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6 Tips for drilling natural stone

09.2017

We’re often asked for tips about working with natural stone and wanted to share a question we’ve been asked a few times recently by clients. That question is: how do I drill stone without causing cracks or chipping in the surface?

How do I drill stone without causing cracks or chipping in the surface?

Here’s all you need to know:

1. The first thing you’ll need to do is choose the right drill bit. If you are a professional and own a diamond drill, that’s perfect, but otherwise a masonry or concrete one will do the job, but avoid using a hammer drill.

2. As natural stone, particularly marble, is often polished or honed, it means it’s quite slippery. The most important thing is to “rough up” the surface you’re going to drill so that there is less likelihood that the drill bit will slip and skid. We’d suggest you either apply masking tape to the area you’re drilling or scratch the precise area where the hold will be made.

3. Then, the trick is to firstly use a smaller drill bit than the one you would normally choose. Start with the drill on a slow speed, holding it at a right angle and make a small indent or “dimple” in the surface.

4. Replace the drill bit with one suitable for the size of the hole you are making and, again, using light pressure, drill slowly through.

5. Keeping the drill bit and the hole area wet will help reduce friction and the possibility of the stone itself splitting.

6. Remember that natural stone is exactly that – natural, and so you may occasionally find tiny “faultlines” running through it. If possible, try to avoid drilling along one of these lines and also avoid drilling too close to the edge of a tile as that’s where it is most vulnerable. We’d recommend an 8-mm safety margin.

If you have any questions about working with natural stone, Contact Us