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DRILLING INTO GROUT / TILE

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I have a new mirror that I want to put up in bathroom. When the bathroom was fitted, they put all the towel rails etc up, in the grout lines and not through the tiles. Seems to work OK. I have … Read More
iglimpse Avatar
5y, 5m agoPosted 5 years, 5 months ago
I have a new mirror that I want to put up in bathroom. When the bathroom was fitted, they put all the towel rails etc up, in the grout lines and not through the tiles. Seems to work OK.

I have found some useful videos about how to drill through tiles safely.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/video/2010/oct/05/diy-drilling-tiles.

Worried that screws could work loose from grout (it is a heavy mirror) but reluctant to have too many holes in tiles

Question is, what are the pros and cons of drilling into tile or grout?

Advice appreciated guys
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iglimpse Avatar
5y, 5m agoPosted 5 years, 5 months ago
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#1
It really doesn't make any difference, grout or tile should be OK.


Just use the correct size screws/rawlplugs.
#2
Try it on a test tile if you are worried,
#3
The drill can skid a bit - so try and go really slow when you put it on the tile - use a masonry drill bit.

Drill a smaller pilot hole first - and use rawlplugs.
3 Likes #4
If you are worried about drill movement, put tape on the tile first, helps the grip. I makes no difference to strength be it through the grout or the tile.
1 Like #5
When drilling through ceramic tiles, a good tip is to make an "x" using electrical tape or similar. It helps not to crack the tile.
As moob has said, make sure you use a masonry drill bit, start with slow revs and use a minimum of a number 6 drill bit and raw plug and 1 1/2"-2" screws if the mirror is heavy.
So long as you drill deep enough, it shouldnt matter if you go through grout rather than tile. It can also make it easier to line it up level (if tiles were laid true) if you use the grout lines. Where possible, I try and use the corner between 4 tiles as it gives maximum room for the rawplug.

If you are as goodlooking as me, you will appreciate your new mirror (_;)
:p
#6
I usually drill a smaller hole than needed then use a bigger one. oooer
#7
lol great minds pinkle. mine took longer to type :p
1 Like #8
http://www.onlinediystore.co.uk/ekmps/shops/harrowglass/images/unibond-no-more-nails-exterior-water-resistant-grab-adhesive-cartridge-7744-p.jpg

Dont use this stuff to hang a 50" plasma though as I heard some horror stories. e.g. My 50" plasma just fell of the wall.
[helper]#9
How thick is the tile? if its one of the larger type wall tiles they can be 9mm thick and it takes a while to drill holes with a masonary drill. You can buy tile drill bits from Screwfix, B&Q for £5 and these make the job a bit easier....
#10
Make sure you push the raw plug all the way through the tile or else when you tighten the screw it will expand the plug and may break the tile. Watch out for cables and pipes.
banned 1 Like #11
Its a good idea to just push on the drill and turn it by hand untill the bit has scratched the surface of the tile, this helps stop it moving when you start drilling.
#12
Use a new bit
#13
Do NOT use a masonary drill for drilling into tiles . Glass/Tile drills do the job perfectly and can be bought very cheaply . I've just finished a bathroom and have had to drill holes into the tiles for the shower screen and towel heater . I bought a set of Glass drills and used a portable drill on a slow speed and it simply glides through the tile making a perfect hole .Use a rawlplug slightly smaller that the hole you've just drilled and use a masonary drill to tackle the brickwork . Blow out dust and insert your plastic rawlplug ,then screw the fitting to the wall .

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t295/Rickardo_21/glassdrills.jpg

Edited By: ricko on Nov 13, 2011 19:02: update
#14
tangramman
Its a good idea to just push on the drill and turn it by hand untill the bit has scratched the surface of the tile, this helps stop it moving when you start drilling.

This.
ricko
Do NOT use a masonary drill for drilling into tiles . Glass/Tile drills do the job perfectly and can be bought very cheaply . I've just finished a bathroom and have had to drill holes into the tiles for the shower screen and towel heater . I bought a set of Glass drills and used a portable drill on a slow speed and it simply glides through the tile making a perfect hole .Use a rawlplug slightly smaller that the hole you've just drilled and use a masonary drill to tackle the brickwork . Blow out dust and insert your plastic rawlplug ,then screw the fitting to the wall .

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t295/Rickardo_21/glassdrills.jpg

**** that. Pack of poundland HSS drills, Throw them away after use (_;)
#15
Many thanks as ever guys, feel more able to tackle this now.

:( Now the sodding towel rail has come off it's bracket (still firmly on the wall) and I cannot get it back on again, the lip is too small. Bought from Habitat, which has since closed oO

Will try and post some pics to explain,,,,Drat
banned 1 Like #16
its not the tile or grout that keeps things up. Its the wall behind!
#17
csiman
its not the tile or grout that keeps things up. Its the wall behind!

Or Viagra! :p
#18
If you are drilling to hang a mirror the screws should be going well into the wall and so shouldn't work loose at all. As someone has said it is the wall that needs to take the weight not the tiles/grout.

Drilling between tiles could possibly increase ya chances of cracking a tile as if the drill bit snags the edge of the tile it could damage it.

To drill into tiles use some masking tape over the area to drill. That will help stop the drill from moving too much before you break the surface and obviously make sure hammer action is off. ;)
#19
If you are worried about the drill bit moving across the tile face, a fool proof method is to get a piece of flat wood and drill a hole in it. Then use a small amount of Blu-tack to hold the wood in place on the tile and use the hole as a template. Once you are through the tile you can easily remove the wood and place for next hole.
banned#20
Plum
If you are worried about the drill bit moving across the tile face, a fool proof method is to get a piece of flat wood and drill a hole in it. Then use a small amount of Blu-tack to hold the wood in place on the tile and use the hole as a template. Once you are through the tile you can easily remove the wood and place for next hole.

thats a neat idea although I just put tape on the tile and use a small HSS bit at low speed to drill an initial small hole through the tile, then use a bigger one.

I dont use a masonry bit until the tile hole is completed

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