Is a tempered glass shelf safe in a bathtub?

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Old 05-13-12, 10:06 PM
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Is a tempered glass shelf safe in a bathtub?

A towel rack is built into the tile at the back of my tub/shower. Since taking it out would leave two holes in the tile, I'd like to replace it with a shelf. Would a tempered glass shelf be safe in a tub/shower? I live in an area with occasional earthquakes.

If the glass isn't safe, would a painted wood shelf hold up? I'm looking into chrome, too, but haven't found the right size yet.

Glass has the best look.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 12:34 AM
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I think plexiglass would be preferable to a glass shelf in a shower. Even without earthquakes, slipping in the shower and knocking/falling against the shelf could cause serious problems with glass. You don't want glass shards in your shower.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 03:55 AM
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Tempered won't leave shards, but still I wouldn't use it in a shower situation. Falling against it could cause injury, as it probably won't break. It takes a lot to break tempered glass, and in just the right place. I would look for a plastic (I know) shelf that is made for showers, and install it, if you need one. Otherwise, can you replace the tiles in the spaces left by the towel standards? Even if they are of a contrasting color, it would be better than ugly. You could even use a larger tile in a decorative pattern and fill in the hole left by the standards with thinset, then apply the larger tile, taping it to the existing tile until it dries. Grout the edges and it won't look too bad.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 04:19 AM
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.... and I would add don't use wood!! No matter how well you prime and paint the wood, the paint job will fail sooner or later and the paint is the only protection the wood has from the water.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 05:53 AM
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They make tempered glass shower doors and surrounds, so I see no reason why a tempered glass shelf wouldn't be just as safe, provided it was secured on all edges with a bath silicone like they use to glaze the corners of glass shower surrounds. You can order tempered glass in any size and thickness from a commercial glass store that you could find in the yellow pages. It will just take a week or so to come in.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 01:46 PM
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Brant, the only thing I was worried about was someone hitting their head on the protrusion, but I guess it could happen with plexiglas, plastic or whatever, right? Tempered will be strong. they can round the edges for you, too. You'll have to find a way to put it up so it will be safely attached to the wall.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 02:22 PM
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True, Larry. Speaking of plastics, you could go to a countertop specialist that sells corian, and have them make you a little shelf in the color of your choice (white/bone/almond?) that would have a little 1/2" x 2" apron to cover up the holes and then the back of the shelf would have something to sit on. They could round all the corners for you and have it ready to install. You'd just silicone it to the wall and brace it (temporary bracing that extends up from the tub and across to the opposite wall) for 24 hrs until the silicone sets.

You probably wouldn't want the shelf to be too deep, for the reason Larry mentioned.
 
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Old 05-14-12, 03:00 PM
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Oooh, I like the Corian idea . Gotta wait 102 more seconds, so I'll type a little useless drivel to take up time. Four score................
 
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