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Thread: Drilling into ceramic tile, bathroom...

  1. #1

    Default Drilling into ceramic tile, bathroom...

    I'm sure this has been covered but I couldn't find exactly what I'm asking, so here goes...

    We are wanting to drill into ceramic wall tile, 4x4, to mount a 10 lb. mirror. Not sure how old the tile is (looks very) but the house was built in 1890s.

    Plan was cover area to bill drilled w/ duct tape, use smallish? (1/4"?) 'carbide' a.k.a. 'masonry drill bit' as close to centers of four tiles for each corner or therabouts of mirror... Use a good pace when drilling. And then use some sort of anchoring bolts to secure?

    Any suggestions on particular anchor-bolt-type? Not sure yet how mirror will mount -- assuming anchor bolts will act as some sort of dowel or securing mechanism?...

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    Last edited by 2pups; 09-10-2005 at 09:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    I don't do this much, but rather than the center of a tile, how about at the grout line? The tile, if it is as old as the house, are probably soft, so once you get a carbide bit started, it should go through fairly easily where ever you try. I'd wait for someone with more experience, though! Note, if the tile is fully supported underneath, then it doesn't really matter much, with a sharp bit, it shouldn't crack the tile...course, you won't know until after you try it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    Drilling tile is easy. Any carbide bit will work, but it is preferred to use the special pointed tile bits. Mark the location, and with an awl, a nail, or a center punch, delicately tap that spot to put a little chip in the surface glaze. Now the bit will not wander.

    Preferred mounting is to find studs. On an old bath like this, the tile may be on 1/2 to 1" lath and mortar base. For the mirror you describe, some lead lag shields would be adequate. I would use toggles as last choice, mainly because of the much larger hole needed. Also google "wingits" for a very interesting new fastener widely used in hotels and apartments for shower rods and towel bars.

  4. #4
    Tradesman Plumber Kristi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Vancouver, BC


    lol... because God knows what those poor hotel shower rods and towel bars are being used for!

    I try to keep to the grout lines if possible - studs sound better for a 10 LB MIRROR THOUGH!!! Plan to have several of the carbide tip bits around...
    Last edited by Kristi; 09-11-2005 at 09:16 AM. Reason: grahmmarr

  5. #5
    DIY Member teamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    It would be easy to drill into grout lines if that is where thing line up for you. Sometimes you get lucky. If you have to drill into the tile body itself it really isn't much of a problem. I just hung several towel bars on ceramic using the pointed bits that the other poster suggested. Use the Duct tape and get a small spray bottle filled with water to keep the bit cool as you drill. It helps to have someone spray while you drill. Buy several of the bits to do the job because they don't last too long.


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