Some walls tips are too flat and therefore they do not advance efficiently when drilling ceramic enamel tiles. And even worse if we talk about porcelain stoneware.
To drill normal glazed red/white body tiles, you can buy the best drill bit for porcelain tile. These are suitable for porcelain, also have the advantage that they do not need to be refrigerated with water (the comfort of use and cleaner cuts).
So the question is what are the best bits for drilling porcelain tile? For drilling porcelain or polished stones, such as granite and marble, spear point glass bits give good results.
In the two previous cases, the bits are used without hammer and at low revolutions. Also, in the case of porcelain tiles, it is good to cool the bit with water whenever possible.
Bosch GT2000 tile drill bits are dry, low speed, and hammer free. Its shank and bit body is cylindrical (without spiral) and do not require lubrication, which is more comfortable, since it does not dirty the wall, nor does the slurry floor, the mud or mud that forms the ceramic powder when mixing with water.
The body of this drill bit indicates the diameter of its tip and the maximum speed that it supports in RPM, revolutions per minute, which will be lower the larger its diameter.
Bosch Professional – Set of 5 GT2000 Ceramic Tile Drill Bits 4.0; 5.0; 6.0; 8.0; 10.0 mm
Indicated to drill low to medium density tiles and ceramics and non-toughened glass quickly
Use with low speed and without percussion; does not require refrigeration
Durable metal; long service life / good resistance capacity
Reinforced head; maximizes bit life
Bastex Diamond Grit Hole Saw Bit Drill Set (3pc).
Bastex is an English company based in Liverpool that has 25 years of experience in tools for DIY and professional use.
The Bastex Extreme multi-build drill bits with spear points are suitable for drilling without hammering in hard materials. Granite, marble, glass, and porcelain are some of the materials that you can drill with these bits.
These Bastex multi-material bits are also suitable for drilling in soft materials such as brick, cement, or wood.
Bastex – Tile drill bit set (ceramic, porcelain, granite, marble and storage box)
Bastex Extreme – Professional Tile Tip Set
Package contains: 5mm x 91mm (1), 6mm x 100mm (2), 8mm x 117mm (1), and 10mm x 122mm (1)
Bastex tile tips are designed to drill through the hardest materials such as ceramic, glass, granite, marble, and porcelain. In addition, they can also be used to drill softer materials such as wood, brick, and concrete.
Properly used these bits will give you a good clean and precise hole to fix it securely. The professional-grade carbide tip is designed to penetrate the hardest material quickly, and the double flute helps remove debris efficiently.
Drilax Diamond Drill Bit 10 Pieces Set
Some very good, although not cheap, professional bits for drilling porcelain tile are the Drilax. This bit does not have an arrow geometry at its tip, but instead uses a unique design more similar to that of a conventional bit.
Drilax Porcelain bits are used to drill natural stones (slate, granite, marble, terracotta, limestone), ceramics (tile, brick), and hard materials (porcelain, terrazzo, cement, and concrete).
This bit is used without percussion and requires cooling the tip with water. The revolutions should be adjusted between 300 and 1000 RPM, depending on the diameter of the bit (more speed the smaller the diameter).
Porcelain special: Great performance (> 15 holes in PEI 5) and speed (30 seconds/hole in hard porcelains)
Use on tile, stone, granite, slate, cement, terrazzo, marble, terracotta, limestone
High-quality carbide tip: Unique geometry and sharpening for optimal centering
Precise hole; prevents chipping
What is porcelain stoneware and why can’t it be drilled with normal wall bits?
The porcelain stoneware is a type of material used for tile manufacture. It is a very dense and compact ceramic paste that undergoes a firing process (1200-1400ºC). The industrial baking process transforms the ceramic paste into a highly vitrified material, that is to say, similar to glass, with low porosity and practically waterproof.
Porcelain is a material that barely absorbs water, due to its high density and degree of compaction, to the point that it requires a special cement-glue for its installation (for materials that are not very absorbent).
Porcelain tiles have two advantages for use in bathrooms and kitchens: their high resistance to wear and their impermeability. In comparison, red body tiles are waterproof in their enameled part, but absorb water in the ceramic area, which in some cases can lead to leaks and moisture problems.
In any case, the hardness of the tiles and porcelain tiles is so high that when drilling porcelain with a normal wall drill at the usual speed, the tip burns, and the drill is useless. Therefore, to drill porcelain tile you need a special type of drill bit.
