How to Drill into Backsplash

Introduction to Drilling into Backsplash

Installing a backsplash is a great way to add visual interest and protection to your kitchen walls. However, you may need to drill into the backsplash to mount hardware, fixtures, or accessories. Drilling into tile or stone can seem daunting, but with the right tools and technique, it’s straightforward. This guide will provide tips for successfully drilling into any backsplash material.

Preparing to Drill into Backsplash

Before beginning any drilling, follow these preparatory steps:

Selecting the Right Drill Bit

  • Ceramic tile: Use a carbide-tipped masonry drill bit made specifically for glass and tile. This will prevent cracking or chipping.
  • Natural stone: Diamond-tipped core drill bits work best for materials like granite, marble or slate.
  • Glass tile: A diamond or carbide drill bit is best for smooth drilling. Apply painter’s tape over the area to prevent cracking.

Marking the Drill Location

Use a pencil to mark the exact spot for drilling. If drilling into a joint area, angle the drill bit to avoid hitting the grout.

Safety First

Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris. Use a vacuum during drilling to keep dust contained. Never drill near electrical outlets or plumbing lines.

Step-by-Step Drilling Instructions

Follow these step-by-step instructions for smooth drilling into any backsplash:

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Apply painter’s tape around the marked drill area to prevent splintering or cracks from spreading.

Step 2: Start Drilling

Place the drill bit perpendicular to the surface and begin drilling slowly at first. Let the drill do the work.

Step 3: Drill through Tile

Once the surface glaze is penetrated, gently increase drilling speed. Use steady pressure until the tile is drilled through.

Step 4: Smooth the Hole

Remove the drill and gently smooth the hole with an abrasive rasp or tile file. This prevents sharp edges or cracks.

Step 5: Insert Wall Anchor

If needed, insert a wall anchor for stability when attaching hardware or fixtures. Apply a silicon sealant around the anchor for water protection.

Helpful Tips for Drilling into Backsplash

Follow these additional tips for clean and successful drilling:

  • Drill slowly at first, letting the bit work through the glaze. Increase speed once the surface is penetrated.
  • Use lubricant such as WD-40 for smooth drilling, especially in porcelain or ceramic tile.
  • Remove dust buildup from the drill bit frequently when drilling longer holes.
  • Avoid drilling near corners or edges to prevent cracking tile. Drill into the center area of tiles whenever possible.
  • Take your time and don’t rush the process. Gentle pressure is key for clean holes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best drill bit for porcelain tile?

For porcelain, use a diamond-grit hole saw drill bit. This will cut through the dense material smoothly and cleanly.

What speed should I drill tile?

Start slow with a speed of about 600 rpm. Once you penetrate the glazed tile surface, increase speed to around 1200 rpm for smooth drilling.

How do I prevent cracks when drilling tile?

Applying painter’s tape around the drill area will prevent cracks from spreading. Drill slowly and let the bit do the work. Avoid drilling near tile corners or edges.

What can I use to lubricate tile when drilling?

WD-40 works very well to lubricate tile prior to drilling. This prevents heat buildup and damage to the tile surface.

How deep into the wall should anchors be installed?

Wall anchors should be embedded into the wall material approximately 1-2 inches deep for proper support and hardware stability.


Drilling into backsplash tile, stone or glass can allow you to mount fixtures and accessories to customize your space. With the proper drill bits, safety gear, and technique, the process can be straightforward. Take your time, apply gentle pressure, and smooth holes to prevent cracks or chipping. Using the tips in this guide, you can drill clean holes in any backsplash material for a polished look.