Tile Shower Niche Add Functionality and Style to Shower Walls

A tile shower niche is a small recessed area built into a tiled shower wall. This niche adds functionality and style to any shower. Installing a niche or two can make your shower much more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

What is a Shower Niche?

A shower niche provides a space to store shower essentials like shampoo, soap, razors, and washing sponges. It keeps these items off the shower floor, neatly tucked out of the way. The niche creates a built-in storage nook so you don’t need a plastic shower caddy hanging awkwardly off your shower head or suction cups sticking haphazardly to the wall.

A tiled niche blends seamlessly into the shower wall design. It looks like a customized part of the tiled wall, not an afterthought. Tiling the niche with the same tile used on the shower walls gives it a streamlined, cohesive look.

Niches add function and style to showers in many ways:

Convenience

A niche provides easy access to shower necessities without bending down or fumbling around. Items are within arm’s reach. This convenience makes showering more comfortable.

Organization

The niche creates dedicated, organized storage space. No more bottles cluttering up the shower floor or balancing precariously on the shower ledge. Everything has a proper place tucked out of sight in the niche.

Streamlined Look

The niche has a built-in look, like it was specially designed for your shower rather than haphazardly tacked on later. Tiling it to match the shower walls gives a clean, integrated appearance.

Customization

Niches come in many sizes and shapes, offering design flexibility. Multiple niches provide ample storage options. Place niches at various heights to accommodate all family members.

Added Property Value

Bathroom renovations offer high return on investment, and shower niches are an attractive feature to home buyers. Well-designed and functional bathrooms add real estate value.

Types of Shower Niches

Shower niches come in many configurations to fit different spaces and provide customizable functionality. Consider the size, placement, and shape of your niche to meet your shower storage needs.

Single Niche

The most common type is a rectangular recessed nook in the shower wall, typically 12 to 16 inches wide and a few inches deep. This provides basic storage that neatly corrals bottles and holders in one place.

Double Niche

Including two niches, either side by side or stacked vertically provides more room to organize must-have shower accessories. For a couple sharing a shower, a his and hers set of double niches keeps everyone’s items separate.

Corner Niche

A corner niche utilizes wasted space and adds storage without taking up wall space. The lateral access works well to corral elongated items like razors, brushes and bath poufs.

Slope Niche

A niche with a sloped shape, angled downward toward the opening provides better visibility of contents. The sloped niche also helps prevent pooled water.

Soap Dish Niche

This type has a built-in soap dish as the base of the niche. Look for one with drain holes to prevent standing water in the soap dish.

Shampoo Ledge

Also called a shampoo shelf, this is a narrow, elongated niche that provides a spot just for shampoo and conditioner bottles.

Framed Niche

This style has a decorative frame or lip around the niche opening. The frame gives it a finished, built-in look and can provide a pop of color.

Shower Niche Placement

Carefully consider where to place your niche(s) during the design phase. Proper placement will enhance functionality and create an aesthetically balanced look.

Convenience

First consider convenience. The best niche location depends on your height and shower layout. Place it so the niche opening is easily within reach. Avoid very low or very high locations that will be uncomfortable to access.

Near Plumbing

If possible, situate the niche near the shower plumbing. This provides easy access to soap and shampoo when water is flowing. Avoid placing niches directly over valves or shower heads though, where they could leak inside the wall.

Balanced Layout

Plan niche placement to balance with the locations of showerheads, benches, and doors. Strive for an even layout that looks purposeful. Centering a niche on a wall panel can give satisfying visual symmetry.

Multiple Niches

When incorporating multiple niches, make sure they harmonize, not clutter. Place them at staggered heights and separate them evenly. Include a larger double niche for most shower items and a specialty niche for soaps or shampoos.

Kids’ Showers

For a child’s shower, install the niche lower, at a height they can easily reach. Also consider a sloped niche to provide better visibility.

Corner Niches

A corner installation utilizes dead space and keeps the niche tucked out of the way. Corner niches work best in spacious showers.

How to Install a Tile Shower Niche

Installing a tile shower niche requires careful planning and precise execution to seamlessly integrate it during shower construction.

Choose Placement

Start by determining the niche location, keeping sightlines and ergonomics in mind. Measure to find the center point of the wall panel and mark the height, typically 48-54 inches above the floor.

Make a Wall Opening

Use a circular saw to cut wall studs where the niche will go. Cut through the studs and sheathing to create a correctly sized opening about 3 inches deep.

Frame the Niche

Build a support frame inside the wall cavity for the niche sides and back with additional studs. The front will be open.

Install Cement Board

Add sheets of cement backer board over the shower walls. Cut a properly sized hole for the niche opening where marked on the wall.

Add Niche

Place the niche into the opening and attach securely through the sides into the wood frame. Ensure the niche is level.

Tape and Mud

Finish the joints between the niche and wall with waterproof drywall tape and thinset mortar for a smooth, cohesive surface.

