In my new place my shower is tile and has a spring loaded shower curtain rod. I have my curved rod from a previous residence and would like to mount it. I can operate a drill, but I have never gone through tile. The instructions are oddly specific stating I should use a ceramic bit at no more than 100 rpm using oil to lubricate the bit every 30 seconds.

While this seems easy enough, I'm a bit intimidated by the prospect of drilling brand new tile (installed prior to my move-in). I assume once I'm through I put in some plastic anchors and operate business as usual.

Am I missing anything important/obvious?

3 Answers 3


Use a masonary bit (easier to get hold of)
Put a cross of masking tape on the tile to stop the bit slipping sideways when you start
Go easy, don't put too much pressure on the bit.

Tip: try on an old bit of broken tile ( or a broken mug/teacup from goodwill) before starting on the expensive tiles.

  • 2
    How important is the addition of lubricating oil and "less than 100 rpm". I always wonder when very specific requirements are made.
    – user7116
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 18:34
  • 2
    Never lubricated a bit cutting tile - just go slow. Drilling glass you build a little dam with putty and fill with oil - to keep the bit cold.
    – mgb
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 18:47

While tile bits are the best tool for the job they do go blunt very quickly so you'll probably find that it's only good for this one job. If you change the drill bit for a regular masonry bit once you've gone through the tile then you'll prolong the life of the tile bit.

They work because they have point which stops the drill skipping across the tile and the head is wider than the shaft so you're less likely to get the bit stuck in the hole.


Best way from my own experience. Same thing I had tried to put shower curtain rod to tile.

I had made measurements:

  • Used sketchpen/marker for Marking
  • Used Manual pointed pin hole maker just to make small 1mm depth hole using hammer and manual tool.

  • Placed the 5MM Concrete drill bit on the drill machine

  • Started with low rpm for few sec.
  • than switched hammer function or the drill machine and make the smooth drill
  • put any good filler and fixed screws.
  • very neat work happened.
  • 2
    I would recommend against hammering the center hole marker and using a hammer drill on tiles. It's very easy to crack the tile.
    – BMitch
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 10:54

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