Looking to fit accessories or storage units to a tiled wall? In this expert guide, complete with video and step-by-step instructions, we’ll show you how to drill through a tile without damaging it.

Tiles look great in bathrooms and kitchens, although special care needs to be taken when drilling holes into them. If you don’t follow the steps below, you are likely to end up with a cracked tile which needs replacing.

As part of our series of quick “modern” fixes for your home, we show you exactly what you need to do, to ensure you don’t damage your tiles when drilling through them.

What you’ll need

  • Appropriate safety gear
  • Electric drill
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Stud detector
  • Tape
  • Tile drill bit
  • Wall plug (if necessary)

Time to complete:

2–3 minutes per hole

How to drill through a tile video

Here is how to replace a damaged tile

  1. Before drilling, check the area for pipes and wires, using a stud detector.

  2. Measure and mark the point you wish to drill the hole. Depending on what the hole is for, you may need to insert a wall plug, so it’s important you choose a tile drill bit that matches the size of your plug.

  3. Set the drill to the drill setting. If you use a hammer action on your drill, you risk cracking the tile.

  4. You can use a piece of tape to help prevent the drill from slipping.

  5. Wearing the appropriate safety gear, position the drill bit against the mark and press lightly on the trigger and apply light pressure to the drill. Take your time, using 2 hands to fully support the drill. If you push into the tile too hard, then you risk damaging the surface.

  6. Once you have made it through the tile and are drilling into the wall, you can then switch to a masonry drill bit. The hammer function will help you get through the wall, however, there is still the risk of cracking if you don’t keep the drill bit straight.

Congratulations, your hole is now complete and no tiles were cracked in the process.

Step-by-step images

Step 1

Checking area for pipes and wires.

How to drill through tile 1

Step 2

Marking the point you wish to drill.

How to drill through tile 2

Step 3

Setting the drill to “drill” setting (not “hammer”).

How to drill through tile 3

Step 4

Using a piece of tape to stop the drill bit slipping.

How to drill through tile 4

Step 5

Drilling through the tile.

How to drill through tile 5

Step 6

Changing to a masonry drill bit and drilling through the wall.

How to drill through tile 6

If you aren’t comfortable with DIY tasks such as this, it’s always worth speaking with a professional.

DIY and tiling resources

If you’re looking for more practical advice on tiling your bathroom or kitchen, we have plenty of expert guides, complete with video and step-by-step instructions. Head over to our modern fixes and easy switches hub or click on one of the links below.


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