Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain. - Tiling - Contractor Talk

Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.

 
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:39 PM   #1
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Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


I'm not a tile guy, but I end up with a few jobs from time to time, usually easy stuff like small floors and tub surrounds, nice for winter.

I got stuck with a project recently that I've been plugging away at, but I had a rough time today with some 24"x12" porcelain tile.

I'm running a tub surround, and they sawed just fine, got to bottom fixture and did a small plunge cut out with a grinder and a tile blade and slapped it up.

Got up to the faucet knockout and attempted to do the same, it exploded.

I tried plunging from the back and the front, both directions, with both the grinder and the wet saw, the farthest I got was 3 cuts (very slowly) on the last one it actually flew apart with some authority.

So I did some tweaking and managed to altered the layout enough to do a normal cut there, no problem.

I get to the top and have to do the top hole, same size as the first one so I go for it with the grinder, broke the tile, tried it again with the saw, it exploded again.

So in a fit of rage I mudded it and went over the hole and marked it lightly with my grinder, hoping the mud bed after it cures will help me do the cut.

So what can I use to cut this stupid hole out without destroying the tile and having to spend an hour replacing it?

Some kind of hole saw, something for the oscillating multitool? The grinder has me scared to try it again.

I've never had this much trouble doing a plunge cut on a tile, the stuff is extremely hard though, it saws slower than anything else in the house.
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:56 PM   #2
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


I use a diamond hole saw on a grinder for that. What I've found works for me is to do it slowly, in stages, so you don't build up a lot of stress in the tile from the heated area expanding.

And to have a few extra tiles available. :

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Old 08-04-2018, 05:03 PM   #3
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


It looks like lowes carries carbide hole saws in different sizes, I think if I grab a 1 1/4 or 1 3/8, that will be the right size.

I have exactly one extra tile and a pile of cut offs left at this point

If I smash it, I'm gonna be sweating. Hopefully I can get through it okay with just a little patience and a squirt bottle of water
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:39 PM   #4
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


Carbide probably wont work, this is a job for mans best friend---diamonds....

Tom
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:42 PM   #5
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


Diamond bit
Place it on a piece of plywood
Use water to keep the bit wet at all times
Go slow
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:59 PM   #6
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


Watch videos of how guys make these cuts. Plunge cut isn't really the right word.

But as TNT said, diamond bit is the way for small holes. Not carbide.
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:15 PM   #7
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


Carbide? You're gonna need another case of tile and a bottle of whiskey. And the job still won't be done.

Gotta spend money to make money.
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Old 08-04-2018, 06:37 PM   #8
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


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Carbide? You're gonna need another case of tile and a bottle of whiskey. And the job still won't be done.

Gotta spend money to make money.
Any ideas where I could find one locally?


Edit: The ones at lowes say they are diamond rimmed, and rated for ceramic and porcelain. Not sure why I thought carbide.

Last edited by NYCB; 08-04-2018 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:18 PM   #9
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


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Any ideas where I could find one locally?


Edit: The ones at lowes say they are diamond rimmed, and rated for ceramic and porcelain. Not sure why I thought carbide.
Those would be the correct ones. Cut the tile on a piece of wood, start the hole with the bit at an angle slowly while using water, as the bit starts to cut into the tile slowly come up to a 90 degree angle to the tile.
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:33 PM   #10
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


An ice cube in the hole saw works well, especially if you don't want to concentrate on keeping it wet with a sponge.
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:08 AM   #11
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


Packing a wet sponge in the hole saw works also.

Tom
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:14 AM   #12
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


Not saying it couldn't happen, but I've never seen anything diamond-ish at Lowe's that I'd waste my time with. The one I have, I got used from a quartz countertop guy. No idea where it initially came from, but even used, it's better than most of the stuff on Amazon and whatnot.
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:36 AM   #13
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


if it is the lenox bit lowes sells it will work for a few holes but as everyone has said keep it wet. Also that holes has no pilot drill, not hard to use but if not sure use a piece of wood with a hole in it the same size as the one you are drilling and clamp it to the tile until the whole is started.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:12 AM   #14
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


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if it is the lenox bit lowes sells it will work for a few holes but as everyone has said keep it wet. Also that holes has no pilot drill, not hard to use but if not sure use a piece of wood with a hole in it the same size as the one you are drilling and clamp it to the tile until the whole is started.
I only need one hole out of it.

I'll have to have someone hold the jig on though, since I already stuck the tile on the wall.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:35 AM   #15
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


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I only need one hole out of it.

I'll have to have someone hold the jig on though, since I already stuck the tile on the wall.
Use a hole saw to drill the same size hole in a piece of plywood, hot glue this in place. DNA dissolves hot glue to remove the template.

Tom
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:29 AM   #16
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


In the tile section at Lowes they have a neat little contraption for drilling holes in tile/stone. Its a black plastic up with double stick tape that you on the bottom, stick it to the tile, fill it with water, and drill away. I don't know how long it will last since its pretty cheap but it worked really well for the 3 holes I had to drill in my tub surround (went through porcelain, thinset, and hardi board).
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:28 PM   #17
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


Whenever I have to drill a hole bigger than 5/16, I use a diamond hole saw, bought at my tile supplier. No question they are way better than what you find at the big boxes. Do it flat, with plywood backer, and keep wet, wet, wet.

If its the smaller holes, for grab bars etc., I can get away with the Bosch or Milwaukee diamond bits at the box stores. Rather than a spray bottle or sponge, I make a "reservoir" out of Gorilla Duct tape, right up underneath the hole and fill it with water. That way, the bit is constantly submerged in water and stays cooler, and I can get more holes per bit.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:31 PM   #18
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Re: Need Help Getting A Hole In Porcelain.


HD has the Milwaukee and Lenox diamond bits in the tool section.

Watch a YouTube video if you want to watch someone elseís technique so you donít mess up your one and only tile.


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