soap dish ON tile or set IN tile?

robin11034August 26, 2012

Greetings again!

I'm playing catch up with an ongoing shower re-tiling.

My first mistake was, because of a huge time constraint, not spending my normal amount of research time before even beginning.

My second mistake was hiring a fella who was a "handy man" and not an official tile guy.

My third mistake was going out of town on a scheduled trip to take dd#2 to college.

I came home hoping that the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach was unwarranted. Nope, it wasn't. I'm not a tile person and even *I* could see things that should have been done differently.

I chose Bucak Light Walnut (many questions will follow). The people I bought the tile from said the soap dishes should go ON the tile not set INTO the tile. I told the handyman that. I came home to find the soap dishes were set into the tile.

Now I am doing the research I SHOULD have set time aside for. On this VERY list, I read in the FAQ that soap dishes should be set on the tile to prevent water from getting behind them and creating water damage.

How big a problem is this going to be? They aren't directly in the line of the shower water, but water splashed off bodies will definitely hit them.

Any words of ... consolation? as in "not really a problem, that's old school" or should I make him rip them out and do it the other way? He has not grouted yet.

Thanks for any info!


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What kind of soap dishes? Do you have a pic?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Here is a pic of one of the soap dishes. Hope this works.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 11:01AM
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No, that's done properly IF the proper waterproofing is in place behind the tile. How did your tiler construct the shower so as to be waterproof? Did he use a vapor barrier behind the cement board or did he paint on a topical waterproofer onto the cement board?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Robin, as far as installation of the corner shelf is concerned, your guy did it right. Whoever told you it should be installed on the face of the tile, doesn't have clue one of what they're talking about.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:01PM
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Why would more water get behind that once it's grouted than any other tile? Because it runs horizontally? But it has the slope in the back so water won't pool at the back on any grout lines. Doesn't make sense to do it any other way than the way the handyman has done it. I just googled and see some examples of it done the other way - it makes them look like after thoughts to me.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:24PM
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These shelves are MADE to be cut in. The edges that these pieces sit on are what gives them their strength. Set them in the face of the tile, and then the only strength they have is the bond of the thinset. Especially in the case of a trip or fall, I don't know that I'd want to have to trust it, whereas good chance if it's cut in, it'll hold you if you grab for it.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:48PM
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Whew! Glad to hear those comments! Thanks for setting my mind at ease. The person who told me that was a salesperson on the phone when I called to order them. I had forgotten about soap dishes because we use body wash, not soap. Dh sid that we should have them anyway in case we sold the house.

One down and two to go.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:55PM
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You still need to find out if the shower was properly waterproofed before the tile was installed. Water will get behind tile and grout.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:04PM
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