Shower Shelf – Things to consider

JUNE 2022

Following on from the shower ledge, niche and nib wall blogs, let’s take a look at wall-mounted shower shelves. These have been around for a long time and continue to be popular. This blog highlights the key points around construction, size, location, hygiene and aesthetics for the most common wall-mounted shelves – those held in place with screws.

Brass shower shelfBlack shower shelf

Construction & Cost

With steel or wood framed walls, a wooden ‘noggin’ should be installed between two framing studs to ensure a solid, sturdy attachment for the shelf. If you’ve experienced loose, wobbly toilet roll holders or towel rails before, it’s because they weren’t screwed into a solid support.  This is why it’s so important to decide which shower shelf type (ledge, niche, nib wall or screw-in) you want before construction starts, so that wall framing can be set-up to accommodate the shelf of your choice.

If you’re undecided on the exact location of your wall-mounted shelf, ask the builder to install a few ‘noggins’ at different locations. ‘Noggins’ are framing ‘off-cuts’ and take less than five minutes to install, so there should be no additional cost. It’s better to have too many noggins than not enough! Plus, a friendly reminder – don’t forget to tell the builder where you want the toilet roll holder and towel rails – so they can put ‘noggins’ in for these.

For brick/block walls a ‘wall-plug’ should be inserted into the block first, giving a softer material for the screw thread to grip to, whilst also expanding slightly to form a secure anchor within the block.         

Wall Noggin

When it comes to cost, a wall-mounted shelf is definitely the cheaper option compared to a ledge, niche or nib wall, as it requires no extra framing.

Size is important

When it comes to size, don’t forget to think about all the items you and your partner use in the shower. You will be surprised how many items we all use, and the last thing you want, is things ending up stored on the floor!  

Quite often two shelves is the ideal set-up. I know some couples that have one shelf each – not a bad idea! It might cost more, but two shelves are still far cheaper than a built-in ledge, niche or nib wall, plus are far more aesthetic and enjoyable than having things scattered around the shower and on the floor.

shower shelfBlack shower shelf 

Location is important

Like any shower storage option, try to place it away from the water splash. This allows the loofah, shower-puff and face washer to dry between use, keeping them far more hygienic. If you’re building a larger, more open shower, the ideal location is an arms-length away from standing under the shower stream. Whereas when restricted to the typical corner 900 x 900 mm showers, it’s best to install higher up, away from the water splash – and the elbows!  

shower shelf locationtwo shower shelves

Hygiene is important

Certain items like facecloths, shower puffs, loofahs and body gloves should be hung to dry as quick as possible, for hygiene reasons. Rather than hanging them scattered around the shower on taps and shower frames, against the wall getting splashed with water every time someone uses the shower, the best option is a shelf that incorporates a place to hang these items. Dermatologists warn us about shower puffs for this exact reason – mould and bacteria breed in them!  

Suspended in air, away from the wall and the water splash, that’s exactly what T-air shower shelves are designed for. Two different models provide the most hygienic way to store not only shower-puffs, loofahs and facecloths, but also shavers and toothbrushes.

Most hygienic shower shelfmost functional stylish shower shelf

Aesthetics

All those showering items stored in one place makes for a far more aesthetically pleasing & enjoyable showering experience. If aesthetics is your priority, two uncluttered and stylised shelves can be far more pleasant to look at than one overcrowded shelf.  

With so many colour options available these days, if you want your taps and tiles to be the feature of your bathroom, try selecting a shelf colour that blends in with the walls. Vice versa, if you want the shelf to be a feature, choose a colour that pops or matches the shower frame.

White shower shelfCopper shower shelf

Decision time

Hopefully, this blog makes it easier for you to decide whether a wall-mounted shower shelf is the most suitable option for your new bathroom. I encourage you to compare it to the other options - ledge, niche, nib wall, and even the caddy before deciding.

Please remember the humble shower shelf can impact your personal hygiene, bathroom aesthetics, and the overall enjoyment of your daily hygiene routines.

One last thing – no matter what type of shower shelf you decide on, don’t forget to inform your builder of the detail at the early stages of planning your new bathroom. Otherwise you can end up like so many of us – with a  loose, wobbly shelf, or a niche that’s too small.

Note: As per all my blog posts, some of the photos are ‘real’ rather than ‘staged’, so please don’t get turned off if they don’t appeal to you. My focus is on solving real bathroom problems.

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