I would like a drill a hole through my dining room floor to run a wire. The floor is carpeted, so I pulled back the carpet in the corner to find an old linoleum floor. I attempted to drill a hole through it, but the linoleum seemed to melt and then form an impenetrable barrier. What type of drill bit could I use to get through the linoleum and the wood below?

  • have you tried sharpening your drill? It seems odd that you are creating enough heat to melt the linoleum. – Tester101 Aug 30 '10 at 16:11
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    You're sure it's wood underneath? That sounds more like you're hitting metal or concrete. – GalacticCowboy Aug 30 '10 at 17:42

Extended Spade Bit.

  • Be careful when using large-diameter spade-bits -- you can get kick back on the drill if the bit binds in the hole, in which case instead of the bit turning, the drill motor will turn the other way ... very quickly. And while you're at it, spade bits can cause a fair amount of vibration, which is bad for your wrists. – Craig Trader Aug 30 '10 at 19:17
  • Actually, I don't know that I'd go with a longer shaft on the spade bit -- I'd want longer teeth on the outside edge, with the hope that I could get through the linoleum, remove the cut out little circle, then do the rest of my drilling (possibly with a different bit). I'd almost want to use something like a cutter for cement board, but those don't close in small enough that I've seen – Joe Aug 30 '10 at 19:40

Maybe a hole saw? I'd say it's worth a shot if you have one - or cheap ones are around $5-10. Otherwise, you could always try cutting with a utility knife until you're past the linoleum. Then drill after you've peeled it back. I doesn't have to be pretty if it's going to be beneath carpet.

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    Agreed -- it's under the carpet, so just take a utility knife to it. In other cases, I'd handle it like drilling through metal, and use something as a cutting fluid to keep the temperature down. (with a sharp drill bit, at a slow speed, to minimize friction and heat) I'd probably go with a spade bit over a hole saw though, as hole saws don't tend to come in smaller sizes, and for running cables, you likely don't need a big hole. – Joe Aug 30 '10 at 16:08
  • Spade bit is definitely better suited for this than a hole saw. Also with a spade bit you would most likely avoid this problem altogether. – Tester101 Aug 30 '10 at 16:15
  • @Joe: Good point on the spade bit - I've never used one before though, so it wasn't the first thing that popped into my head. – Doresoom Aug 30 '10 at 16:57

Are you sure it's linoleum and not asbestos tile? Or maybe there is some old porcelain tile are running into? A hole saw should be able to cut though all of it, a high quality hole saw can cut most anything. If it is metal, a step bit should work too.

If it is asbestos do a little research first on the correct way to handle drilling holes. I won't assume to give any suggestions on the correct way to handle asbestos.

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