How to Cut a Hole in a Tile for a Shower Faucet

Written by sarabeth asaff
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How to Cut a Hole in a Tile for a Shower Faucet
Most showerheads only require a 1 1/2 inch diameter hole. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

One of the jobs that appears most difficult in the building of a new shower isn't as hard as it seems. Cutting a hole in the wall tile to allow your shower valve, shower head or tub spout to come through is one area where precision is not required; the escutcheon or plate that sits against the tiles, behind the valve, shower arm or tub spout will cover the edges of the hole. This means that as long as the hole is the right size, it doesn't matter how it looks.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Grease pencil
  • Tile saw
  • Carbide-tipped pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Circle drill with carbide tip
  • Masking tape
  • Cooling oil

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  1. 1

    Locate the point you wish to cut the hole in the tile. If the hole is on or near the edge of the tile, use a grease pencil to mark a rectangle in the side of the tile large enough for the valve or faucet to come through. If the hole is in the centre of the tile, place a piece of masking tape over the centre of the point you will cut.

  2. 2

    Make two parallel cuts into the side of the tile with a tile saw, if the hole will be on the edge of the tile. Place a straight edge against the connecting line, and use a carbide-tipped pencil to score the top of the tile three or four times. Turn the pencil around, and place the edge of the tile in the notch on the pencil. Apply downward pressure on the tile with the notch to snap the centre out of the tile. The tile can now be installed around a faucet or valve, with the escutcheon covering the edges.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole into the centre of the tile by dipping the guiding drill bit in the centre of the hole saw into cooling oil. Place the guiding bit against the masking tape to help the drill gain purchase. Drill into the tile; the guiding bit will drill first and the larger, circular drill will make the core cut large enough to slip the entire tile over the valve or faucet stem.

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