In this article, I’ll teach you how to drill marble without breaking or cracking it.
Drilling a marble surface can be unsettling for most people. One wrong move can break or crack the marble tile. Many people wonder if there is a way to do it safely. Luckily, there is, and I hope to teach that technique to all DIYers in my article below.
In general, to drill a hole on a marble surface:
- Gather the necessary tools.
- Choose the suitable drill bit.
- Clean the workspace.
- Put on your protective gear.
- Mark the drilling location on the marble.
- Drill a small dimple on the marble surface.
- Keep the drill bit wet and complete the drilling.
Read my below guide for more details.
7-Easy Steps on How to Drill Marble
Step 1 – Gather Necessary Things
First and foremost, gather the following things:
- Power drill
- Tile drill bits (Covered in step 2 if unsure)
- Masking tape
- Water container
- Safety goggles
- A clean cloth
- Pencil or marker pen
Step 2 – Choose a Suitable Drill Bit
There are a few different drill bits for marble tile drilling. Depending on your requirement, choose the most suitable one for you.
Diamond Tipped Bit
These diamond-tipped drill bits are similar to regular drill bits. They are tipped with diamond chunks and are most suitable for dry drilling. These drill bits can penetrate the hardest marble surfaces in a few seconds.
Carbide Tipped Bit
Carbide-tipped bits can be categorized as strong drill bits made from carbon and tungsten. These bits are commonly used for drilling tiles, masonry, concrete, and marble.
Compared to the above two types, core bits are different. For starters, they are tipped with carbide or diamond. They have a central pilot bit and outer bit. The central pilot bit holds the drill bit in place while the outer bit drills through the object. These core bits are perfect if you plan to create a hole larger than ½ inch.
Quick Tip: Core bits are commonly used for drilling granite or marble surfaces.
Typically, spade bits are a little weaker than normal drill bits. Most often, they will bend when exposed to too much pressure. Hence, spade bits should be used with a softer marble surface, such as tumbled marble.
Important: I’m using a 6mm diamond-tipped drill bit for this demonstration. Also, if you are drilling a finished marble tile surface, get a 6mm standard masonry drill bit as well. I’ll explain the reason in the drilling step.
Step 3 – Clean the Workplace
A clean workplace is vital during drilling tasks such as this one. So, remember to clear out clutter and debris before starting the drilling process.
Step 4 – Wear the Protective Gear
Don’t forget to wear safety goggles to keep your eyes safe. If needed, wear pair of rubber gloves also.
Step 5 – Drill a Small Dimple Into the Marble
Now, take a pen and mark where you want to drill. Then, connect the diamond-tipped drill bit to the power drill. Connect the drill’s extension cord to a suitable outlet.
Before drilling deeper into the marble tile, you should make a small dimple. Doing this will help you drill through the marble surface without losing your aim. Otherwise, the smooth surface will cause lots of risks while drilling. Potentially, the power drill might slip away and injure you.
So, place the drill bit on the marked position and slowly scratch a small dimple on the tile’s surface.
Step 6 – Start Drilling the Hole
After making a dimple, drilling should be much easier. So, place the drill on the dimple and start drilling.
Apply very low pressure and never push the drill toward the tile. It will crack or break the marble tile.
Step 7 – Keep the Drill Bit Wet and Complete the Drilling
You should regularly wet the drill bit with water during the drilling process. The friction between the marble and the drill bit is high. Hence, lots of energy will be created as heat. To maintain a healthy temperature between the marble surface and the drill bit, you should keep the drill bit wet. (1)
So, don’t forget to put the drill bit into the water container regularly.
Do this until you reach the bottom of the marble tile.
Before Completing the Hole, Read This
If drilling a separate marble tile, you can complete the hole without any issues.
However, you should be careful when drilling a finished marble tile surface. In a finished tile surface, there will be a concrete surface after the tile. So, when completing the hole, the diamond drill bit might contact the concrete surface. Even though some diamond drill bits can drill concrete, you don’t have to take any unnecessary risks. If you do, you might end up with a broken drill bit. (2)
In that situation, complete the last few millimeters of the hole with a standard masonry drill bit.
Take a look at some of our related articles below.
- A wire rope sling with a strength
- What is a step drill bit used for
- How to drill out a broken drill bit
(1) healthy temperature – https://health.clevelandclinic.org/body-temperature-what-is-and-isnt-normal/
(2) marble – https://www.thoughtco.com/marble-rock-geology-properties-4169367
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