How to Install a Soap Dish on Tile Wall

Soap Dish Adhered to Tile with Epoxy
Soap Dish Adhered to Tile with Epoxy. Fotosearch / Getty Images

Ceramic soap dishes applied to shower or bath walls look terrific. These functional accents give your bathing area a feeling of permanence, and they leave you more room on wire racks for shampoo and other bottles.

Best part of all:  no drilling or stud-finding is required.  Because they are relatively light-weight, soap dishes are applied to tile with inexpensive epoxy adhesive.

How to Do It

  1. Create Outline:  Hold soap dish against the tile and lightly draw an outline in pencil.
  2. Prepare Surface:  With a section of fine grit sandpaper in the #180 to #100 range, roughen up the back of the soap dish and the ceramic tile wall. Be careful when sanding the tile wall, so that you are not extending your scratches beyond the soap dish’s future “footprint.”
  3. Prepare the Epoxy:  If you are using a two-chamber epoxy like Gorilla Epoxy, remove the cap and then snap off the ends of the syringe.  Squirt the epoxy in the provided mixing bowl.  This bowl is part of the plastic blister cover for the glue itself.
  4. Spread Adhesive:  Spread the adhesive on both the back of the soap dish.
  5. Mount:  Press the soap dish in place.
  6. Clean:  With a rag, carefully wipe away the excess epoxy, and do it quickly.
  7. Secure:  Keep the soap dish firmly in place using multiple strands of painters’ masking tape. Even though the soap dish may feel like it is securely in place without support, over a period of an hour or two it will slowly slip down.  Do not use duct tape, as it will leave adhesive behind. While painters’ masking tape is really not made for holding heavy items like soap dishes, you can mitigate the problem by criss-crossing many strands of tape across the dish.
  1. Wait:  After two days, remove the tape. Apply bathroom caulk around the edges of the soap dish where it meets the wall. This not only prevents water from leaking in behind the soap dish, but gives it a much cleaner, finished appearance.


  1. Be careful: epoxy is unforgiving stuff to work with.  While you do have about five minutes of working time, these minutes pass quickly, so make sure the dish is fully secure right away.
  2. Keep the bathroom clear of human and animal visitors after application. The odor is strong.
  3. Make sure your caulk is silicone and is labeled for kitchen and bathroom use.
  4. To keep the tile around the dish clean of epoxy, create a perimeter just outside of your pencil outline with painter's tape.  After the dish is fully secured, remove this perimeter tape, along with the tape holding the dish in place.

Tools and Materials

  • Soap dish
  • Epoxy
  • Cloth rag
  • Kitchen or bath caulk
  • Painters' masking tape