I always thought it sounded like it was easier said than done. The idea of drilling a hole in ceramic tile seemed all kinds of scary, even after reading countless tutorials online and watching a number of you tube videos. I’ll admit that I was so hesitant about drilling through the tile wall I had just installed in our powder bathroom that I contemplated hanging the mirror over the vanity with heavy duty adhesive strips. Ultimately though I realized that would probably be a mistake and one that could potentially cause more damage than it was worth. So it was time to face the music, buy a diamond-tipped drill bit and just get her done. Thankfully, my dad was in town to walk me through this one. I mean, all I did really was assist him, but I’m confident after helping and watching that I could do this again on my own with no problem. Seriously, it’s not as scary as it seems.
These are the supplies we used to drill two holes in the ceramic tile wall to hang the mirror above the vanity.
(*Sidenote – I’m in love with this little Hitachi driver. I bought it last fall and use it all the time; it’s awesome. It’s perfect for my small hand, powerful and the batteries stay charged for-ev-er.)
The toughest part of drilling through tile is just getting started. Since ceramic tile is slippery-smooth the bit wants to slip around all over the place making it difficult to mark a starting hole. This is where the painter’s tape comes in handy. (You could also use masking tape for this.) Use the tape to mark an “x” where you want your holes to be. Then re-measure and use a Sharpie to mark the exact spot for your hole on the tape. The tape will give your bit something to grab onto to help you get started. Once your holes are marked on the tape, you’re ready to drill. First, we sprayed a regular drill bit with a little water and used it to mark a very small starting spot. Basically just the tiniest of holes to give the masonry bit a place to start. Then we moved on to using the carbide-tipped masonry bit to really get a good sized hole started. You want to keep the bit well lubricated which is why you’ll want a spray bottle of water handy. Considering you use a wet saw to cut tile it makes sense that you need your drill bit to stay wet in order to drill a hole. Once you’ve drilled a hole that is large enough for your diamond-tipped drill bit to fit inside, you can switch out the masonry bit for the diamond tipped bit to finish drilling all the way through (again keep using the spray bottle to keep the bit lubricated). You want to apply pressure but take your time and don’t force it. Honestly, you really don’t have to use a diamond-tipped bit as you could drill all the way through with a masonry bit, but a diamond-tipped bit will get the job done much quicker and with a little less effort. These kinds of bits are a little more expensive than most other drill bits but well worth it when you’re working with tile. (Obviously the size of the bits you’ll need depends on the size of the screws and anchors you’re using.)
Once your holes are made, you lightly tap your anchors in with a hammer. Then you’re ready to put your screws in and hang your mirror.
I knew I wanted to use a simple frameless mirror on this tile wall so I set out to find one that would be easy to install. I have the hardest time hanging mirrors and pictures that have two separate hangers on the back as the hangers are almost never level themselves and it takes a mathmagician to figure out the proper placement for the screws in the wall. Is it just me that finds that frustrating? I definitely didn’t want to deal with that headache on this tile wall (you can patch drywall, no remedy for misplaced holes in tile), so the hanging system of this frameless mirror was perfect. This particular one I found at Lowe’s uses a french cleat. All we had to do was level out the hanging bar to mark where the screws should go before drilling. That’s it – so easy!
I’m almost ready to call this powder bathroom done. Just a few more little things to do and then reveal time! Do you peep the painted ceiling? Loving the dark color up there as it has really made this small bathroom feel much larger. (Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze)
Want to know more about the schoolhouse style light fixture – check this post here for the details.