Waterproof

Cover the entire niche alcove with waterproofing membrane. This seals and protects inside the niche bay.

Tile the Niche

Continue tiling the shower walls. Cut tile pieces to fit neatly inside the niche space. Use bullnose edging tile for a finished look.

Seal and Grout

After allowing tile mortar to fully cure, seal the grout inside the niche to protect from moisture. Apply
silicone caulk around the outside edges.

When installed properly, the niche becomes an integral part of the shower design for years of stylish organization and convenience.

Niche Size Considerations

The size of your niche depends on how many shower items you want to store. Measure product dimensions to determine the best width and depth.

Standard shower niches are typically 12-16 inches wide and 3-5 inches deep. This size fits most shampoo and soap bottles. For more room, extend the width up to 20 inches or increase depth to 5 inches.

But don’t go too big, or the niche will dominate the wall and complicate tile cuts. Remember to account for a 1/4 inch tile lip around the niche opening.

Consider a double-wide or stacked double niche for extra storage. Corner niches maximize space efficiency.

Match the height of your niche to the user. Standard height is 48-54 inches above the floor. Measure your bottles to determine the ideal height and depth combination.

Shower Niche Material Options

For a watertight, seamless installation, choose a niche fabricated from durable, water-resistant materials that work in wet environments.

Plastic

Plastic niches provide an affordable, lightweight option. Choose textured plastic over glossy for better adhesion. Ensure thick, rigid plastic that won’t sag or warp.

Acrylic

Acrylic niches offer durability and moisture resistance. Made from solid acrylic, they are impervious to damage from dampness. Acrylic can be molded into custom shapes.

Marble Composite

Composite marble niches have the aesthetics of real stone without the price tag. The mixture of crushed marble and resins creates a durable, stylish niche.

Solid Surface

Made of solid sheets of material like quartz or crushed stone, these niches resist mold and mildew. Silicone sealant ensures water stays out of seams.

Stainless Steel

Rust-proof stainless steel niches provide a modern vibe. Use marine-grade steel suited for wet areas. Avoid very thin steel that dents easily.

Ceramic or Porcelain

Glazed ceramic or porcelain niches offer a built-in finished look, ready for grouting. Choose hard, non-porous material that won’t absorb moisture and stain easily.

Concrete

Concrete niches can be molded into any shape but require extensive sealing to prevent water absorption. They offer a unique, rustic style.

When selecting a niche, ensure it has rounded corners and edges for safety and easy cleaning. Choose durable, waterproof materials that will hold up over time in a wet, humid environment.

Shower Niche Style Options

Beyond material, you can add style with creative niche shapes. Round, arched, or uniquely angled niches make your shower design stand out.

Sloped and Angled

A sloped niche with angled edges has visual appeal and improved functionality. The downward slope prevents water pooling inside.

Oval Niche

An oval niche softens hard wall edges for a smooth, streamlined look. Pair it with round wall tiles and decor accents.

Arch Niche

A half-moon arched niche offers a gracefully curved shape. Use an arch or circle on the shower floor tiles to echo this rounded style.

Wave Niche

Undulating wave designs create a freeform, organic niche style. Make waves subtle or dramatic. Try a wave border around a rectangular niche.

River Stone Niche

Small rounded pebble tiles inside and around the niche imitate the look of a natural riverbed. Continue the pebble tiles elsewhere in the shower.

Window Frame Niche

Create the illusion of a window with built-up trim framing the niche opening. Add cross piece trim over the “window” for added depth.

Double Wave

Two opposing convex and concave curves form a niche with a fluid wave look. Use contrasting colors to define each wave.

Go bold or minimalist with your niche shape. Combine rounded and rectangular forms for visual interest. Frame the niche opening to give the illusion of a window or piece of art. Let your creative vision and desired function guide the design.

Tiling a Shower Niche

Carefully tiling a shower niche results in a polished, integrated look. Use the following tile techniques to achieve niche perfection:

Size Matters

Precisely measure and cut tile pieces to fit the niche space. Filling the niche edge to edge prevents water intrusion behind tiles.

Bullnose Border

Framing the niche with bullnose edging tile gives it a finished look. bullnose rounded edges have no sharp grout lines.

Contrast Grout

Choose a contrasting grout color to define niche edges for a framed look. Dark grout also hides dirt well.

Mix Tile Layout

Use different tile patterns inside the niche, like subway stacked vertical or bricks laid horizontally. Contrast the layout with the wall tile design.

Entry Lip

Some niches have a small ledge or lip at the bottom edge framing the opening. Carry this lip tile color across the shower walls.

Matching Walls

For unity, fill the niche with the same tile as the surrounding walls. Using just one tile design results in harmony.

Take the time to cut and lay tiles meticulously inside the niche. Well-executed details make the niche feel like an integral part of the shower rather than an afterthought.

Shower Niche Accessories

Beyond keeping your basic shower supplies organized, a niche also provides a spot to decorate with fun accessories and accents.

