Designing and building a shower niche

Shower NicheIf you’re remodeling a bathroom shower, consider putting in a shower niche or two. A niche is a great opportunity to add a more high end look to your bathroom. If you’re using a decorative tile design, let it run through the niche or use a different tile inside to make it a focal point.

Bullnose tile should always be used to soften the edges of the niche and hide the raw tile edges. If bullnose tile matching the wall tile isn’t available consider using metal tile edging trim. If a natural stone is used then it is easier to get away with using cut tile in place of bullnose. Another option is to mitre the tile edges around corners to avoid seeing raw edges.

Wide shower niche with mother pearl accent tile

Wide shower niche with carrara marble accent tile

Wide shower niche with decorative strip accent tile

Poorly Made Shower Niche Poorly planned and executed grout lines and thickness can make a good design idea suffer in the end. When framing in a niche you’ll want to put a slight slant, 1/4″ per LF, on the bottom to allow the water to run off.

Once you have installed cement board on all wall and seat surfaces receiving tile, consider using a liquid waterproofing membrane to create a water tight envelope. There are several brands available and they all can be applied by brushing and rolling. At least 2 thick coats should be applied for sufficient waterproofing.

Double shower niche with decorative green glass accent tile

Double shower niche with metal trim and decorative glass accent tile

Wide shower niche with marble accent tile

If you’re interviewing contractors to remodel your bathroom, ask for photos of previous projects and look closely at key areas, such as a niche, for the quality of their work and attention to detail.

Good luck with your remodel!

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