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Thread: Cutting holes in ceramic tile, etc

  1. #1

    Default Cutting holes in ceramic tile, etc

    For 3 handle shower faucets, it seems like a 1 1/4 -1 1/2 inch carbide tipped hole saw will work fine. But what do you guys use to cut out the much larger hole needed (in ceramic tile) for single handle faucets with large backer plates? Remgrit makes a tungsten carbide jigsaw blade. Anyone try that?

    Also, I want to get a good set of bimetal general purpose hole saws. Home depot has a 13 piece Ridgid set for about 69.00. Any other recommendations?

  2. #2
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005


    Mark the opening and use a good carbide bit to make a lot of holes close together and the the opening your making will fall right into your lap. Be it full ceramic with mud and wire backer or cement board. If it's just glued on to drywall, be very careful.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    It very much depends on the type of ceramic...some are too hard for carbide to even scratch.

    Either use a diamond hole saw in these conditions, or use a grinder with a diamond cup on it...score around where you want the hole on both sides, cut pie sections through, then break them out.

    If it is a really soft wall tile, a RotoZip with a carbide or diamond dry cut bit works wonders.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Central Florida


    4 1/2" diamond hole saw is $119.


    They also have an excellent page of advice on how to use diamond drills and hole saws.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Pewterpower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua
    If it is a really soft wall tile, a RotoZip with a carbide or diamond dry cut bit works wonders.
    That's all I've ever used. They also make a diamond cutting wheel for about $20 and you could make several slashes (if you need a really big hole, and then jusy punch it out.
    I love my RotoZip. It's one of my all-time favorite tools.

  6. #6


    I just got my new Rubi TS-40 tile cutter from Amazon.com. It was only 175.00 after promotional discount and free shipping. That's about 50.00 less than the next cheapest price.

    I get to practice cutting/drilling tile in the shower in my new apartment. As you can see, someone got lazy or just didn't know how to cut around the valve stems and tub spout. They installed some thin laminated board instead, which is already failing.
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    Last edited by Verdeboy; 11-02-2006 at 11:18 PM.

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