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Drilling or cutting sockets in tiles and alternatives

Drilling holes for sockets in tiles must be made. Because without a socket, there is little in the bathroom or kitchen.

Difficulty: Easy | Costs about 50 euros | Workload : approx. 10-30min

Sockets must be installed in the bathroom as well as in all other rooms in an apartment. This requires drilling or cutting holes for sockets in tiles.

Sockets in the bathroom mounted on tiles

With tiles, the challenge is that an extra layer of material (tile) needs to be drilled. There are a number of possible starting points for you. For example, when you lay tile on tile.

We would like to try to pick up every user and do-it-yourselfer in the best possible way.

We will show you which tools, machines, approaches and alternatives to drilling socket holes in tiles are available.

1. What are the options for putting a socket in a tile?

A short list of all possibilities.

Drill, cut or snap a hole in the tiles

Should you be interested in any of these methods, you can click on it and it will take you to the relevant section.

  1. Drill sockets in tiles
  2. Sockets Cut a drill hole in tiles or tiles that have already been laid
  3. Drill sockets into tiles


2. Drilling sockets in tiles - you need to know that

Picture of a socket in the bathroom on a tiled wall

  1. To correctly install a socket in a tile, it must be drilled with the correct diameter of 68 mm. This diameter corresponds to the electrical installation sockets on the wall or later under the tiles.
  2. This work should already be done in your bathroom planning and the drill hole for the socket should be drilled before the tiles are laid.
  3. This work should not be done afterwards, as there is a risk (despite careful marking) of not setting the borehole 100% precisely.
  4. This could impede or even prevent a pristine socket hole in your tile.

2.1 When drilling cans, the following arises:

  • precision
  • Drilling the tile before laying it
  • accuracy
  • the right tool.

    2.2 Which tools do I need to drill a socket hole?

    The easiest, best and most common method is to use a circular hole with a 68mm socket bit .

    68mm Sockets Tile Drill Bit

    The tool can be used on any commercially available angle grinder of any brand.

    Do-it-yourselfers have the option of purchasing an adapter for the cordless screwdriver for €9, which makes drilling holes in tile sockets even easier.

    Adapter for diamond tile drill bits M14 to Hex

    The greatest advantage of the diamond tile drill bit is its ability to drill even the hardest tile material such as porcelain stoneware, granite or marble without tearing (breaking).

    No additional water is required as it is capable of drilling any tile dry.

    Tip: Tilers and craftsmen also rely on this diamond drill bit for tiles.

    2.3 Step-by-step instructions for drilling socket holes in tiles

    1. Transfer the desired drill hole to your tile. Please take your time with this step and measure twice. Once the tile hole is placed incorrectly, you cannot use the tile again.

      The entire desired rounding must be transmitted. Use the drill bit to get a perfect circle. It is best to use a pencil or a washable marker.
    2. Mount the diamond core bit on the angle grinder . Place the tile on a suitable surface. If possible, place the tile so that it won't cut into underlying material when you drill the hole for the outlet.
    3. Place the tile drill bit at a slight angle (with a low number of revolutions) on the marked cutting edge. As soon as the drill bit has found its way into the tile, you can straighten it up
    4. Drill through the tile with oscillating movements (help to remove dust). Check tile edges and grind if necessary.

    2.4 Don't just fix the socket cover on the tile

    The cover of the socket must be professionally attached to the tile cleanly, securely and securely with tile adhesive or quick mortar. Not only does it make a huge difference visually, it's also really necessary to ensure safety.

    Working with electricity should not be underestimated and can lead to serious health consequences if incorrectly attached.

    If you are unsure or at a loss, please seek help from an electrician.

    3. Socket tile hole cutting - The Flex (angle grinder) is the best tool of choice

    If you don't have a tile drill bit handy, you can also cut a suitable hole in your tile.

    Do-it-yourselfers cut holes in sockets with the angle grinder and a matching 125 mm tile cutting disc

    Please note that this processing is not standard and may reduce the overall value of your home.

    The good news is that you can use the socket cover to neatly hide the socket hole.

    3.1 To cut the tile hole you need:

    1. angle grinder (flex)
    2. High-quality 125 mm diamond cutting disc for tiles ( from €18.90)
    3. If required, a quick-locking nut or a suction hood

    4. Step by step instructions on how to cut a socket hole in a tile

    Correct execution is crucial here. You should try to cut out a rectangular hole just big enough to install the socket's hardware.

    Important: Please make sure not to cut the hole (recess) too big to be able to hide it with the socket cover.

    1. Transfer the required measurements to the front and back of the tile. It is cut first from the back and later from the front.
    2. Use the 125mm diamond blade to cut in the center of the mark on the back of the tile. This is important so that you don't cut past the mark on the other side of the tile. When cutting holes for sockets in tiles, the tile is cut on the reverse side first Check your depth of cut regularly and make sure you don't cut past the mark.
    3. After making all the cuts, you should be able to carefully break out the interior fairly easily.
    4. Tile edges after sanding.

    Grinding tiles edges banner image

    Pro tip: If you can't break out the pieces of tile cleanly, you should use a "star cut". So you have many individual tile parts that you can break out much easier.

    5. Are there alternatives to cutting and drilling holes in sockets?

    Not everyone has a socket drill or diamond cutting disc at hand. Luckily, there are alternatives you can use to drill your tile hole anyway.

    Banner image To the ultimate guide to drilling tiles.

    5.1 Clip off piece by piece

    You will find pliers in every DIY kit. For this method we are looking for a pair of pliers that you can use to clip off your tile.

    It does not necessarily have to be tile tongs, but they should be similar. Characteristic of these are two thin pincers.

    Tip: To make sure the pliers are suitable for clipping, you can take a piece of old tile and try it out.

    Step-by-step instructions for cutting a socket hole in a tile

    1. Drill one or more small holes in the center of the desired hole just large enough to insert the pliers.
    2. Snap off your tile piece by piece until you have reached the marking for the drill hole of the socket. Depending on the composition of the tile (brittle or hard), you have to nip off very often and only minimal parts of the tile.
    3. You will not get clean results with the tile punch pliers. As before, you are free to simply hide the result behind the cover. The better option would be to regrind the resulting tile edge.

    Use 5.2Lochboy tiles

    With the tile hole boy you can punch a socket hole in your tile. To do this, you put it in the desired place and hit it with a rubber mallet. The sharpened metal blades should cut through the material.

    5.3 The disadvantages of the Lochboy are:

    • Can only be used with soft tiles. Not suitable for hard or thick porcelain stoneware , natural stone, granite or marble tiles.
    • The danger of the tile is relatively high. Since the Lochboy can only be used with soft tiles, these can also break particularly easily.

    Please be careful when working with the Lochboy. It can permanently damage the tile. There is a broken tile in the picture.

    6. Conclusion - Drilling the tile hole is easier than cutting the tile hole for a socket

    You can drill a socket hole in a tile relatively easily. If you don't have the necessary tools at hand, you can also cut the desired hole in your tile. There are also a few alternatives available to you.

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      Jürgen Kleis

      "With my many years of experience in the tool industry, I can give you helpful tips and tricks for DIY and handicrafts".

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