How to install a ceramic shower shelf

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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How to install a ceramic shower shelf
A tile shelf can be useful in the shower. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Many ceramic tile styles have a list of accessory tiles that can be added to your tiling project. One favourite that is commonly available is a corner tile shelf that can be added to a tub surround or a shower stall. You may have several size and design choices. Make your selection early, since such accessories often need lead time to be ordered in the colour you want from the manufacturer. Installing the shelves is easy.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Tile shelf
  • Thinset mortar
  • V-notch trowel
  • Wet sponge
  • Rag
  • Tape
  • Grout

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  1. 1

    Fit the corner shelf into the tile pattern, when the field tile of the shower is being installed. Cut around where the shelf will mount. Do not apply mortar to the spot where the shelf will mount until after all of the field tile is in place.

  2. 2

    Apply thinset to the open area of substrate, using a V-notch trowel. Back butter the back of the shelf tile with a thin coat of thinset. Press the shelf into place among the field tiles until it is level and even with the rest of the tiles.

  3. 3

    Wipe all excess thinset off the shelf with a damp sponge and dry completely with a rag.

  4. 4

    Stretch painter's tape over the shelf, pressing the shelf toward the wall and holding the shelf to the field tile. It is a good idea for the field tile mortar to be somewhat hardened when you attach the shelves. Keep the tape on the shelf for 24 hours.

  5. 5

    Grout around the shelf when you grout the shower.

Tips and warnings

  • There are retrofit shelf kits that can be used to install shelves in already completed showers.

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