How to Drill into Quartz Backsplash


Installing a quartz backsplash can add an elegant, durable, and easy-to-clean accent wall to your kitchen. However, you may need to drill into your quartz backsplash to mount hardware, fixtures, or accessories. Drilling into quartz requires special tools and techniques to avoid cracking or chipping the material. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to successfully drill into quartz backsplash without damaging it.

Gather the Proper Tools and Materials

Drilling into quartz backsplash requires having the right tools and accessories on hand. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • A variable speed drill – Choose a cordless drill with adjustable speed settings. A slow speed is crucial to avoid cracking quartz.
  • Diamond-grit hole saw drill bits – Diamond-coated drill bits specifically designed for drilling into stone prevent cracking.
  • Eye protection – Wear safety goggles to prevent eye injury from flying debris when drilling.
  • Ear protection – Wear earplugs or earmuffs to protect your hearing from loud drilling noises.
  • Marking tools – Use a pencil or marker to mark the exact location where you need to drill the hole.
  • Tape measure – Measure and mark holes accurately.
  • Clamps – Clamp a straightedge guide to the quartz to keep the drill bit steady.
  • Water source – Keep a spray bottle of water to lubricate and cool the drill bit.
  • Rags – Have clean cloths available to wipe away stone dust and water.
  • Vacuum – Use a shop vacuum to contain and clean up quartz dust.

Gathering the proper supplies and using the right techniques will allow you to successfully drill holes into quartz without ruining the finish.

Select an Appropriate Location

When choosing where to drill into your quartz backsplash, keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid drilling close to the edges or seams in the quartz. Stay at least 2 inches away from any seams or perimeter edges to prevent cracking.
  • Check that the desired location does not align with the support brackets or hardware on the backside. Drilling into fasteners can damage the quartz.
  • Pick areas free of veins or concentrated color patterns. Solid, uniform areas are best for clean holes.
  • Hold up what you are mounting to find the optimal placement that looks balanced. Mark with a pencil once you decide.
  • Use a ruler or template to mark multiple holes that must align, like for wall-mounted shelving.
  • For outlet holes, consult an electrician on safely drilling through quartz without hitting wires.

With some planning and spatial awareness, you can determine the optimal spot to drill into quartz to mount fixtures while avoiding damage to the stone.

Prepare the Quartz Surface

To get the quartz ready for drilling, follow these steps:

  • Clear the area of any items or debris that could interfere with the drilling.
  • Use painter’s tape to cover the drill location. This prevents the drill from wandering.
  • Optional but recommended – Place a sacrificial wood block beneath the quartz to prevent chip-out on the underside when the drill breaks through.
  • Use a straightedge and clamps to secure a guide to the surface. This helps keep the drill bit steady and straight.
  • Mark the center of the desired hole with an X using a pencil. Use a center punch if drilling metal.
  • Vacuum the quartz with a brush attachment to remove any dust or loose grains.

These simple preparation steps help you safely drill into quartz backsplash by protecting the material and guiding the drill accurately to reduce wobble.

Drill at a Low Speed with Light Pressure

Drilling at the proper speed and applying the right amount of pressure is crucial for clean quartz holes. Follow these best practices when starting to drill:

  • Set the drill to the lowest speed setting, around 300-600 RPM. High speeds can overheat quartz and cause cracking.
  • Hold the drill perpendicular to the surface and apply light pressure to keep the bit steady.
  • Drill slowly into the quartz, letting the diamond grit of the drill bit do the work. Do not force the drill.
  • Gradually increase the pressure as the drill bit penetrate deeper into the stone. But avoid excessive force.
  • Drill partway into the quartz, then back the bit out to clear dust. Repeat until reaching total desired depth.
  • Keep spraying water on the drill point to cool the bit and reduce friction. The water lubricates the cutting action.
  • Check that the drill is cutting straight by stopping to realign the bit in the guide if needed.

With the right gentle pressure, slow drilling speed, and occasional backing out to clear debris, you can bore perfect holes into quartz without cracks or blowouts.

Avoid Common Drilling Mistakes

When drilling into quartz backsplash, beware of these common mistakes that can ruin the stone:

✘ Applying too much pressure – Forcing the drill causes cracks around the hole.

