How to Drill Through Granite

Granite is a very popular choice in homes, commonly used in countertops and floors, especially when the overall aesthetic of the house is rather rustic or ‘country’. Both homeowners and builders alike love the material for its granular texture, its variety in terms of hues and the fact that it is very durable.

Why It’s Problematic

However, the biggest downside of granite (other than the fact that it’s expensive) is that it can be a difficult material to work with. For instance, drilling into granite is not a straightforward task. For starters, regular drill bits won’t fare well against it and therefore you’ll require diamond drilling bits to do the job.

That being said, you can still successfully drill granite by yourself, especially if you follow these easy steps and best practices:

Know the Right Hole Size

The ideal hole size to drill should depend on what you’re going to be using the granite for. If you’re installing a countertop for example, the hole size required is usually 1.5 inches in diameter so double check the size of the drill bit you’re using.

Mark the Drilling Position Accurately

As mentioned earlier, graphite is expensive and therefore you want to make absolutely sure that you mark the correct position for each drill hole. We recommend that you use a drawing compass to draw a flawless circle of exactly the right diameter for your purpose.

If you want to take even further measures, you could place a piece of wood with the same-sized hole cut into it and position this hole over the marked circle on the granite. Afterward, secure this piece of wood in place using an appropriate clamp. By doing this you ensure that the drill bit does not move out of the marked circle while you’re drilling.

Prevent Chipping

Even though graphite is very hard, there’s always a chance of you chipping the underside of the piece you are drilling, especially since you’re using diamond bits. To prevent this, place a flat-surfaced slab of stone underneath the graphite and clamp it into place. Ideally you want to position the stone directly underneath the drilling position to ensure the best protection for your piece of graphite.

Start Drilling

Once you’ve installed the correct-sized bit into your drill (we recommend that you use a cordless one to prevent any nuisance from the cord possibly getting tangled in random places), it’s almost time to start to start drilling. Before you begin, we recommend that you sprinkle some water on top of the granite to reduce the expulsion of dust into the air. This is especially useful if you don’t have a dust mask. Furthermore, water can help cool the drill if it tends to overheat.

Start drilling at a constant, slow speed and continue until you feel the bit hit the slab of stone that you placed underneath in the earlier step. If you have multiple holes to drill, continue the process and make sure that you allow the drill to cool each time.

And that’s all there is to it. Congratulations, you’ve drilled through granite all by yourself! While it might take some practice to truly perfect the art and do it without feeling anxious, you should still feel proud of yourself for getting the job done.


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