How To Install a Shelf On a Tile Wall
Posted on Apr 9 2013 at 04:12:32 AM in How-To
If you decided that you need a new shelf on a tile wall in your bathroom (or kitchen) you'll have to follow some simple rules to do it. You can't just drill the wall and screw the shelf right in. There are thousand of problems that you can create with such (at first glance) simple DIY project. In this article we'll talk about the proper way of attaching a shelf on a tile wall.
First you'll have to measure and look for the proper place to install it. You'll want it to be comfortable to use and not bump into it every time you take a shower. These shelves should always be placed away from running water. There is always a possibility that the water will go behind the wall and create all sort of problems like mould infestation or cracks in the wall. The other thing that you should consider is to mount hollow anchors that will hold the shelf in one place. I've personally seen what happens when you screw the shelf directly into a tile wall. A few years pass and it just falls off.
When you have decided on the best place to mount the shelf, just tape a large X with painters masking tape to mark the spot. This mark also has another purpose, it will strengthen the tile around the hole.
The best drill to use for this DIY project is a one with variable speed settings. You'll need to use a high-quality drill bit that will not get dull from glass or concrete. The ordinary wood bits will not do anything but damage the tile and the drill. Make sure that the drill bit and the hollow anchor are matching, you don't want to make a hole that is too big or too small for the anchor. Bore the holes slowly until you get to the tile adhesive in the back. This is the moment where you should be extra careful. Sometimes the tile substrate behind the tiles is very strong and it can break the drill bit. You will probably need a masonry bit to get through. If you see that it's resisting the drill bit that you have placed change it with a masonry one. Remove the tape and wipe the tile dust before it spreads in your whole house.
Take the appropriate hollow anchors and tap them into the holes. Most of the anchors can support weights over 50 pounds, so your shelf should be safe. Install the shelf onto the wall but don't overdo it with the tightening (you could strip the anchors that way). Test the shelf with your hand. If there is any wobbling the anchors are not the right size and you'll have to change them. If everything is okay, congratulations, you have done a great job!
These project usually take no more that 1-2 hours to finish, but if you don't have the time for them, check for professional builders company that can do it for you.