How to Drill Through Glass or China

Updated April 17, 2017

Drilling through glass or china takes concentration and the right tools for the job. These two materials can be nerve-racking to drill through because a mistake might cause them to crack, chip or shatter. And if you're drilling through glass or china tiles permanently cemented on a kitchen or bathroom wall, then a mistake brings ramifications in the form of time and dollars. With the correct drill bit combined with the proper drilling technique and some practice drilling through scrap pieces of glass and china, however, you can develop a feel for drilling through these materials successfully.

Precisely mark the location of the holes to be drilled on the glass or china. A wax pencil works well.

Use a ground tungsten carbide tip drill bit to drill through both glass and china. This is a drill bit with a pointed, spade-like tip at the end of a round, steel shank

Lock the drill bit into a variable speed drill. Put on safety glasses and set the tip on the surface of the glass or china to be drilled. Run the drill at a slow speed.

Use a lubricant such as turpentine with the drill bit when drilling through glass. It will keep the drill bit from over heating.

Use a masonry drill bit to drill through china. This bit will not drill through glass. The bit looks like a typical spiral drill bit used to drill through wood and metal. At the tip, however, is a silicon bronze alloy.

Put on safety glasses and dust mask. Set the tip at the mark on the china and drill at a slow speed.

Pull the drill bit back from the china periodically to allow the ceramic dust to be blown out of the hole.


Masonry drill bits can be purchased with extra long shanks.


Always use eye protection when drilling glass and china as a chip might break away and fly into your eye.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill bit, ground tungsten carbide
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Grease pencil
  • Turpentine
  • Electric drill, variable speed
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
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About the Author

Robert Gray has been writing full time since 1995. His first photography book took seven years to research and publish. He specializes in writing on photography and the arts. He's written for Photography Magazine, Large Format Camera Magazine and many online art and photography websites and blogs.