Drilling Injection Holes for repairing Loose Tiles

Published by Shalex Industries on 24th Jan 2018

We are often contacted by customers using our Stickit Tile Repair Kit to say they have broken the drill bit supplied with the kit.

When we designed the Stickit Tile Repair Kit we had to decide about whether to include a suitable drill bit. The supplied drill is an expensive part of the kit but we felt inclusion of a quality bit is necessary to provide a total solution for repairing loose tiles. Some inferior repair products on the market don’t include a drill bit or injection needle – a small injection hole and method to create pressure is very important for success in repairing loose tiles. It’s not as simple a trying to pump some glue through a big fat caulking tube nozzle.

We designed our kit with the smallest possible injection hole to help disguise the injection points. The needle supplied with our kit has a 1.6mm outside diameter so ideally you need a hole just a little larger – hence our decision to run with a 2mm drill bit. This size is the ‘goldilocks zone’ not too big so that it will fit within most grout lines and not too small that it would be too fragile when drilling through masonry and tiles. The drill bits have been custom made for Shalex in the hardest material available – carbide with 10% cobalt. After much trial and error we found a specific angle on the point is also important for efficiency in drilling hard materials.

When drilling injection holes in your grout or through the tiles you need to treat our 2mm carbide bit with the same respect as a fine timber drill - with care! A steady medium speed with light pressure is the best way to drill holes, lift the drill regularly to clear the dust from the flutes and don't bend it, use hammer action or push too hard - let the drill do the work.

We do get customers reporting broken drill bits. As the drills are a fluted twist design the diameter of the shank through the drill is less than 1mm at the flutes. The bits are very hard and will not become blunt easily, but they can shear and snap if they hit something hard under the tile, are bent, if the flutes are not cleared of drill dust regularly, or too much pressure is applied during drilling.

If you break the 2mm bit supplied with the Stickit Tile Repair Kit you can substitute with a 2.5mm or 3mm twist drill. While these larger diameter sizes may be stronger the holes are a little larger making it more difficult to create a seal around the injection hole and the injection point is harder to disguise. You should still be able to seal a 3mm drill hole with the needle placed through the rubber plug supplied with the Stickit Tile Repair Kit.

Shalex can supply replacement drills at cost and you can order the replacement bits via the accessories section on our website at this link https://www.shalex.com.au/accessories-1/

Alternatively, you may find this type of drill locally but it’s unlikely you’ll find on the shelf in a typical hardware store – you would need to try a specialist industrial supplier or drill manufacturer.