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Posted: 4/3/2016 9:20:22 AM EDT
A little advice from you guys needed.  I will be bolting down a safe in the next few weeks to a tile over concrete floor.  From what I've read tile can be a royal pain to drill through and you can't use the hammer drill on it or else risk cracking the tile.  What about after the bit breaks through?  Can I go to hammer drill mode for the slab?  I want to minimize any damage to the floor for my marriages sake.
Link Posted: 4/3/2016 9:33:11 AM EDT
A natural stone like travertine is soft and can just use a standard masonry bit and hammer drill. You could also possibly get away with it on other materials too but it can be difficult.

Porcelain, glazed ceramic and granite, glass, etc all need to be drilled with a diamond coring bit. Just dill your hole slowly not on a hammer setting with plenty of water to keep bit cool. You just need to get through the tile, so only nessesary to drill about 3/8" -1/2"deep then finish the hole with a masonry bit on hammer to get through the concrete. Amazon has cheap diamond coring bits That work well but small ones have a pretty short life so I would buy a couple of them depending on how many holes you need
Link Posted: 4/3/2016 9:41:36 AM EDT
I'd hammer drill through it anyway, most of the cracked tiles will be under the safe. Did you plan on moving it after its bolted? Buy some matching replacement tiles. Replace if/when you need to move the safe. Grout any visible crack lines.
Link Posted: 4/3/2016 11:44:32 AM EDT
Yeah we may be moving some day, at least 5-10 years from now though.  Thanks for the help!
Link Posted: 4/3/2016 12:16:46 PM EDT
Using masonry or glass/tile bit, drill through tile on non-hammer setting.  Once the bit has passed completely through the tile and is into the concrete slab, use a masonry bit and switch to hammer setting.   Hammer drilling into tiles will in fact result in large spalling / fragmentation and cracking.  If you have a tile in a "hidden" location (like next to the water heater, etc.) take a practice run, if you like.   The "art" is to start slow until the bit has completely broken through the hard-fired glaze on the top surface of the glazed tile, to avoid the bit slipping to the side, then slowly "chew through" the full tile thickness.
Link Posted: 4/5/2016 7:21:30 PM EDT
I can tell you from experience of having bolted my safe down through tile and into cement that the tile will be a challenge to get through. I completely demolished a regular masonry bit going through one single tile. Headed to the hardware store and got one of the bits made specifically for tile and it worked much better. Once you get through the tile the cement is like butter unless you hit rebar.

It would have been easier too if I had a real hammer drill and was not using my cordless drill on the hammer setting.
Link Posted: 4/6/2016 12:48:23 AM EDT
I drilled into concrete and then tiled around the safe, keeping extra tile in case I had to move the safe.  Maybe remove the tile first?
Link Posted: 4/9/2016 1:03:43 AM EDT
Well it's done.  Let me give a potentially valuable bit of advice.  Rent (or buy) a rotary hammer drill.  The tile was easy with a tile bit but the slab beneath was a royal bastard.  I bought a cheapish Ryobi hammer drill for this and the slab laughed at it.  Went through about thirty dollars worth of bits making very little progress when I gave up.  Rented a Makita rotary from Home Despot and had it done in ten minutes.  What a badass tool!  Used Redhead anchors and I don't ever see the safe moving again unless I want it to.  Thanks to all here.  Beer time!

Link Posted: 4/21/2016 6:58:14 PM EDT
You could have just bolted the safe to the studs in the wall behind it. Not cracked tiles, very secure, easy to rapir when you move.
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