There are some glazed tiles in my kitchen, which I assume are fastened directly onto the concrete wall behind them. At any rate measuring the distance from the window to the wall outside is roughly the same as to the wall inside.

enter image description here

Anyway, I want to put up a rail and a magnetic knife bar on the wall.

Judging from an answer to a different question, I may get away with using double sided tape for the knife bar, but I think that I'll have to drill holes for the rail.

From what I understand, I will have to use a glass bit to drill through the tile, but I am worried that once this touches concrete on the other side of the tile it will break? And will I have to then use a hammer drill to drill further into the concrete? Will the vibrations from such a drill make it easy to crack the tile, even if I successfully drill through it with a different bit first?

Or may I get away with using some adhesive like liquid nails or an epoxy glue, since I don't care about being able to remove the rail later on?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • Depending on the weight expected to be on the rack and knife bar, adhesive/glue might be okay for mounting. Cleaning of the tiles well is needed. For a few pounds of weight you do not really need screws. If the rack is for towels, will need to be careful taking them off, a hard pull might pull the rack off also(not good if kids around).
    – crip659
    Apr 6, 2023 at 11:48
  • 1
    You might consider grab bars which would support substantial weight. There is a German made adhesion system which is rated for grab bars on tile or stone, but which can be taken off. homedepot.com/p/… Is this location going to get hot? Is it over a cooktop or ovens? Apr 7, 2023 at 0:28
  • @JimStewart No, no heat, nor enough moisture / steam to be worth talking about
    – eirikdaude
    Apr 7, 2023 at 3:31

5 Answers 5


It is safest to drill through tiles with diamond bits like this

enter image description here

I have often used these bits and never cracked a tile. And they will happily drill through masonry as well.

As an example

Diamond grit edge drills through ceramic, glass, marble and porcelain. Drill guide and water delivery system included (use wet-only). Fits standard 12.7mm or 9.53mm drill chucks.

From Diamond drill bit

And here its being advertised for masonry

P&N 6mm Diamond Core Masonry Drill Bit
For wet drilling only
Never use the power tool on hammer setting
To avoid drill slipping start drill at a 45º angle, and gradually straighten the power tool
Cuts to ±0.2mm tolerance
Diamond Tile Core bits have diamond encrusting to cut through glazed and polished porcelain, sandstone, terracotta and ceramics.
Suitable for tiling, plumbing, electrical, building trade and DIY handy person applications.

From P&N 6mm Diamond Core Masonry Drill Bit

I am not associated with either site.

  • 1
    It helps to keep the cut wet as you drill. I wouldn't think that bit would have trouble cutting through concrete either.
    – Huesmann
    Apr 6, 2023 at 16:15
  • 1
    That bit looks like it has a large diameter, too big for a rawlplug. What's the smallest available?
    – Tim
    Apr 7, 2023 at 10:23
  • 1
    @FreeMan - it's just that it looks more like a hole saw than a drill bit, and there's just no need for that sort of hole to be in tile or concrete.
    – Tim
    Apr 7, 2023 at 13:28
  • 1
    I've used these bits on tile with good results. I rested the bit on a wet sponge which helped me control heat, dust, and moisture while steadying the bit
    – Matthew
    Apr 7, 2023 at 16:06
  • 1
    To keep the diamond hole saw wet, I use an ice cube instead of a stream of water. It's less messy. Apr 8, 2023 at 18:01

Once through the tile using a tile drill bit then change the bit to one suitable for concrete.

I have, in the past, managed to drill through a tile using a new quality masonry bit which carried on into the concrete. But an old one with the edge worn won't do that.

  • Make sure that the tile bit is slightly larger than the masonry bit, or there is significant chance that the masonry bit will crack the tile.
    – MikeB
    Apr 7, 2023 at 16:23

Don't use tape or glue for anything that will be touched and handled regularly by people. That certainly includes sharp knives, as well as paper towels, cloth towels, etc. I would not want a bunch of butcher knives falling on my feet as a result of rough handling of the mounting bracket.

Use a tile bit or a diamond tip bit to get through the tile surface. Go slow, keep it wet, don't use hammering. Once you're through that switch to a masonry bit and use the hammer setting. The tiles won't crack from drilling 1/4 inch holes the concrete. It's a hammer drill, not a road hammer!

  • 1
    A hammer drill is not necessary. I've drilled holes in concrete using a masonry bit and a regular drill. Apr 6, 2023 at 13:19
  • 1
    I second keeping it wet. A dry bit will quickly overheat and lose its cutting edge. I start the drill with two hands on the drill then chnage to one hand and use the other hand to spray water on the bit. Apr 6, 2023 at 17:30
  • 2
    I'm somewhat skeptical of magnetic knife holders in general for this reason - even if it's very securely mounted, there's always the possibility that pulling one knife off the magnet will cause others to fall. If you're going to use one of these, make sure it's a good strong magnet, and don't overload it - there should be enough space between your knives to prevent them from touching and possibly knocking eachother off. Apr 7, 2023 at 17:01
  • Ceramic tile:

Mark the hole. Take a very pointy screw (like drywall screw), set the tip on top of the mark and give a light tap with a hammer to take a small chip off the tile. A tiny chip is enough, that's just to make a dent to avoid the drill bit walking all over the place.

Drill with carbide masonry bit, without hammer action (that would break the tile). Once the bit has gone through the entire tile you can switch on the hammer action to drill through the concrete.

  • Porcelain tile:

Use diamond core drill as per Rohit Gupta's advice. It's not possible to aim with these things, so first you havt to make a hole of similar size in a bit of wood plank, then hold it in position on the tile and use it as a guide to drill through the tile. Make sure to add water. It will drill through the concrete behind the tile without trouble but then the center of the core will be full of concrete, which can be hard to extract, so it's best to pull it out frequently to make sure it doesn't get plugged.

  • Great advice on making the mark to start the drill! I've found that my glass/masonry bits are sharp enough that I can place the tip where I want to drill, then simply push hard on the drill and it makes enough of a dimple to keep the bit from wandering. It doesn't take much to chip the glazing with something hard and pointy...
    – FreeMan
    Apr 7, 2023 at 13:03
  • Yeah I got these new bits with built-in sharp point that don't need scoring, but the old slightly worn ones needed scoring or they'd walk around.
    – bobflux
    Apr 7, 2023 at 21:01

Consider that tile is glued to concrete by a layer of mortar / tile glue, which is much weaker than concrete. I drilled through it with a glass drill bit easily. Once you have a hole completely through tile, you can switch to concrete bit.

  • 1
    This was already posted as an answer by two other people. It doesn't add much to the conversation. Please take the tour to get a better feel for how this place works and what we expect in the way of answers.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 7, 2023 at 11:32

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