How to Drill Through Glass Backsplash

Drilling through a glass backsplash can seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done safely and effectively. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to drill through glass backsplash.


A glass backsplash brings a modern, sleek look to any kitchen. However, you may need to drill through it to install mounts, shelves or other fixtures. With tempered glass, a common material for backsplashes, drilling requires special diamond-tipped bits and careful techniques to prevent cracking or shattering. The good news is that with proper preparation and the right approach, drilling glass backsplash without damaging it is quite achievable for DIYers.

Things You’ll Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Glass and tile drill bit
  • Variable speed drill
  • Water spray bottle
  • Towels
  • Duct tape (for post-drilling)

Step-by-Step Guide

Mark the Drill Location

The first step is deciding on the location. Use the permanent marker to mark the precise spot you want to drill. This allows accurate drilling to ensure minimal damage to the surrounding glass.

Prepare the Surface

Clean the area around the marked drill point. Tape down a towel under the drill location to prevent water splatter.

Apply masking tape on both sides of the glass around the drill point. This helps prevent cracking and chipping during drilling.

Apply Water to the Drill Point

Pour some water directly on the drill point to keep the glass and drill bit cool during drilling. Have a spray bottle on hand to spritz water as needed. The water lubricates and prevents overheating.

Drill at an Angle

It is crucial to avoid drilling straight down into glass backsplash. This can cause extensive cracking. Instead, tilt the drill at a 45-degree angle. Apply light pressure and drill slowly.

The angled entry creates a shallow entry point for the drill bit rather than a deep perpendicular one.

Drill at Low Speed

Drill at very low RPMs, around 600 to 1,000. High speeds can overheat the glass and cause cracks or shattering. Go slow and steady with little force.

Pause periodically to spritz the drill point. The brief pauses allow the glass to cool.

Break Through Gently

Once the cone-shaped hole is drilled most of the way through, gently break through the glass back side. Do this by tilting the drill in the hole to extend it slightly.

Apply minimal pressure when breaking through to prevent cracks from spidering out.

Smooth Rough Edges

Use a small piece of sandpaper or a file to smooth any rough edges around the freshly drilled hole. This eliminates sharp areas and prevent cuts.

Prevent Cracks with Duct Tape

Once drilling is complete, place strips of duct tape over the holes on both sides. Leave the tape on for at least 24 hours. This keeps the stressed glass from cracking as it cools and stabilizes.


Can a standard drill bit be used on glass backsplash?

No, regular drill bits are not hard enough. You need specialized diamond-tipped bits made to penetrate glass. Never try drilling glass with a standard bit.

What speed should the drill be?

Keep drill speeds very low, around 600 to 1000 RPM, to prevent overheating and cracking when drilling glass. Take it slow.

How much pressure should be applied?

Minimal pressure. Let the drill do the work. Apply just enough to let the bit grip the surface. Excess force can cause cracks.

What type of glass can be safely drilled?

Tempered glass is the most common backsplash material and can be drilled with proper technique. Other types like laminated or insulated glass require special tools.

What causes cracking during drilling?

Drilling at a perpendicular angle, high speeds, insufficient water, and too much pressure commonly cause cracks in glass backsplash.

Should the entry and exit holes be the same size?

No. The entry hole will be cone-shaped and smaller than the exit hole on the glass back side. This prevents deep perpendicular penetration.


Drilling holes in glass backsplash is totally doable with some careful prep and the right technique. Make sure to use diamond-tip bits, drill at low speed and an angle, keep the glass cool with water, and apply minimal pressure. Follow these tips, take it slow, and you’ll end up with clean drilled holes in your backsplash without any cracks or damage. Just remember – safety first! Wear those goggles.

How do I drill holes in glass backsplash?

Drilling holes in a glass backsplash can seem intimidating, but it’s possible to do safely using the proper tools and techniques. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to drill through glass backsplash:

What You Need

  • Safety goggles – for eye protection
  • Glass and tile drill bit – usually diamond-tipped for smooth drilling
  • Masking tape – to cover area around the drill point
  • Water spray bottle – to keep the glass cool during drilling
  • Variable speed drill – for controlled drilling
  • Towels – to catch water splatter during drilling
  • Duct tape – to reinforce holes after drilling


  1. Mark the desired hole location using a permanent marker. Clean drill area.
  2. Tape towels below the drill point to catch water. Cover drill point with masking tape on both sides.
  3. Start drilling at an angle, around 45 degrees. Drill slowly at 600-1000 RPM.
  4. Spray water on the drill point periodically to keep the glass cool.
  5. Once initial cone-shaped hole is drilled, gently break through the back of the glass.
  6. Smooth any rough hole edges carefully with sandpaper.
  7. Place duct tape over the holes on both sides. Leave for 24 hours to prevent cracking.

Helpful Tips

  • Never drill straight down into glass backsplash. Angle the drill.
  • Apply very light pressure and drill at low speeds.
  • Pause periodically to allow the glass to cool.
  • Minimal pressure when breaking through the glass back.
  • Use diamond-tipped bits made specifically for glass drilling.
  • Take it slow and steady for clean holes without cracks.


What speed should I drill?

Go slowly, between 600-1000 RPM, to avoid overheating and cracking the glass.

How much pressure should be applied?

Very minimal, just enough for the drill bit to grip. Excess pressure causes cracks.

What causes cracking?

Drilling at high speeds, perpendicular angle, insufficient cooling and too much pressure.

What type of glass can be safely drilled?

Tempered glass is common in backsplashes and can be drilled with proper technique.

Should the entry and exit holes be the same size?

No. The entry hole is smaller and cone-shaped. The exit is a bit larger.


Drilling clean holes in a glass backsplash is very doable with the right tools, preparation, and technique. Make sure to use specialized glass drill bits, go slowly, keep the glass cool with water, and apply minimal pressure. With this proper approach, you can add mounts, shelves and fixtures without damaging your beautiful backsplash. Just remember to wear safety goggles and take it slow!