Features of porcelain tile drill bits
The best drill bits for porcelain drilling are glass, that is, bits with a spear point. These bits have very different characteristics from conventional ones. For example, it is essential to use them without hammer and at low speed. In addition, as far as possible, the tip should be cooled with water.
These lance bits should never be used with percussion. Also, the rotation speed must be very low. If your drill has two speeds, you should use the slow speed and adjust the speed regulator according to the following table:
Parts of a drill bit for drilling porcelain tile and glass
Glass and porcelain drill bits differ from glass or concrete drill bits in that their tips are arrow-shaped and sharper. The tip is tungsten carbide reinforced (to prevent breakage and extend its useful life). The video is welded to the bit body with brass and hardened to improve its durability.
Some porcelain tile bits include two spiral flutes in which the grooved core is reinforced. Such reinforcement increases the resistance to breakage. The double helix makes it easy to remove waste.
It is also very common to lower the shank at six equidistant points on the circumference to form a triangular section, preventing the bit from slipping on the chuck.
To further extend the life of the bit, once the tile has been passed, you can drill the rest of the hole with a normal bit and hammer.
For example, if you have a cordless hammer and cordless drill, you can mount the porcelain bit on the first and use a regular bit on the second – it’s an effective way to drill many holes in porcelain tile without damaging the bits.
Using the hammer with the lance bits can have two consequences:
The tip of the video can be broken (it is fragile).
Porcelain tile can be chipped.
Now that you are clear on how to use this type of drill bit, I will show you some of the best porcelain drill bits you can buy to drill not only porcelain, but also ceramic, glass, granite, and marble.
The best drill bits for drilling glazed ceramic tiles
The bits in this section are suitable for drilling enameled ceramic tiles, but not for tile or porcelain tile. Also, to extend the life of the bit tip, it is convenient to change to a normal vidia bit as soon as the thickness of the tile is exceeded.
About ceramic and porcelain tiles: differences and similarities
From the point of view of its composition, porcelain tile contains a higher percentage of feldspar (one of the components of Chinese porcelain). This makes them more durable and wear-resistant.
In practice, the most important differences between glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles are:
The ceramic tile has a thin layer of enamel on the surface, while the porcelain tile is made of the same material
This implies that when a porcelain tile is chipped, the defect is hardly visible, since the base is of the same material. On the contrary, in the enameled ceramic a different color is seen, which makes the defect more evident
Porcelain tiles are harder and better withstand scratches
Ceramic tiles are easier to cut
Porcelain tiles absorb less water
Regarding manufacturing, porcelain stoneware is fired at a higher temperature. Due to this and the different composition of raw materials, porcelain tiles are somewhat more expensive than ceramic tiles.
On the other hand, there are several names to refer to these tiles: ceramic tiles, porcelain stoneware, enameled porcelain, porcelain, etc. The name porcelain tile is collected by the ISO 13006 / NBR13818 industrial standard and refers to the tiles used for floor and wall cladding.
What is porcelain?
The porcelain was invented in China and it is estimated that first made during the Han Dynasty (period from the third century BC to the third century AD). However, despite being an ancient material, it did not arrive in Europe until the 18th century, when the German alchemist Friedrich Böttger discovered a formula that made it possible to make ceramic paste very similar to authentic Chinese porcelain.
Before the German chemist Friedrich came up with the formula, many others tried unsuccessfully to discover the porcelain formula. However, as a result of such attempts, a similar material was found: soft-paste porcelain. Thus, there are two types of porcelain, soft and hard.
Soft porcelain is a compact, lightweight white paste made of frit, a glassy material. English soft-paste porcelain consisting of kaolin, frit, marble, and alabaster powder and various oxides (magnesium, potassium, and aluminum) is one of the best porcelains of this type.
Hard-paste porcelain is composed of kaolin, calcined alabaster, and feldspar. However, the real secret of the hardness of porcelain was not so much in the composition, but in its industrial process: it requires twelve-hour baking at an elevated temperature (1300-1400º C).
Unlike low-temperature porcelain, authentic Chinese porcelain does not require enameling to be impervious to liquids, however, it is vitrified for decorative purposes and to improve its resistance to staining. Some of the enamels used for decoration were specifically designed for this purpose and contain metals such as iron. For example, the Long Quan Celadon.
Hard-paste porcelain is a more complex and delicate material than conventional china. Porcelain is baked at about 1800º C, while china is baked at a lower temperature (1000-1300º C).
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