How to Build Shower Shelf

Are you tired of seeing your shampoo bottles balancing precariously in the corner of your shower? Have you ever found yourself wishing for a better way to keep them organized and within easy reach? If so, it’s time to build yourself a new shower shelf!

How to Build Shower Shelf

With the right tools and some patience, installing a durable storage shelf can make life easier—and even more enjoyable—in the bathroom. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry; this guide will show you all that is needed now on how to build shower shelf.

Tools and Materials You Will Need to Build Shower Shelf

  1. Measuring tape
  2. Level
  3. Dril
  4. Screwdriver
  5. Tile saw or cutter (if installed on tiled walls)
  6. Pencil
  7. Safety glasses

Step-by-Step Guidelines on How to Build Shower Shelf

Step 1: Measure and Plan

Start by measuring the area in your shower where you want to install the shelf. Consider the height, width, and depth of the shelf you want to build. Keep in mind any obstructions like shower fixtures or tiles.

Step 2: Prepare the Wall:

If necessary, remove any existing tiles or shower wall materials from the designated area. Ensure that the wall is clean, dry, and free of any debris. If using a shower board, measure and cut it to the desired dimensions for the shelf. Use a utility knife or a saw with a fine-tooth blade to make the cuts.

Use a Utility Knife

Step 3: Apply Waterproofing:

Apply a layer of waterproofing membrane or use paint-on waterproofing to seal the shower board or the entire area where the shelf will be installed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and drying time.

Step 4: Install the Shelf Surface

If using tile, apply tile adhesive to the back of each tile or tile panel and press them firmly onto the shower board or directly onto the waterproofed wall. Use tile spacers to ensure even spacing between tiles. If using shower board panels, attach them securely to the shower board using construction adhesive.

Step 5: Grout the Tiles

Once the adhesive has cured, remove the tile spacers (if used) and apply grout between the tiles. Use a grout float to spread the grout evenly and remove any excess. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for grout curing time.

Step 6: Clean and Seal

After the grout has dried, clean the tiles with a damp sponge to remove any grout residue. Once the tiles are dry, apply a tile sealer to protect the grout and tiles from moisture and staining. Check for any loose tiles or gaps in the grout and make any necessary repairs. Install any additional features such as corner shelves or trim pieces if desired.

By following these step-by-step guidelines, you can build a functional and attractive shower shelf that adds convenience and storage space to your bathroom.

Clean the Tiles With a Damp Sponge

Additional Tips and Tricks to Build Shower Shelf

Building a shower shelf can be a fun and rewarding project. Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you create a sturdy and functional shelf:

  1. Consider the height and accessibility of the shelf. Ensure it is conveniently placed within reach while showering.
  2. Use a waterproof adhesive and grout to prevent water damage. Apply a waterproof membrane or sealer to the backer board before tiling.
  3. Lay out the tiles on your shelf before applying adhesive to ensure a proper fit. This will help you avoid any awkward cuts or misalignments.
  4. Tile spacers ensure even spacing between tiles and create a professional-looking finished product. They are easily removable once the adhesive is dry.
  5. After applying grout, use a grout float or sponge to smooth out the lines and remove any excess grout. This will give your shelf a clean and polished appearance.
  6. Apply silicone caulk around the edges of the shelf to provide additional waterproofing and prevent water from seeping behind the tiles.
  7. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times of the adhesive, grout, and caulk. Rushing this step can compromise the integrity of your shelf.
  8. Before loading the shelf with heavy items, make sure it can support the weight. Gently push on the shelf to ensure it is securely anchored and can hold your desired items.

Remember to take your time, measure carefully, and follow proper safety precautions. Enjoy the process and admire your newly built shower shelf!

Precautions Need to Follow for Making Build Shower Shelf

Use a Grout Float

When building a shower shelf, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and successful project. Here are some precautions to follow:

1. Wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, when handling tools, cutting materials, or working with adhesives.

2. Use materials that are specifically designed for wet areas, such as waterproof construction adhesive, silicone caulk, and grout suitable for showers. This will help prevent water damage and mold growth.

3. Consider the weight of the items you plan to store on the shelf. Ensure that the materials used and the installation method can support the weight without sagging or falling.

4. Take into account the type of wall you’re installing the shelf on (e.g., drywall, tile, or concrete). Use appropriate anchors, screws, or adhesives that are suitable for the specific wall type to ensure a secure installation.

5. Use a level to ensure that your shelf is straight and properly aligned. A crooked or uneven shelf can be visually unappealing and may not function as intended.

6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying adhesive, whether it’s thin-set mortar or construction adhesive. Apply it evenly and make sure it fully covers the back of the shelf or the wall for proper bonding.

7. Allow the adhesive, grout, and caulk to dry completely before using the shelf or exposing it to water. Rushing this step can compromise the integrity of the installation.

8. Consider sealing the grout and edges of the shelf with a suitable sealer. This will help protect against staining and moisture penetration.

Remember, if you’re unsure about any aspect of the project or if you encounter any difficulties, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional or seek expert advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Should I Place My Shower Shelf?

The placement of your shower shelf depends on personal preference and convenience. You should choose a location that is easily accessible but doesn’t interfere with your movement in the shower. It’s also important to consider water splashing and ensure the shelf is away from direct contact with water.

How Do I Measure and Mark the Area for the Shower Shelf?

Use a measuring tape to measure the desired height, width, and depth of the shelf. Mark the measurements on the shower wall using a level to ensure straight lines.

Use a Measuring Tape

Can I Use Regular Adhesive and Grout for a Shower Shelf?

No, regular adhesive and grout are not suitable for wet areas like showers. You need to use adhesive and grout specifically designed for wet environments. Choose products that are waterproof and mold-resistant.

How Long Does It Take for the Adhesive to Dry?

The drying time for the adhesive depends on the specific product you’re using. It typically takes 24 to 48 hours for the adhesive to dry completely. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended drying time.

Do I Need to Seal the Grout?

Sealing the grout is optional, but it is recommended for added protection against stains and moisture. You can use a grout sealer to seal the grout lines after they have cured. Follow the instructions on the sealer for application and drying times.

How Do I Clean and Maintain a Shower Shelf?

To clean the shower shelf, use a mild detergent or non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the shelf surface. Regularly inspect the shelf for any signs of damage or wear and make necessary repairs or replacements as needed.


In this blog post, we discussed the importance of having a sturdy shower shelf in any bathroom and outlined how to create one for yourself. We started by discussing the materials needed to build the shelf such as wood glue, masonry screws, and drywall anchors before showing how to correctly place screws into drywall.

Next, we noted the steps needed for assembling the shelves: cutting out pieces of timber and gluing them together then securing them with masonry screws.

Finally, we detailed that it’s important to go slow and be patient when making sure your measurements are accurate. Overall, creating a shower shelf is time-consuming but very important for storage purposes!

Put all these tips into practice and you’ll be on your way to successfully creating a waterproof shower shelf! Don’t let those cosmetics gather at the base of your bathtub anymore – follow our guide on How to Build Shower Shelf and start reaping the benefits today.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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