Soap Dishes

Add built-in or removable soap dishes to hold bars of soap up off the wet niche floor. Choose drainage holes, sloped designs, and rust-resistant materials.

Tumblers

Small ledges or recessed cubbies built into the niche keep tumblers and water bottles upright and accessible.

Mirrors

Fog-free mirrors attach inside the niche for shaving, tweezing, or checking your look. Some have hooks to hang razors.

Caddies

Removable caddies that slide into the niche offer customizable storage. Take them in and out to easily replenish supplies.

Lights

Battery operated lights add a glow inside the niche. Choose flush mount lights that don’t protrude. Waterproof LED lights illuminate shower items.

Shelving

Glass, metal, or waterproof wood shelving placed inside niches provide multiple storage tiers. Great for families.

Monogram

Use tile mosaic sheets to add your family name or initials to a niche wall. Or display meaningful words like “Calm” or “Joy.”

Get creative with niche additions to make your shower space both functional and personal. Displaying your style in a tiled shower niche elevates a purely practical feature into a fun focal point.

Shower Niche Ideas

For inspiration, explore these niche shower designs to discover possibilities for your own bathroom:

Spa Shower

Multiple oversized niches, sleek modern materials, and warm lighting transforms a shower into a spa retreat. Stack niches or extend them across the wall for serenity.

Kids’ Shower

Keep bath toys tidy in brightly tiled niches sized for little hands. Add fun shapes and colors. Slope niches prevent pooled water collecting.

His and Hers

Design custom separate shower areas for couples with paired niches for each person’s shower products.

Beach Theme

Use shades of blue, panel wave tile designs, driftwood shelves, and one long undulating niche for a beachy, peaceful ambiance.

River Rock Niche

Line the niche and shower floor with small rounded pebble tiles. Neutral shades mimic the look and feel of a natural riverbed.

Hotel Chic

Multiple sleek rectangular niches lined with marble or glass tile lend luxury. Include built-in mirrored shelves and ornate chrome hooks.

Outdoor Shower

In an enclosed outdoor shower, use wall-to-wall waterproof wooden slats to conceal a long narrow niche for nature-inspired style.

The style options for shower niches are unlimited. Integrate niches into your shower design both stylishly and functionally.

Shower Niche Benefits

Installing one or more tile niches in your shower offers many advantages:

Added Storage

The key benefit is increased storage space for essential shower items. Keep everything neatly organized and at your fingertips.

Easy Access

With a niche, all your shampoo, soap, razors are within easy reach. No more bending down or juggling bottles on the shower ledge.

Streamlined Look

Built-in niches integrate seamlessly into the tile design for a clean, smooth appearance. No more clumsy corner caddies sticking onto walls as an afterthought.

Customized Design

Niches allow you to create a personalized shower space. Select specialty sizes, materials, placements, shapes and accessories.

Improved Safety

Items stashed out of sight in the niche cannot fall to the shower floor and cause slips. Less clutter also prevents tripping hazards.

Increased Home Value

Bath remodels offer one of the highest returns on investment. Well-designed showers with smart built-ins like niches help home values.

Storage Flexibility

Niches accommodate all shapes and sizes of bottles, tumblers, and shower accessories. Removable accessories like bins allow customization.

Easy Cleaning

With a niche, there are no shower caddies to scrub clean or suction cups to leave residue rings on walls. Just wipe down the niche.

Visual Interest

Thoughtfully placed and tiled niches become an eye-catching focal point and conversation piece. They show off your design skills.

Space Savings

Corner niches utilize awkward, cramped spaces. Recessed wall niches prevent protruding into the shower floor space.

By elevating your shower storage from makeshift to built-in, a niche offers form, function, and lasting benefits.

Shower Niche FAQs

Get answers to common questions about shower niches below:

Are shower niches necessary?

While not essential, niches are very useful. They keep shower items neatly stashed away while providing easy access. Niches prevent slipping hazards and clutter in the shower.

Where should the niche go in a shower?

Ideally, place niches about 48-54 inches above the floor within easy reach. Situate niches conveniently near plumbing fixtures but not directly over valves or shower heads where they could leak.

How deep should a shower niche be?

Standard shower niche depth is 3 to 5 inches. Measure your tallest bottles before deciding. Any deeper than 5 inches will complicate tile cuts and waste space.

How big should a shower niche be?

Base the width on the number of bottles and accessories to be stored, usually 12 to 20 inches wide. Limit height to under 30 inches so contents are visible.

How do you waterproof a shower niche?

Fully seal the outside of the niche with waterproofing membrane before tiling. After tiling, apply silicone caulk along all seam edges for added water protection and easy cleaning.

What shape niche is best for a shower?

Rectangular is most common, but sloped, arched, oval, or wave-shaped niches add interest. Corner niches maximize space. Frame niches with bullnose edging or pops of color.


Posted

in

by

Tags:

Comments

Leave a Reply