How-to-Make-a-Bigger-Hole-in-a-Porcelain-Sink

How to Make a Bigger Hole in a Porcelain Sink

You may be wondering how to make the whole wider in a porcelain sink without causing breakage. When it is whole, porcelain is a sturdy and durable material that has an extraordinary hardness.

This quality makes it a great building material for a sink. However, because of its density, porcelain is prone to fracturing when concentrated force is applied to any one area.

Drilling porcelain can cause it to crack if care is not taken. This issue can present a problem when you need to enlarge existing holes in your sink to accommodate drains, handles or faucet spout entry ways.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure your porcelain sink does not crack or break when making these holes larger.

3 Methods to Make a Bigger Hole in a Porcelain Sink

Method 1: Using a Diamond-Tipped Drill Bit

Materials Needed:

  • Chalk pencil
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Diamond-tipped drill bit
  • Cold water

Step 1:

With the chalk pencil, outline the boundary of your hole so you know exactly where to drill. Don your goggles and gloves. Take the smallest of your diamond-tipped drill bits and begin to drill as close to the center of the hole as possible.

Always move your drill bit in a steady clockwise motion. Use a light touch and do not force the drill bit downward toward the sink, as this could cause the porcelain to break.

Step 2:

Every 10 to 15 seconds, stop drilling and rinse off your drill bit with cold water. If you drill continuously, cracking is likely. The drill bit creates heat, which can disagree with the cold porcelain.

Much like a cold glass dish shatters when placed on a hot stove, your porcelain may crack with this subtle temperature difference. Continuous drilling can also encourage breakage by placing too much stress onto the porcelain. The cold water cleans off the bit and keeps everything at an even, cool temperature, which prevents chipping or fractures.

Step 3:

If necessary, gradually increase the size of your drill bits as the hole gets wider. Always be sure to let the drilling action do all the work.

Do not press downward, but be sure to guide your drill in a circular motion until you reach your chalk boundary line. When finished, rinse out your sink to clear debris. Wipe down the area around the hole to clear away any chalk residue.

Method 2: Using a Drill Bit with a Makeshift Water Spigot

Materials Needed:

  • Chalk pencil
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Diamond-tipped drill bit
  • Large empty bucket
  • Gallon jug of cold water
  • 1/8 inch nail
  • Outdoor work area, or an indoor location that can be covered with tarps

Step 1:

Move your sink and materials to an outdoor location, or cover indoor location with plastic tarps to prevent any spills or mess. After positioning your sink on a sturdy work area, place the large bucket under your sink where you will be drilling the hole. Put on your safety goggles and gloves in preparation for drilling.

Step 2:

Fill your gallon jug with cold water. The idea here is to create a makeshift spigot which will allow a thin stream of water to constantly stream over the hole where you'll be drilling.

The continuous flow of water over your drill bit will make your drilling go smoother and faster. The likelihood of the porcelain cracking will also be reduced.

To create this spigot, puncture the side of your gallon jug with the nail, but do not remove your nail until you're ready to drill. Place the jug in the sink near the hole you will be drilling with the nail facing the hole.

Step 3:

When you're ready to begin drilling, take the nail out of the jug and allow the small stream of water to cascade over your drill site. The water should flow continuously over your drill bit as you drill in a gentle, clockwise fashion. Be careful to only drill for 10-15 seconds at a time. Do not exert any downward pressure on the drill.

Note: If you prefer to not use the nail and jug method, ask someone to stand nearby and steadily pour water near your drill site as you work. Your work partner should be careful to not pour too fast or to large a stream.

The process works perfect with just enough water to keep the drill bit wet. Too much water can obscure your vision and create unnecessary splashing.

Step 4:

When you are finished drilling, empty the bucket beneath your sink and clean up any spills or splashing that may have occurred. Dry out your sink and clear out all debris.

Method 3: Using a Diamond-Tipped Hole Saw with Pilot Hole

Materials Needed:

  • Chalk pencil
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Diamond-tipped hole saw the exact size of the hole you want to drill
  • A piece of plywood slightly larger than your desired sink hole
  • Water

Step 1:

Use chalk to draw the outline of the hole in your sink. At a workstation separate from your sink, take the piece of plywood and measure and trace the hole size you wish to drill into the porcelain sink.

Step 2:

Put on your safety goggles and gloves. Using the diamond-tipped hole saw, drill this hole into the plywood. This will be your "pilot hole," meaning your guide.

Step 3:

Position the drilled plywood over the outlined sink hole. Pour a little water into the plywood hole. Doing so will keep the area wet for when you drill through the sink. The idea is to keep the porcelain and your hole saw wet for easier and safer drilling.

Step 4:

Place your hole saw into the plywood hole, lining it up with the chalk outline on the sink. Make sure your drill is perpendicular to the porcelain surface and not angled. Drill through the porcelain. Be careful to never press onto the drill.

Note: The advantage of a hole saw is that you can drill a large hole into your sink with one motion. However, because the saw is larger and more forceful than a smaller drill bit, cracking is more likely with this tool.

Great care must be taken to be gentle as you drill. If you do not wish to use the plywood pilot hole, place masking tape over the porcelain before drilling. The tape will give your hole saw better traction on the smooth porcelain.

Conclusion

Making a hole wider in a porcelain sink can be tricky, but with patience and care it can be achieved. The key to success is understanding the materials you are working with and how perfect to work with them.

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