Installing a Shower Niche
Improve bathroom storage and style with a simple wall recess.
Synopsis: 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.
Tired of bumping into that wire shower caddy hanging awkwardly off the showerhead? Do you hate the unsightly clutter at the edges of your bathtub? Organize your shower or bath space by building a niche that offers convenient storage and a charming sense of bathroom design. In recent years, these small recessed spaces have become popular components of bathtub surrounds and showers. In fact, all the bathrooms I tile these days are outfitted with some sort of niche.
Niche size and location affect function
Before determining where on the wall the niche should go, decide the size that would be most useful for your shower niche. I often build 12-in. by 12-in. niches, but I find that 14-in.-tall niches can accommodate oversize shampoo bottles a little better. Don’t let standard stud spacing be the sole determinant in the size of a niche. The benefit of building a niche, as opposed to installing a prefabricated one, is…