Build a Shelf That Won’t Fall Off Glass Shower Walls

Does your suction-cup storage constantly fall off your glass shower walls? Solution: Use super-strong magnets and water-friendly wood to make this easy dual-sided shelf.

Choose the Right Material

We’re using cedar for our shelf because it’s rot resistant and super lightweight. Other good choices are bamboo, teak and utility plastics like HDPE. You’ll need one 1x3 x 6' piece and one 1x6 x 6' piece of whichever material you choose. Cut it to the following dimensions:

  • 1x3s:
    (2) 5” pieces,
    (3) 15-3/8” pieces
    (1) 17” piece
  • 1x6s:
    (3) 17” pieces

Secret Ingredient: Neodymium Magnets

We’re using six neodymium aquarium magnets that each have a pulling strength of 65lbs. These magnets are incredibly strong, so you’ll want to be careful while handling them. They will attract each other with enough force to pinch your fingers so gloves are a good idea. Match your magnets together in pairs and put a mark on the outside of each one. That mark indicates which side you want to adhere to your shelf. If you install them backward, they’ll repel each other and you’ll have to re-install them.

Step 1: Build the Shower Side of the Shelf

Construct the base of the shelf with the 1x3x 5" pieces and the three 1x3 x 15-3/8" pieces. Leave some space between the 15-3/8” pieces for drainage. Glue the two short sides to the shelf base with a strong waterproof adhesive. Titebond III, Gorilla Glue or any other adhesive that can withstand getting drenched will work. Clamp your pieces together tightly and allow the glue to set for the recommended time period. After that, you can adhere the front (1x3 x17") and back (1x6 x 17") sides in the same fashion. If some of the adhesive squeezes out when you clamp it, give it a few minutes to set then scrape it off with a putty knife.

Step 2: Build the Out-of-the-Shower Side

Adhere the two 1x6 x 17’" together as shown. Place plenty of clamps along the edges to make sure the glue bonds evenly and that you get a nice straight shelf. Once the glue has hardened, insert a few stainless-steel screws from behind for a little extra grip.

Step 3: Apply Finish and Sealant

Now that everything is glued and screwed together, apply some finish and waterproofing. Since we’re using cedar, we applied spar varnish, but you can choose the finish that’s right for your material. If you’re using bamboo or teak, you may just want to apply some wax or oil.

Step 4: Install the Magnets

It’s time to attach your aquarium magnets to the backside of your shelves. With your marker line toward the mounting surface, use stainless-steel screws to secure the magnets in place. Then, you’ll want to cover the surface of the magnets with some silicone. The magnets will hold the shelf off of the glass so that moisture doesn’t get trapped behind the shelf, and the silicone gives the magnets a little extra friction so it won’t slide down the glass. Make sure to attach the magnets in the exact same position on both halves of the shelf unit so that they align level when you attach your shelf. It’s a good idea to position the magnets at the top and bottom, this also increases friction and makes the most out of your magnet’s strength.

Ready, Set, Shower Shelf!

Have a friend hold the outside shelf against the glass while you place the shower side into position. You’ll want to attach the bottom magnets first and rock your shelf upward gently. You should feel the magnets grab pretty quickly, so don’t let them hit the glass too hard. Don’t put anything breakable on your shelf until you figure out how much weight it holds. Magnets are all a little different, so you may need more depending on how much stuff you need it to hold. If your shelf starts to slide a little, take it down and add a few more magnets until it’s rock solid.

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