How To Reinstall a Ceramic Soap Dish on a Tile Wall


Perhaps you were installing a new shower head when it suddenly dropped and cracked your ceramic soap dish. Or, maybe your existing soap dish has come loose or fallen off. This is probably because of bad grout joints. Water gets behind the ceramic soap dish and eats away at the mastic that holds the unit to your wall. Reinstalling a ceramic soap dish is actually quite easy.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Dropcloth
  • Dremel tool
  • Extension cord
  • Mini-grinder dremel bits
  • Putty knife
  • Small hammer
  • Drywall
  • Drywall screws
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Joint compound tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Thin-set motar
  • Bucket
  • Mixing stick
  • Trowel
  • Rubber mallet
  • Level
  • Duct tape
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer
  • Place a dropcloth in the bottom of your tub or shower. Attach a mini-grinder bit to your Dremel tool. Place the Dremel on high speed and remove the grout from around the ceramic soap dish area. If your soap dish is off the wall or you had to buy a replacement, go to the next step.

  • Inspect the wall area behind your ceramic soap dish. If it's tile board, you just have to scrape it clean after it dries out for a few hours. If your wall material is drywall that has water damage, you may have to cut it out and replace it. Cut out two holes in the drywall that matches up to the holes in the back of the ceramic soap dish. This is to allow mortar to squeeze out and form a strong bond.

  • Install new drywall and secure it with drywall screws. Apply joint compound using your putty knife. Tape the corners, apply more joint compound and let dry. Then sand down. Now you have a solid wall base to re-mount your soap dish to.

  • Mix your mortar and some water in your bucket. Turn the mix using your mixing stick until it is the consistency of putty. A small amount is all that's needed. Align the holes on the back of your ceramic soap dish over the holes in your wall. Spread mortar mix using the trowel onto the wall surface. Lightly tap your ceramic soap dish in place with your rubber mallet. Level it as necessary.

  • Tape the entire ceramic soap dish in place with duct tape for about 24 hours. Apply grout and let dry for about three weeks. Spray on grout sealer and let dry for another 48 hours. Now your ceramic soap dish is set.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear protective gear for your eyes and ears.
  • If you don't have a Dremel tool, you can use a small hammer and sharp putty knife to remove the grout. Be careful not to damage the surrounding tile. Place your putty knife under one edge of the ceramic soap dish and hammer it in, until the soap dish pops out of the wall. A helper can help hold the ceramic soap dish while you are chiseling it out of place.

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  • Photo Credit Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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