrasive effect on the cutting tools during processing, and conventional drills will blunt in a matter of seconds.

Conclusion. excessive load, vibration action, high number of tool revolutions must not be applied for drilling. And, accordingly, the drills themselves should be made of high-strength materials, capable of passing a dense structure, and have the appropriate configuration or sharpening.

So, what you may need to drill tile:

Figure Brief Description
Electric drill. The main prerequisite for it is the obligatory presence of a smooth speed control.
A high-quality electric screwdriver with a powerful, self-contained power supply may be quite sufficient.
Don’t write off the old manual drills, either. For drilling small holes, such a tool will be quite sufficient, and adjusting the speed of rotation is not a problem at all. By the way, sometimes even an ordinary hammer drill can be useful.
Standard drill bits with tungsten carbide tips. Frankly speaking, it is not the best choice. such way of sharpening will create difficulties in penetrating the strongest upper layer of a tile. They will rather be necessary for deepening into the thickness of the wall after the holes in the tile will be made by other drills. for impact and rotary action.
Special lance-shaped drill bits for working with tiles. Very handy for making small diameter holes (e.g., for dowel fixings). Can have a normal cylindrical shank for clamping in a drill chuck. There are also drills with hexagonal socket, to the size of standard bits, useful for work with electric screwdriver. Usually such drills are enough for a couple dozens of holes in ordinary tiles. It is more complicated with porcelain tiles, they cannot drill more than two or three holes.
Special carbide drill bits with unilateral pointed sharpening. They can “dig into” the tile, easily pass through the outer, thickest layer. Such drills from a good manufacturer will work hard.
Special drill bits with diamond or corundum coatings. Belongs to the category of professional tools, they can cope both with tiles and porcelain tiles. They are a hollow tube, which facilitates the drilling process. there is a free outlet for waste. Mostly available for large diameter holes.
Similar to already mentioned, tungsten carbide-tungsten drill bits. Can be used not only for ceramic tiles, but also for natural materials like marble, granite, etc.п. Usually sold in sets for a range of diameters, i.e. they are purchased more often by professionals who are constantly faced with this technological operation.
For one-time work, if it is necessary to make holes of large diameter, it will be more profitable to buy a special drill. “ballerina”. It is inexpensive, but allows you to quite cope with a range of diameters from about 30 and up to 90 mm. The design is simple. a central drill bit (usually lance-shaped) and a carbide tipped foot parallel to it. the leg outreach can vary. so you can set the desired hole radius.
Some models of tile cutters are equipped with a built-in manual “compass”. a device that allows, without resorting to other tools, to cut a hole in the tile. The scheme is similar to the “ballerina”, and the rotation is transferred manually, by means of a crank.
For the convenience of work, for precise drilling of flat holes, you can use special devices. conductors. They are attached to the surface, usually with suction cups, and do not let the drill go sideways, which is especially important when you start drilling.
When drilling certain types of tiles the tool gets very hot and the quality of the work decreases. We have to resort to artificial cooling with water. For this purpose use special blowers that supply water under low pressure to the place of the cut.
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How to rationally perform a cut in the tile

Let’s assume that we have a water-operated electric tile cutter with a bottom-mounted motor. The cooling tank is located under the disc, and it is partially immersed in it during operation.Greatly facilitate the upcoming work with a handheld tile cutter. It can be used to make an incision in the glaze and break the tile along the line of the incision with special paws. We also need pliers.Using a marker and ruler, we draw the outline of the planned cutout. Then with the help of a water tile cutter and a disk for working with ceramic tiles on the marks we cut two equal and parallel to each other and the side edges.

You can not fear that the disk will overheat or the thermal stress will break the tile. The tool, by capturing water from the tank, cools itself and the place of cutting, so that the operating temperature does not exceed the permissible value.It remains for us to somehow remove some of the tile between the two cuts and the line that connects them. This can be done in various ways. But we will use the manual tile cutter as we have it on hand.

Using its cut-off roller, we guide the trimmer-tape over the glaze from one to the other slit made by the water tile cutter.

You could use the legs of the same tool to break off the “tongue” outlined with two cuts and one notch. But we do it a little differently.We use the pliers that we have on hand. Grasp the filling of the cutout with their jaws and press lightly on the handles.

You hear a characteristic sound, and the extra tile stays in the jaws of the pliers, breaking off exactly along the line of the notch.

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