Author Topic: Can bathroom tile be drilled into without breaking it?  (Read 5004 times)

Offline The Boo Man...

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Can bathroom tile be drilled into without breaking it?
« on: September 01, 2011, 06:57:10 PM »
I have built a special shower for my mum who is elderly. It has a very low threshold for her to step into but the curtain isn't enough and she sometimes floods the floor. So my plan is to order sliding glass doors. But i will have to screw them into tile. My fear is the tile will shatter.

Thoughts...


Offline Solar

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Re: Can bathroom tile be drilled into without breaking it?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 07:02:06 PM »
Yes, go to your local Ace hardware and ask for a diamond bit for your drill.
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Offline The Boo Man...

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Re: Can bathroom tile be drilled into without breaking it?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 07:14:08 PM »
Yes, go to your local Ace hardware and ask for a diamond bit for your drill.

ah. So pre drill the hole...


Offline Solar

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Re: Can bathroom tile be drilled into without breaking it?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 07:30:50 PM »
ah. So pre drill the hole...
:)) :)) :))
Most definitely!
A little tip, if it is you doing the work, buy the best door they have, the mid to cheap ones can be a pain to install.
It shouldn't take more than an hour to install, it looks harder than it is.
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Offline The Boo Man...

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Re: Can bathroom tile be drilled into without breaking it?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 07:35:17 PM »
:)) :)) :))
Most definitely!
A little tip, if it is you doing the work, buy the best door they have, the mid to cheap ones can be a pain to install.
It shouldn't take more than an hour to install, it looks harder than it is.

I have only done preliminary research but something else occurred to me. Do I need a stud to fasten into?


Offline Solar

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Re: Can bathroom tile be drilled into without breaking it?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 07:45:35 PM »
I have only done preliminary research but something else occurred to me. Do I need a stud to fasten into?
Well...not necessarily, but it would be nice, seeing how she is elderly and may fall against it.
But , most likely there is one on the end corners if that's where the door will sit.
But if not, you can pick up a cheap stud finder as well, you only need about four anchor points, preferably around the top and bottom corners on both sides.
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Offline The Boo Man...

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Re: Can bathroom tile be drilled into without breaking it?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 11:38:18 PM »
Well...not necessarily, but it would be nice, seeing how she is elderly and may fall against it.
But , most likely there is one on the end corners if that's where the door will sit.
But if not, you can pick up a cheap stud finder as well, you only need about four anchor points, preferably around the top and bottom corners on both sides.

Well years ago my dad put in a drop ceiling so I know I would be drilling into the strong frame up top and the new bath i installed so I think I will be okay. I think...


Offline Cyborg

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Re: Can bathroom tile be drilled into without breaking it?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2011, 08:54:13 AM »
Yes the tile can be drilled. What you find after you drill the hole may require enlarging the hole after you drill it for a different type anchor.
Steps
Have good light. = Read the directions slowly. Under stand what your going to do. Take note of how many anchor points & where required & what size the finished hole is? The metal will or probably will have pre-drilled holes. If not it will require a lot more work as you will have to drill the holes in the metal frame first.

Paying strict attention to the dirctions - you can cut the metal so that you can use the pieces as a template to mark your hole. It is probably ( or usually ) better to cut the threshold part first.  The jamb or side metal will rest or meet the bottom piece.

First use a Level to make sure the corners or walls and threshold are perfectly vertical and horizontal.


Exactltly where you place the threshold determines everything. It is guaranteed there will be wood under the tile at the threshold. Do not place the threshold metal close to the edge. You are likely to miss the center of the wood. You want that anchor to be in the center of the wood.

Take the cut threshold metal and mark the pre drilled holes (if they are) When you make that mark hold the Pencil vertical and spin it around a dozen time. When you lift up the metal - make a more permanent ( accurate ) mark. It is very important that the holes - perfectly match up with the holes so that the anchor screws - are 90 deg and not at an angle.
If no holes
Measure the points that you require holes drilled. When you mark them its best to mark the hole with a felt tip pen of some kind or a very soft pencil. You mark should be a dot. After you have made your marks and Before you drill the hole check your measurements again.

If it has   pre-drilled holes it might be necessary to add another anchor point near the top in order to get a strong anchoring, if when you cut the Jamb pieces the upper pre-drilled hole is in a awkward place.
You can use an ordinary 1/8" masonry / tile bit to drill the Initial hole. When you use a Masonry bit your wearing or rubbing the material until it disintegrates. When You drill a hole make sure your drill is vertical. Use two hands to hold the drill. Lightly touch the rotating drill to the spot. Don't apply very much pressure. Your drill is likely to slide off point. Once you have penetrated the surface you can apply a little more pressure. After the drill passes through the tile, you will either be in air, wood or plasterboard. If your in wood you have to switch to a regular drill to finish the hole. Drill all the required holes. You will or should encounter wood in the threshold part. The most important holes (for anchoring ) are the upper holes.

Anchors may or not be provided.
If you encounter air on any hole you will need a special anchor which will require you to drill a larger hole to get the anchor in. Take note of what the directions say and go to the local building supply. See the person working in the screw dept. Tell them exactly what your doing. They will point you to 1 - 3 different kinds of anchors and probably suggest one of them.
While there you should buy a tube of bathroom tub caulk in the color you need. (& a cheap caulking gun if you don't have one - $ 3 - 6.)

After you have installed the door and panel you need to caulk the jamb metal and threshold.

When you do the caulking use a very sharp knife and cut the tip at a 45 deg angle. You want the hole in the tip to be about 3/16" Don't have that sharp knife use a good wire cutter to snip it.

After you cut the tip insert a piece of wire coat hanger into the tip to puncture the seal inside.

When caulking place the tip directly into the place your caulking - hold the gun at 45 deg and squeeze the handle until caulk starts to come out. Then in a continuous motion slowly move / pull the gun along the area to be caulked. You have to watch carefully as the material exits the tip. You need to synchronize your movement with the speed of the material coming out.

When you get to the end - INSTANTLY release the handle and release the ratchet plunger so it stops pushing the caulk out.

Tip - If you don't use all the caulk - take a sandwich baggie and place over the end - put a rubber band over that. It will or should keep for several weeks before starting to harden.

When properly done you can finish with one smooth continuous professional appearing bead. If you miss a tiny area and you want ti to appear really nice - you have Two Choices. You can try to go back over the area or you can wait a few hours to overnight for the caulk to tack up or dry.

When caulking you can have a cup or can with water in it and a paper towel.

If you need to smooth the bead - dip your forefinger in the water - then lightly draw your finger on the bead to smooth. Wipe off your finger with the paper towel.
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