Overcoming the tile soap dish dilemma

Your choices are - Ugly or Overpriced

or is there a third option.....

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The subject of a soap dish started to become a real hassle. It's something you might want to be prepared to deal with when you have your master shower stall tiled.

You contractor is creating a luxurious shower stall for you. The last thing you want is to have one of those wire baskets hanging from the shower head for the storage of soap and other shower sundries. No! Only an appropriately luxurious soap dish and shampoo holder will do.

The shampoo bottles are handled with recessed shampoo boxes. But storing your wet bar of soap in there would not be convenient. Instead, a proper soap dish within easy reach is preferred.

The problem: Commercially available, off-the-shelf soap shelves - well they're all ugly! The colors and textures suite only the narrowest of tastes. This is a huge gaping hole in product availability for an enterprising person to make a fortune in the future. But for today, this is a real problem.

Another weekend gets waisted driving around to some of the local tile shops in search of a decent tile soap dish. All you find is the same awful pieces and confused looks at your dissatisfaction - imagine that. Imagine how even more confused they look when you ask "would you use this soap tray in a $30k+ bathroom remodel?" - I guess it's easy to make a living these days, sigh.

One store got a little closer. A sheet metal box designed to accept mortar and tile of your own design - this should fit the bill. Finally an answer to the soap dish problem - or so we thought.

Our contractor quoted far too much money for the metal soap dish box frame - $325 in fact. This was his way of staying on schedule. Any changes that would disrupt the schedule would cost $325 no matter how insignificant compared to other parts of the job. This had a two fold effect - to dissuade any schedule disrupting changes, and two, to compensate well if the requested change was insisted upon.

Fortunately, there was another trick available for solving the corner soap dish issue. Since we were having the cabinet topped with granite, and the window sill redone in the same granite - why not have a triangle cut from the same piece of granite to serve as a corner soap dish.

Since this option didn't affect the schedule, it didn't impact the bottom line cost, which already included a nominal cost for a soap dish.

This solution actually works out for the best. Since the shower soap dish is made put of the same piece of granite as the cabinet-top and the window sill, there will be accents of the granite through out the bathroom. And it's custom so nobody will have a soap dish exactly like it. That's custom - as in without being so individual that it hurts resale value.

A somewhat different approach to solving the corner tile soap shelf dilema. Take a look and see what you think.

Picture 1: Soap shelf closeup
Picture 2: Soap shelf closeup - 2
Picture 3: Soap shelf big picture
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