Glass shelf in shower niche--anyone have one?

raehelenDecember 14, 2013

BR is finally close to completion! I think part of me was resigned to it never being finished. As we are just about to start tiling the shower, I have started to second guess myself about putting a glass shelf in the shower niche.

That had been our plan all along, our shower is 3 feet by 5 feet with two outside walls, so the only place to put a niche was under the shower head on one of the short walls (hubby built out wall, so plumbing is in the 'false wall'). As I have a 4 foot long shelf in my guest shower (that we have been using for 4 years waiting for this reno) that is pretty full, I worried that a 27" long niche wouldn't be big enough so we made it tall enough to include a shelf.

My dilemma is that now that we are just about to start, I have come across concerns about safety of glass shelves in the of the glass places I got a quote from said that tempered glass is strong as a shelf but prone to breakage/brittle if hit on the edge. I have a glass shelf in my greenhouse window over my kitchen sink, and have never given it a second thought (been there 7 years). He asked will you have a hand-shower, and felt there was a concern about shower head hitting shelf accidentally (now am glad my hand-held head is plastic). Anyhow, am wondering now, if I should have the shelf made from the granite the bottom shelf will be made from...but then wonder if edge of tile would be enough support for granite (am sure it will be OK for glass), AND I notice my granite has mesh on the bottom, maybe won't look so nice...

Arghhh...then people talk about cleaning issues.... as if I didn't have enough stuff to worry about/fret over...

Anyhow, does anyone have a glass shelf in shower. Please reassure me that it will be I may NOT have shower done before Christmas!

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Tempered glass is really only susceptible to shattering if it's hit by something that can scratch or chip the edge glass.

Most items in a shower are soft; plastic bottles, elbows, even boney elbows. Metal shower heads can be hard, but they usually don't have much mass behind them, so they'll usually just deflect off the shelf if they collide.

Though I don't have glass in my own showers, I've installed plenty of glass shelves in houses. In showers, medicine cabinets, and the one that always makes me cringe: in kitchen cabinets.

I give the owners of the homes I've built an annual call. No one has ever told me about a broken shelf.

Every few years one of the glass shops has a "let's break glass" demonstration. I was placing an order at the shop several years ago when they had a demonstration. I stuck around to watch, it's pretty amazing how much abuse tempered glass can take.

I'm not scared of using tempered glass, but I respect that it still is glass.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:26PM
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i was going to use glass for the shelves in my niche, but when holding glass up, they really looked green (even the ultra clear glass- starfire glass looked too green for the shelf looking at the edge...)-- and that wasn't the look i wanted, so i changed my mind...

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 2:07PM
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I have about three glass shelves and have not had any problems. They have been there for about 4 or 5 years. It is where my rather rough husband showers daily and they have gone through several cleaning ladies. They are in a u shaped rail. I periodically take them out and stick them in the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Thanks for the reassurance Mongoct and Emily! Breathing heavy sigh of relief here, I have one more BR to begin renovating, I am sure there will be enough angst with that to counter relaxing about this!

Picked up the liquid waterproofing, Ditra membrane, thin set and spacers today. Now hubby is second-guessing whether we should go with wider spacing (we went Christmas shopping and he said he liked the wider grout in the mall tiles! LOL) Will pick toilet up on Monday, and he doesn't want to tile floor until he has confirmed measurement for toilet flange. Specs aren't good enough for him!

Now, next on list is to order glass shelf, will also pick up granite vanity top and shower niche bottom shelf, and sink Monday, DH is on holidays, so time to get this show on the road!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 1:40AM
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Consider using a complimentary or contrasting solid surface for your shelf(s). Why not put 2 shelves in, one above the other, and have 54"?

Visit the drop bin at a fabricator. You will probably find something nice and your husband can easily fabricate, finish, and install it. It won't shatter into jagged pieces either.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 8:52AM
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I will have a granite shelf on the bottom. My dilemma was whether or not to have the second shelf made of glass or not. Sorry I wasn't clear.

I had actually considered solid surface shelves made by the same guy who made my shower base, but they were going to be over $110 each. My fabricator is making the bottom shelf out of the same slab as my vanity... the price of $75 is mainly for the polishing of the edges. It is quite thick, just out of curiosity how would DH fabricate one himself? We will be installing both the vanity top and shelf ourselves, but what equipment would the DIYer need to fabricate a piece of granite?

Thanks, Rae

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 6:08PM
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Hoping someone who has DIYed a glass shelf in their shower niche can answer this question. Have my beautiful custom made glass shelf all ready to install. (looking at it today realized he even bevelled both top and bottom edge of front-stunning!) Anyhow, DH thinks I should paint the 3 inside edges of the glass so that the thinset doesn't show through, it will be situated between two side tiles in the niche, resting on the top of the tiles, and I'm guessing we will caulk it in the back? (Doesn't rest perfectly evenly against tumbled limestone mosaic back)

If you installed a glass shelf what did you do to the 3 inside edges? Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 6:35PM
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Did you get this installed yet? I don't know the answer.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 8:32PM
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Enduring, no not yet...progress is inching along...DH caulked the baseboards on one wall tonight while I was out coaching... he still has to buy and install a breaker and then we can put in toilet and my washlet! Looks like I will have toilet functioning before anything else...

I have had no answer to the glass shelf thing yet, guess more Googling is in order...if I paint think I will just use my wall paint, turns out it is EXACTLY the same colour as my grout...what are the chances?!!!

I was sort of aiming for a finish date of Jan 20. That would have made it exactly one year from the day we started gutting...not gotta happen...sigh, but will be happy if I can be using my toilet by then... hope the experience is all I have been dreaming about! LOL

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 1:57AM
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