Drilling Through Without the Slip and Slide
Planning to drill holes in ceramic tile to install a towel bar, shelf or paper holder? If so, you need to know how to drill straight and true, so you won’t be slip-sliding away.
To do it right you need two things:1) a special carbide tip drill bit — the kind used for masonry. Regular drill bits can’t penetrate the hard fire-glazed surface. And, 2) something to keep the drill bit in place until it begins cutting through, rather than slipping around on the slick surface.
The answer? — a roll of masking tape. Use two strips to make an X, place it over your mark and drill right through it. At first it’ll grind as you cut through the glaze. Then it will go more easily through the ceramic back and real easily through the softer wall behind it without any pesky slip and slide action. Ease up toward the end to avoid pushing out the backside of the drywall or backerboard. The cleaner the hole — both through and inside — the better your hollow-wall fasteners will grip and hold.