How to Install a Corner Shower Shelf

Updated: Jun. 04, 2019

Pick up a shelf unit and glue it up in 20 minutes

FH11JUN_SHOSHE_02-2Family Handyman
Glue up a ceramic corner shelf in your ceramic tile shower in about 20 minutes. It's easy and quick.

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Install a shower shelf

Photo 1: Tape, shim and caulk

Add extra layers of foam tape to compensate for an ‘out-of-square’ corner. Then lay a thick bead of caulk around the entire perimeter.

Photo 2: Double-check before you stick

Make final adjustments before driving it home-you only get one shot at placement. Once the foam tape touches the wall, you’re done.

On new tile walls, the correct way to install a ceramic corner shelf is to set it directly into the thin-set mortar during tile installation. But you can add a corner shelf (or another soap dish) on existing tile.

Stop by a tile shop and pick up a “flat-back” corner shelf unit (about $20). Then buy soap scum remover, double-face foam tape and a tube of white silicone caulk. Clean off all the soap scum or the bond might fail.

Apply a strip of foam tape on each mounting flange, stopping 1 in. short of the ends. Test-fit the shelf before you remove the wax liner paper from the tape. Shim any gaps with additional layers of foam tape. Once the shelf fits squarely into the corner, apply the silicone caulk (Photo 1).

Locate a spot in the middle of a row of tiles (no horizontal grout lines running through the caulk). Then remove the liner, square up the shelf and press it against the tile (Photo 2). Once the tape grabs, let go, wipe off the excess caulk and then tool the joint with a damp fingertip. If you blow the placement, you’ll have to muscle off the shelf, completely clean off the back and reapply fresh tape, so be careful.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Caulk gun

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Ceramic corner shelf
  • Double-face foam tape
  • Silicone caulk
  • Soap scum remover