How to Drill a Hole in Tile

Drilling a hole in tile through masking tape.

When attempting to drill into ceramic tile, the glazed surface of the tile can cause the drill bit to wander. To solve this problem, apply two layers of masking tape to the spot to give the bit a surface it can grab hold of, then use carbide tipped masonry drill bit to drill into the tile.


  1. A “Spear point” carbide glass and tile bit is best used to avoid damaging a glass or glazed surface. Once the outer surface is penetrated, a less expensive masonry bit may be used to complete the proper drill depth through the thin-set and backer board.

  2. Hello! I just bought a hammer drill and it’s the first power-tool I’ve ever owned. Actually, it’s the only tool more complicated than a screwdriver that I’ve ever owned. I have very wide tiles in my bathroom. Question is – once I penetrate through the tile using a carbide/diamond tipped drill bit, there’s concrete behind (I live in Taiwan where all houses are concrete). Do I then switch on the hammer function and replace the carbide/diamond tip with a regular masonry drill bit?

  3. Hello, Angela, and greetings from Stateside. You do not need to switch bits; a carbide-tipped masonry bit will drill through tile, poured concrete, concrete block, brick, stone, and similar surfaces. And switching on the hammer mode will definitely make it easier to drill into the concrete. However, you could probably drill the hole in the drill mode, too, depending on the density of the concrete. Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.


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