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Stud-mount lettering on Exterior Wall Tile

Discussion in 'Installation Equipment & Techniques' started by fresh, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

    May 16, 2011
    I'm quoting some stud mount lettering on exterior wall tiles. The building is new construction and I'm not 100% certain what, exactly, the tiles are made of because its not complete yet. The client said they are porcelain tiles, but it could be anything.

    Is this going to be a typical install or should I budget more time into my quote. Also, what kind of drill bit should I use?

    Thanks for your feedback.
  2. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

    Feb 27, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    Porcelain & ceramic suck to drill. I would recommend tape-mounting them if that's feasible.

    If you wind up drilling, you'll want a diamond core bit. Milwaukee's are decent and are available at Home Depot. Sometimes I use the diamond core bit to get through the glazing then use a glass & tile bit to get through the rest. Keep the bits cool with water.
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  3. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    Sep 28, 2017
    I haven't had much trouble with a sds masonry bit and a hammer drill set to turn only. Yes quote extra though. Unless it is the worlds coolest contractor in the world, he's gonna lose his shirt on you if you crack any of them...
    I had a job doing the same thing but with 'fabricated stone' or something like that. It was fake rock that chipped easily but drilled very nicely after you had a hole started. In any case, we got with the contractor and asked for a scrap of the material and did some thorough test drilling in the shop before install.
  4. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    and be sure to tell them the wall will look nasty if the letters are removed
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  5. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Premium Subscriber

    As Moze said, use a diamond core bit and you won't crack the tile. Porcelain is hard so it may take awhile. I usually bring a spray bottle with water to keep the bit cool. Once your through the porcelain you can switch to the appropriate bit depending on what is behind it. My guess is concrete but it could be hardie board.
  6. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

    Dec 12, 2013
    Absolutely 100% diamond bit. It's way easier if you have someone with you to keep your bit cool by spraying a stream of water on it. Definitely switch to another (appropriate) bit once you're through if you can. I would also recommend practicing a couple times on some tile so you can get the hang of it before you do the real thing. You don't want to skate a diamond bit across some fancy tile.
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