Installing a Shower Niche
Improve bathroom storage and style with a simple wall recess
Keeping bottles of shampoo and bars of soap on the edge of the tub is adequate, but storing them in an easily reachable tiled niche reduces clutter and adds a nice visual touch to a tub surround. Bay Area tile contractor Jane Aeon details her process for installing a shower niche that is properly flashed and waterproofed. Aeon starts by locating the niche on the wall, then framing the space. A trio of waterproofing materials (flexible flashing, vapor retarder, and caulk) ensure that the wall behind the niche will remain dry. A cement-backerboard substrate allows a longer working time with tile, and a slightly sloped bottom lets water drain out instead of pooling in the niche. To finish the job, Aeon tiles the niche using the same process she uses when tiling a wall. This article includes a sidebar about prefabricated shower niches.