Thursday, October 11, 2012

DIY shower/tub shelf

DIY shower & tub shelf
Larry and I have recently (finally) begun to tackle a number of simple woodworking projects that have been on my To Do List for ages. Of course, now that the weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, our outdoor working time has become limited - resulting in a pile of power tools and half-finished projects residing on our dining room floor. (Will they stay there all winter? Only time will tell...) Oh, how I wish our house had a basement or a garage or a workshop!

Anyway, I finished a project! Ta-da! Nobody lost a finger! DIY shower/tub shelf:
DIY shower & tub shelf
DIY shower & tub shelf
Functional, organized, and pretty. 
(Doesn't everyone arrange their shower bottles in rainbow order? And yes, those are ketchup-style squirt bottles!)

Not only that, it's a dual-purpose project that solved two problems at once. (That totally counts as two projects, right?)
DIY shower & tub shelf
DIY shower & tub shelf
Last winter, I began a tradition of taking a hot bath on Sunday nights (while Larry watched his zombie show). I put my iPad, a few candles, and a glass of wine on a shelf across the tub and spent the evening watching HBO in the bath while my toes shriveled up into raisins. What I didn't tell you (and tried to hide in the pictures), was that my tub "shelf" was actually a bloated piece of particle board that Larry found in the shed. (Don't worry, I wiped the cobwebs off first.) It held my wine, but let's face it: it was gross.

So, gross cobweb-encrusted tub shelf was Problem #1. Problem #2 was the lack of proper storage for shampoo bottles and other shower necessities. I admit, I hate those over-the-shower-head storage caddies. I've never seen one that was the slightest bit attractive. And the kind that stick to the tile with suction cups? We've all experienced the *BAM!* Oh shit, there went the shampoo bottle! middle-of-the-night tub crash, right? The alternative to shower caddies is equally annoying: cramming all the bottles onto the corners of the tub ledge. But that's what we were doing because I was too stubborn to buy a shower caddy that I didn't like.

So when I decided to build a tub shelf, I also wanted it to function as shower storage for all those bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel that had accumulated in the corners of the tub. Since a shower shelf would be subjected to, well, showers twice a day, it needed to shed water and be waterproof. I came up with a slat design using 1x3s that would allow water to drain through slots between the boards. (Yes, I realize that water can still sit on the slats, but at least a huge puddle can't form like it would on a solid shelf.) I also coated the shelf with polyurethane to give it a smooth finish and protect it from water.

By day, it's a shower shelf. By night, it's a tub shelf:
DIY shower & tub shelf
It's quite sturdy and I suppose it could also be used as a seat, however, I didn't care to test this theory and risk a) busting my new shelf, or b) getting a splinter in my ass.
DIY shower & tub shelf
View of the bottom of the shelf - I didn't just want the screws to be countersunk, I wanted them fully recessed. You can do this by using a forstner drill bit:
DIY shower & tub shelf
The screws are zinc screws and should be rust-proof. Before assembling, I brushed all the shelf pieces with four or five coats of water-based matte polyurethane. (The cut ends of the wood got eight coats.) I hope I used the right product for this, and I'll report back in a few months as to how the shelf is holding up in the wet environment of my shower. (I considered using a product that is used to seal decks, but the can carried a warning of FOR EXTERIOR USE ONLY, so I was concerned that this meant it was stinky and not something I'd want in my shower. Also, such products usually require reapplication on a yearly basis and I'm just too lazy for that. So let's hope the poly protects it and my shelf doesn't rot.)

Successful project completion = Reward yourself by pouring a glass of wine and turning the lights down low:
DIY shower & tub shelf
Ooh la la!

Shower shelf? Tub shelf? Done and done!


Michael Wurm, Jr. said...

OMG. This is fabulous. But, I would totally drop my iPad in the tub and probably somehow electrocute myself. Guaranteed.

And, I'm now really curious as to what all the products are in the bottles. Because, of course, I need them all.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Thanks, Michael! There is the slight risk of drowning the iPad, especially when under the influence of wine! ;)

As for the contents of the squirt bottles, from L to R:
shampoo (hers), conditioner (hers), tangerine body wash (hers), shampoo (his), manly body wash (his), lavender body wash (hers). I like to have options. ;)

Michael Wurm, Jr. said...

Ah!! His and Hers! I was wondering why there were so many!!

the.mrs said...

So great! And I just HAVE to ask: Where did you get those cute bottles?!?!

Karin said...

I love this! And I especially like how you use the ketchup bottles...that's such a creative idea. A bit of an odd question...but what soap is that? Nice color and I bet it smells good! Haha. : )

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

@the.mrs - The squeeze bottles are from Amazon: They work great in the shower!

@Karin - The soap is Peach Deluxe by You Stink Soap on Etsy. It looks like she doesn't have the peach anymore, but there are lots of other scents:

AnjBanj said...

How do you keep it from sliding..... See I'm a pollock and I would surely find a way to have my iPad going for a swim... Do you think you can gorilla/diamond/wood glue some non-skid mats on the end pieces???

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

@AnjBanj - It actually doesn't slide at all! The only way you could capsize it is if you bumped it really hard from the underside with your knees. When I'm getting out of the tub, I take the iPad out first before I get out, so I don't accidently bump it (I'm a klutz, too), but other than that it really doesn't budge.

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Unknown said...

The inside tub side width is so narrow, I don't understand what keeps that side from sliding down into the tub.

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