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Old 01-10-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


This seemed like the right area to post my question... My bathroom has a tiled shower stall with a lack of storage: no shelves or surfaces to put stuff on. I'd like to add some permanent shelving in (ie, not those tension-bar setups) and the first thing that came to mind was basic porcelain shelves like these.

I've never done this type of work before and in researching it, it seems like a lot of people suggest adding shelves as you're tiling the shower. Given that that's not an option since the stall's already tiled, is it possible or recommended to install a porcelain shelf onto an already-tiled wall? Or maybe there's some other type of permanent shelving that would work with tiles?

I'm not sure how to approach this and would definitely appreciate a nudge in the right direction!

Thanks very much,
m19


Last edited by Morgan190; 01-10-2012 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


Angle grinder, diamond wheel and a steady hand.

Don't let it plunge too deep to take out your membrane, this is the tricky part in the corner and corners of the piece you are taking out (just go deep enough in the corner to score the tile and finish with a dremel or something of the sorts).

Cut to the size you need for the mounting portion of the shelf, remove tile piece. Thinset shelf on, tape to hold in place while dries. Grout. Done.

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Old 01-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


I've seen those attached over the existing tile with adhesive caulking (covering all mating surfaces). When I demo'd the 2 showers in my old house, that is how all the shelves were attached. It took almost all 200 lbs of me to peel them off the tile they were adhered to...
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:51 AM   #4
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I have to admit to 99% of that being way over my head, and (from the sound of things) a lot more effort than I was looking to put into this! I appreciate the advice, but I appreciate the time you took to reply.

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That, on the other hand, sounds perfect, and exactly what I was hoping to hear.

m19
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


I was at a tile shop the other day and they had shelves very similar to those, but they slipped over metal brackets. Designed specifically to be installed after the tile job is complete.

To secure the brackets you marked where you needed the holes and then used a diamond bit to drill the holes. Once installed I think you used some sort of a mortar or adhesive to secure the tile onto the bracket, and caulked around it.

It seemed like it would as strong, or stronger, then a typical one that is stuck in place like any other tile.

PS I've never seen them at Home Depot or Lowes, so you might need to go to a shop that specializes in tile.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:38 PM   #6
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


You know .... GLUE, and caulk or mortar, does wonders nowadays. KISS is always the best, esp for non-pros, and remarkably easier, cheaper, and effective. Pick a good glue and attach them. Unless you intend to sit on them, they will serve you well all your time in that house
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:11 AM   #7
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


It took me a while, but this past weekend I finally picked up the shelves, Loctite caulk, and mounting tape per directions like here and here.

I thoroughly cleaned the tile walls and let them dry over the weekend, installed them on Sunday (foam tape, then the caulk, stuck to the wall, duct-taped up to hold them in place while everything cured), and a few days later they've failed miserably... Of the three shelves, one is already pulling away from the wall from the weight of a single bottle of half-empty spray cleaner I've sat on it as a test, and another is starting to droop without anything on it at all. I need to pull them down and start over.

So what went wrong? Was I supposed to use a different type of caulking? I figured "adhesive caulk" specifically for bathrooms was good, but maybe not. Was the foam tape not strong enough and I should've used a certain type of glue instead? And what's the best way to cleanly remove all the caulking to start over? I'll need to try again, so am open to any suggestions.

m19

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Old 08-01-2013, 06:06 AM   #8
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


You should have used silicone caulk---and much less of the double faced tape---

I've been installing flat back dishes with silicone caulk for many years---never had a failure----
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:36 AM   #9
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


Thanks for the reply. I only used a single strip of tape down the center of the shelf's back... Not sure how I could've used any less.

GE Silicone II seems to be considered one of the best types, so I'll give that a shot. But how about some sort of glue to hold it in place (vs. the tape) where the silicone won't be covering?

Thanks,
m19

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Old 08-01-2013, 08:08 AM   #10
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


First off, what kind of shelf's do you want in there? You can have a glass shop make up some tempered glass ones that can be mounted, or you could just go with some extruded plastic if you do not want to go through the hassle of cutting out tile.

Problem with cutting into pre-existing tile work, is that if you have a membrane under it, you cut through it, you are SOL and have to remove more tile to replace the section you cut out, or have to take enough tile away that you can place the membrane or Kerdi overlapping the existing, when you go to build the in-wall shelf.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:11 AM   #11
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


^ Take a look at the last couple posts. I've already got the shelves picked out and attempted to install once; now I'm trying to fix what didn't work.

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Old 08-01-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


I tape them for a day or so until I'm sure the silicone is set---then do a final,neat silicone bead on the exposed junction---
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:50 PM   #13
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


As well as looking in the caulking section, look at the adhesives and glues.
I don't remember the brand, but I used an outdoor rated silicone adhesive to stick a towel bar in my tiled shower three years ago and it is still holding strong.

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Old 08-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #14
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As well as looking in the caulking section, look at the adhesives and glues.
I was actually just reading up on other how-to articles and found mention of silicone caulk vs. adhesive as well. Not knowing the difference between the two off-hand, would it be that the adhesive goes on the faces of the shelf/wall, and then the caulk is beaded around the edges afterwards?
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:38 AM   #15
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Adding shelves to an already-tiled shower stall?


I would use a silicone adhesive to attach the shelf to the wall. Then caulk along the edges afterwards. The caulk you use to seal the edges can be silicone or latex, whichever you prefer.

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