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How to Drill a Hole in Granite?

Granite is a material of choice for home interiors due to its durability and aesthetic.

If you are looking for a hard and dense material for your interior but also do not want to compromise on the aesthetic, you should opt for granite. It is available in a wide range of colors and has numerous intricate patterns that will add a visual charm to any space they are added to.

And while granite has a lot to offer for your interior, it can be a real challenge to drill a hole in granite without damaging it. However, with the right knowledge and tools, you can easily drill a hole in granite.

How to drill a hole in granite? For drilling a hole in granite use a diamond core drill bit with a power drill. For dry coring drill through the stone without using water. For wet coring make a pool of water around the area and drill. For drilling big holes use a granite hole-saw.

Although granite is a really tough material, it tends to be brittle which is why you can end up with cracks when you drill a hole in granite. With material as expensive as granite you do not want to take this risk.

Over the years I have learned some tips and tricks to drill a hole in granite. I have summed up all the information you need to drill granite without a hassle in this article.

What is Granite?

drill a hole in granite

Granite is a coarse-grained igneous rock rich in quartz and feldspar. It is formed by the slow crystallization of magma below the Earth’s surface. Granite is a widely available rock on the Earth’s surface.

Granite is hard enough to resist abrasion, strong enough to bear significant weight, inert enough to resist weathering, and it accepts a brilliant polish. These characteristics make it a very desirable and useful dimension stone.

It is used in countertops, floor tiles, paving stone, curbing, stair treads, building veneer, and cemetery monuments. If you are in an urban environment and you look around, you will find granite in one form or another.

And since granite is used so widely, at one point or another you will need to drill a hole in granite. Even if you don’t need it to drill a hole in granite at the moment, it will actually prove to be one valuable skill to learn for your future DIY or home improvement projects.

Read on, to get a detailed step by step guide to drill a hole in granite.

Steps to Drill a Hole in Granite:

drill a hole in granite

1. Choose a drilling method:

There are two methods commonly used to drill a hole in granite:

Dry Coring:

Some manufacturers have drill bits that can be used for dry coring granite. In dry coring, you drill a hole in granite without using water. Dry coring takes less time but at the same time, there is a risk involved of damaging the granite or the tools.

Wet Coring:

In wet coring you use water to keep down the temperature of the tools and granite. Although it takes much longer than dry coring, wet coring is the preferred method of drilling into granite. I personally recommend wet coring as the dust formed during the drilling process also gets controlled with water.

Now depending on whether saving time or getting a nice end result is your choice, you can choose one of these drilling methods for your project.

2. Gather your tools :

Now that you have decided on a drilling method, you need to make sure that all the tools you need are at hand. You will need the following tools to drill a hole in granite:

Power Drill: The first and foremost tool you will need to drill a hole in granite is a power drill. If you do not already have one you can select one from this list of best cordless drills for home use that I previously shared. A cordless drill is one handy tool to have and surely a purchase you will never regret.

Diamond Core Drill Bits: For a material as dense as granite, ordinary masonry bits cannot do the job. If you want to drill a hole in granite without a hassle, you need to invest in a good set of diamond core drill bits (Check on Amazon). If you have opted to use the dry coring method, you will need specialized dry coring drill bits (Check on Amazon).

Safety Equipment: Just like any drilling job, you need to use proper safety equipment such as safety goggles, dust masks, and gloves.

Duct Tape: Duct tape is the most cost effective option to ensure that you do not end up with cracks , when you try to drill a hole in granite.

Water: It is always advisable to have water at hand to both lubricate and cool down your drill bits when drilling dense materials.

Vacuum: A vacuum helps one deal with the dust produced during the drilling process. If you are using the dry coring technique you will specially need a vacuum.

Granite Scrap: If you need both ends of the hole to have a smoot finish you can use a scrap piece of granite underneath the slab for this purpose.

Clamp: When using a scrap piece you need to clamp it properly to the slab before you drill.

Diamond polishing pads: IF you need to have a polished surface for your hole, you will need diamond polishing pads.

3. Take safety precautions:

Now that you have gathered all your tools its time to take the necessary safety precautions. Wear your safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from any flying scraps during the process. Wear a dust mask to prevent the dust produced during the process to irritate your respiratory system.

4. Drill a Hole in Granite:

Now comes the actual process of drilling a hole in granite.

  1. Measure and mark the location and size of the hole.
  2. Now cover the point with duct tape to ensure that granite does not crack when the drill hits it.
  3. Clamp the scrap piece underneath the slab firmly. It is better to use a clamp on each side of the required hole.
  4. If dry coring install your dry coring drill bit. If wet coring install your diamond core drill bit. Make sure the size of the drill bit matches with the size of the required hole.
  5. Now start drilling the granite at an angle and then straighten it.
  6. Apply some pressure but not too much and allow the drill to do its job.
  7. If dry coring, have someone vacuum the dust while you drill. If wet coring have someone spray water so as to lubricate as well as settle down any dust produced.
  8. Once you hit the scrap stone underneath stop drilling. Remove the scrap piece.
  9. Now that you have finished drilling you can polish the hole using a diamond polishing pad.

How to Drill a Hole in Granite Countertop?

drill a hole in granite

If you have an already installed countertop and want to install a new faucet or fixture you will need to drill a hole in granite countertop. Although the tools and techniques given above can help you drill a hole in granite in any of its forms, there are some additional tips to consider when drilling a granite countertop.

As granite countertops are quite expensive you do not want to take any risks while drilling into them. The following tips will further help you in safely drilling a hole in your granite countertop.

  1. While selecting a location for your hole make sure that it is not too close to the wall or the edge of the countertop to avoid cracking it while drilling.
  2. Instead of water use cutting oil to lubricate the drill bit.
  3. Do not push too hard and let the drill do its job. With big slabs like a countertop you need to be extra careful.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is granite hard to drill?

With the rights tools and techniques drilling into granite is not very complicated. However, drilling into granite can be quite time consuming as it is a very tough material.

Can you screw into granite?

Yes, you can screw into granite by first drilling a pilot hole into it. The pilot hole should be slightly smaller than the size of the screw you want to use.

What type of drill bit for granite?

You should use a carbide tipped masonry drill bit or diamond core bit for drilling into granite. Any other type of drill bit simply won’t work on granite.

Can I use a hammer drill on granite?

It depends on the type of granite you want to drill. For thin granite slabs it is better to use a normal drill as using a hammer drill can result in cracks in the material. For drilling thick granite stone hammer drill proves to be a better option.