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I'm about to mount some shelving brackets onto a wall of 1" square glass tiles. The entire wall is backed by 5/8" plywood, so I don't have to worry about hitting a stud. With that kind of flexibility, I figure it's best to drive the screws into the grout lines instead of directly through the glass. But I wonder...

  1. Can I tap the screws straight into the grout?
  2. If I use a screw slightly bigger than the grout lines (say 1/16" bigger), then will I need to use a diamond drill bit to bore out the holes first, so that I don't risk cracking the tiles?
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The question you want to ask is, how important is it for me NOT to crack any of the glass tiles? If I were doing it, I would say VERY important, as replacing the broken glass tiles would be a major hassle. I would recommend getting the diamond or abrasive drill bit regardless, and then using it even if you do put your screws in through the grout lines. Make sure your screws are smaller in diameter than these holes - you don't want to stress the glass tiles, whether through a grout line or directly through a tile. As a bonus, if you go ahead with the drill bit, you have the flexibility of putting the shelf anwy

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Thanks for the reply. I pre-drilled all the holes, but slightly smaller than the screws and ended up chipping one of the tiles. Luckily it was slight and underneath one of the brackets I installed. Next time, I'll do what you said and make the hold slightly bigger, at least until I get underneath the glass. – Mike M. Lin Mar 14 '11 at 5:12
another little tip....put a dap of silicon in each hole and behind the brackets before you install the screws. This will keep water from seeping into the walls through the holes in your tiles/grout. – shirlock homes Mar 14 '11 at 10:19

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