Published on realestate.com.au here
Need a simple storage solution in your shower? Sick of your shower buddy taking up all the shelving space? Not to worry – with a little DIY you can create extra space for all your showering essentials.
Most of us start to freak out when drilling into tiles or ceramics, but you can do it with ease by following a few steps. Before we dive into it, you’re going to need some tools.
Get those DIY tools at the ready, you’ll need ’em.
The most important tool is your ‘diamond drill bit’. This bit will drill into your tiles and will either make or break the task. I recommend a good 6.5mm diamond drill bit; the rule of thumb here is that you get what you pay for. Cheap drill bits can burn out quickly (get blunt) and do more harm than good. My advice is to pick middle of the range or up. Once you have that, all you need is a drill, hammer, pencil and a level.
Step 1. Pick a shelf that suits your bathroom
The shelf’s material will determine where it is best suited. For example, glass shelving works great in wet areas and is easy to keep clean but can be fragile and easily broken if you’re not careful. Timber shelves look great but can rot and easily mark, as is the case with most natural materials. Glass shelving would be my recommendation for any wet areas in your home.
Tip: Check that your fittings match throughout your bathroom, i.e. the finish of your tapware and shelving should be the same, so chrome to chrome, brass to brass etc.
Simon (L) and Shannon (R) determine the shelf that best suits the bathroom space they’re working with.
Step 2. Pick the most practical place for your storage shelf
Test out your space as if the shelf is in position:
- Open and close shower doors (if any).
- Stand in your usual position in the shower and see how you reach for items. It’s a good idea to do this with your partner; if they’re taller/shorter they may find the shelf difficult to reach.
- How is the overall function of the shelf? For example, when you reach for the soap on the shelf, does your bum turn the shower off?
Step 3. Unpack the shelf & contents
In order to see what fixtures you’re working with, unpack the shelf and its contents and read the instructions very closely (legally I had to say this!).
Every brand will have a different way to fix the shelf to the wall; 99% of the time this will be with screws and raw wall plugs. Become familiar with the instructions and make sure nothing is out of the ordinary.
Be sure to carefully and mindfully drill holes into your tiles or ceramics.
Step 4. Carefully drill your holes
Determine where you want your shelf to sit, place it there and mark the tiles where the fixing holes will be. Carefully and patiently drill the holes into the tiles keeping in mind that tiles are fragile and sometimes brittle so don’t push too hard. The pressure will be hard enough to get through the outer shell of the tile without forcefully pushing through. You can achieve this by starting at a low speed and then slowly increasing it with pressure when necessary. Again, make sure you take your time.
Step 5. Consistently follow the instructions
Be sure to not throw away the instructions in the thought that they’re too difficult or you can figure it out! Over the years I could’ve saved myself a lot of heartache if I’d just followed the damn instructions.
Every brand has a specific and different method to install their hardware. As a result it can take a few references back and forth to the instructions to ensure your project is achieved with accuracy.
A practical bathroom with plenty of storage certainly makes for a well-kept home, so good luck!
A bathroom shelf will no doubt be a useful tool in your shower.