How to Drill Through Granite

Granite counters and flooring are popular among homebuilders and homeowners because of the material’s attractiveness and durability. Granite comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes and, despite being somewhat more expensive than most alternatives, it continues to be among the most popular materials in high-end building and remodeling projects. Because of its hardness and relative brittleness, however, granite can be a tricky material to work with: You need special saws to cut granite tiles and industrial-level saws to cut counter-thickness pieces. It also takes special care and tools to drill through granite. The wrong method or drill will likely result in either ruined drill bits or cracked granite. With the right tools and techniques, however, homeowners and do-it-yourselfers can drill through granite like a pro.


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    Make certain you really, really, really need to drill a hole where you’re thinking about drilling one. Consider other alternatives before you start putting holes in your granite, especially when you’re working with something as expensive as a granite countertop.
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    Determine the ideal hole size your application requires.
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    Mark the area where you plan to drill. For small diameter holes, you can use a small dot. For larger diameter holes, use a template or draw a precise circle that corresponds exactly with the diameter of the hole you’re drilling.
    • If you’re concerned that the drill bit will wander, you can clamp a piece of scrap wood with the appropriate sized guide hole over your drilling target.
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    Clamp a piece of stone scrap underneath the area where you will be drilling to prevent chipping on the underside of the granite. For maximum safety and effectiveness, place a clamp on either side of the hole you’re drilling.
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    Install the desired size diamond drill bit into a high-speed drill or angle grinder with a drill bit adapter.
    • Make sure the drill bit is specifically designed for drilling through granite and that it can handle the depth of drilling your application requires.
    • Diamond core drill bits have a good reputation for drilling through granite with ease; a good one should be able to get through a ¾-inch (1.9 cm) slab in less than a minute.
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    Begin drilling at a steady speed.
    • Some drill bit manufacturers recommend using water to cool and lubricate the drill bit while drilling. Others say you won’t need to do that for their bits. Either way, water will serve to reduce the amount of granite dust in the air.
    • If you use water, form a dam around the drilling area using plumbers putty.
    • If you don’t use water, you can have someone use a shop vac to vacuum the granite dust as you drill.
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    Drill until you’ve gone through the granite target and hit the underlying scrap stone.
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    Cool the drill bit with water in between holes when drilling multiple holes.


  • Always wear safety goggles when using a power drill. This caution is especially important when working with high-speed drills and hard materials like granite or marble.

Things You’ll Need

  • High-speed drill or angle grinder
  • Granite drill bit
  • Clamps
  • Scrap stone
  • Scrap wood (if wanted for a drill guide)
  • Water (if recommended or desired)
  • Plumbers putty (if using water)

Article Info

Categories: Home Improvements and Repairs