Granite is a rock used in numerous building applications, including countertops and concrete creation. It is popular because of its strength, availability in multiple colors, and hardness. The rock’s long cooling time during its solidification is responsible for the hardness of the stone.
You can drill into granite countertops, but only with a diamond core bit. You can’t use the standard drill bits made of metal or wood to drill into granite because granite is too strong to yield to them. If you use a standard drill bit, you risk damaging your electric drill machine or ruining the bit.
Trying to drill through granite can be confusing, especially if you do not have the right tools and experience. However, this article will guide you on the proper steps to drill through granite.
How to Safely Drill Through a Granite Surface
Here is the process you will need to follow to drill through granite:
- Assemble the necessary tools and materials
- Determine the size of the hole you need to drill
- Mark out your work area
- Protect the granite surface
- Start drilling
Before you start any of these processes, you must perform all the usual safety checks to ensure your own safety and the safety of any persons working in the vicinity.
A safety check can also help you avoid causing damage to the work site.
You should always use the appropriate personal safety equipment when operating a drill.
These include specialized gear to protect your hands, eyes, ears, and legs.
Once equipped with your gear, you are all set to begin drilling.
Let’s take a closer look at each step you’ll need to execute to drill into a piece of concrete safely.
1. Assemble the Necessary Tools and Materials
The most crucial step in granite drilling is selecting the appropriate tool.
If you already have a good drill, you are almost good to go.
The only additional piece of specialized equipment you will need is a diamond drill bit.
Conventional wood and metal drill bits do not work on granite because the granite surface is too hard for them to penetrate.
This is what allows you to cut through granite with a diamond drill bit.
However, note that the specific diamond drill bit you purchase is important, as some diamond bits come in mixtures, which reduce their potency and will not have the strength necessary to drill through granite.
If you’re unsure what to use, I highly recommend the DKIBBITH Dry Diamond Drill Bits (Set of 5) from Amazon.com.
These bits come with wax lubrication embedded. As you drill, the lubricant will melt, making it easier for the bits to penetrate even the hardest of surfaces.
2. Determine the Size of the Hole You Need to Drill
Ideally, you should have planned for this before starting the drilling process, as this step will directly affect the size of the diamond drill bit you will need to purchase.
If you’ve not done so, this is the stage to determine the size of the hole you need to drill.
In most cases, your purpose of drilling the hole will be the most influential factor in determining the size.
Most, if not all, diamond drill bits come in different sizes to satisfy diverse requirements.
So, you should easily find a suitable drill bit or something close to your projected drill size.
3. Mark Out Your Work Area
You also need to know the exact spots and the precise area of the concrete surface you will be drilling into before you start.
Once again, these will depend on the precise purpose you are drilling the holes for.
If you are only drilling one or two tiny holes, you can use a marker to indicate these points.
For a series of holes that need to be laid out in a precise pattern, a systematic overlay or template is a better bet.
Watch how Joseph Stevenson used a template to mark accurate points for his drill project in this YouTube video:
At this stage, you will also want to fix a barricade around your work area. This is vital for the safety of anyone in the vicinity, especially little kids or pets.
4. Protect the Granite Surface
Granite comprises quartz and feldspar, both of which are primarily made of potassium and sodium.
These minerals combine to give it a lot of strength. However, as you drill into it, the granite surface can weaken and even shatter.
To avoid damaging your granite as you work, place another stone directly under the piece of granite you will be drilling into.
The stone does not need to have the strength of granite.
Instead, it serves two purposes:
- It protects the granite from shards of granite that can be sprayed around as you drill.
- It lets you know when you have drilled through the granite all the way.
5. Start Drilling
Before you start drilling, you need to set up your drill correctly.
You can check out this video to learn how to fit the diamond core drill bit appropriately:
Once you have your drill set up, there are two methods you can use to drill.
- Dry method. This method involves drilling without adding water to the surface. The friction with this method is high. As a result, your diamond bits may get damaged, and you will not get a clean job.
- The wet method. This method will take more time, but you will get a cleaner finish because of the water added to the surface.
Finally, thoroughly clean up your work area when you are done working and safely store away all your tools.
If you don’t have a granite countertop but rather a quartz one please check this guide.
Drilling through granite may be a complex task.
But with the right drill, correct bit, and by following the steps described above, you will get through it.
Always protect yourself and every other living creature before, during, and after you have drilled the granite.
Cheers, tools owners!