✘ Drilling at high speeds – Fast RPMs generate excess heat that damages quartz.

✘ Not using water – Lack of water causes overheating and drilling fractures.

✘ Holding the drill at an angle – Drilling at an angle risks boring uneven, ragged holes.

✘ Using the wrong drill bits – Standard drill bits cannot penetrate quartz properly.

✘ Drilling close to the edge – Cracks radiate from holes near seams or the perimeter.

✘ Not clearing dust – Accumulated grit jams and overheats the drill bit.

✘ Continuing while the drill wobbles – Wobble enlarges and distorts the hole shape.

✘ Pulling the drill out too quickly – Rapid retraction can chip edges of the hole.

Avoiding these mistakes takes patience and care. But it allows you to drill clean, precise holes in quartz backsplash safely.

Clean and Finish the Holes

Once you have drilled through the quartz, follow these finishing steps:

  • Remove the tape around the hole perimeter. Wipe away any excess dust or debris.
  • Rinse the quartz surface with water to wash away all remaining grit and stone particles.
  • Examine the entrance and exit of the hole for any small fractures. Carefully smooth down any rough edges with 100-120 grit sandpaper.
  • Use a stone polish compound to buff out any minor scratches around the hole rim.
  • Check that the hole size and placement are suitable for the anchors, screws or hardware being installed.
  • Vacuum up all remaining dust thoroughly so it does not scratch the polished quartz surface.
  • Insert anchors or wall fasteners according to the hardware specifications if needed.
  • Mount hooks, lights, fixtures or accessories as desired into the drilled holes.

Proper finishing and cleaning makes drilled quartz holes ready for attachments to be installed securely.

Drilling Holes in Quartz Backsplash FAQ

Getting answers to some frequently asked questions can clear up any uncertainties about how to drill into quartz backsplash correctly:

What size drill bit do I need for drilling into quartz?

  • Use diamond-grit hole saw drill bits in the appropriate size for your desired holes. Most quartz hole saw kits include popular sizes like 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch, 1 inch, and 1 1/4 inches. Match the bit to the size needed for your mounting hardware.

Can I use a regular drill bit for quartz?

  • No, regular metal twist drill bits lack the diamond abrasives needed to grind through the dense quartz material. Masonry drill bits also are not ideal. Stick with diamond-core hole saws specifically made for quartz.

What is the best drill bit for a quartz backsplash?

  • Look for diamond-grit hole saws that contain vacuum brazed diamond segments. These specialty bits stay sharp longer and resist overheating. Brands like Bosch, Dremel, and Makita make quality quartz hole saw drill bit sets.

How do I smooth edges of drilled quartz holes?

  • Use 100-120 grit sandpaper to gently smooth any rough or chipped areas around the rim of the drilled hole. Then buff with quartz polish compound. Take care not to wiggle or expand the hole size.

Can I drill into quartz with a hammer drill?

  • Hammer drills are not necessary for quartz. The hammering action is more likely to crack quartz around the hole. A variable speed drill is the safest choice. Just use diamond bits and water lubrication.

How can I prevent cracking when drilling quartz backsplash?

  • To prevent cracks, drill at low speeds of 300-600 RPM. Continue adding water to keep the bit cool. Ease pressure on and off instead of forcing the drill. And stay centered over the hole to reduce wobbling.

What causes a blowout when drilling quartz?

  • Blowouts form from too much pressure or speed. The energy causes the drill bit to burst through unevenly in the end, chipping the quartz. Slow down and pause regularly to clear debris to avoid blowouts.

Drilling into quartz backsplash takes precision. But asking the right questions helps ensure you have the proper techniques and tools.


Installing a stylish quartz backsplash can make an elegant addition to your kitchen or bath. By following this guide, you now understand the best way for how to drill into quartz backsplash successfully. Use the right diamond-grit drill bits at slow, steady speeds while lubricating with water. Avoid common mistakes like exerting too much pressure or drilling at high RPMs. Locate holes carefully. With the proper methods, you can drill perfect holes to mount hardware into your quartz backsplash without any unsightly cracks or damage. Just remember to have patience and let the tools do the work.