Niche in the Shower
A niche in the shower is an extremely useful feature that provides you with a proper place to keep your shower accessories, without adding bulky organizers that take up much-needed space. With a shower niche, storing shampoo and conditioner bottles, soap, razors, shaving cream, loofahs, and anything else you regularly use in the shower makes bathing much more convenient. They add functionality and style to your bathroom.
What Does a Niche in the Shower Look Like?
When considering a niche in the shower, tiled, solid surface, and prefabricated are the most common.
Tiled Niche in the Shower
A tiled niche in the shower is the best. Why? Only a properly constructed tiled niche will provide you worry free convenience. A tiled niche can be along the back shower wall or on the side walls. The back wall offers a much bigger size while those on the side walls offer less visibility of stored items. Back wall shower niches not only accommodate more items, but they are more convenient to use while showering. Those on a side wall require twisting and turning which can be dangerous and difficult with running, soapy water. Reaching for something behind you versus on the side of you increases the chances of a slip and fall incident.
Tiled shower niches are completely integrated into the shower. There are no seams to leak or exposed outside corners to get moldy, slimy, and mildewy. Unlike solid surface and prefabricated niches, tiled shower niches can be customized to almost any size.
Correctly installed, a tiled shower niche will last 40 years to a lifetime.
Solid Surface Niche
A solid surface niche is typically a cultured marble shower liner product and premade to a standard size.
Solid niches are ready for tile after installation. Many have limited or no additional waterproofing requirements. This adds speed to your tile installation.
These shower niches look cheap and do little to bring warmth, beauty, and style to your bathroom. Customization for your specific needs is typically not possible. The seams tend to develop mineral deposit crusting and staining. The inside of these niches quickly develops a slimy staining and mineral crusting that changes the color of the product. I do not recommend these shower niches unless you are willing to thoroughly clean them a minimum of 2-3 times per week.
Solid niches offer lots of different shapes to choose from. These have a 20-year life expectancy.
Prefabricated Shower Niche
The most popular prefabricated shower niches are manufactured by Wedi®, Alfi®, Pulse®, and Schluter-Kerdi-Board®. Sizes and styles can be limited. These niches are very economical. Made from metal, plastic, Styrofoam, and polystyrene, waterproofing can be sketchy at best.
The most popular prefabricated niche is the Kerdi-Board 12 x 28-inch shower niche. It has a price range of $90-$140. Kerdi-Board niches are made with an extruded polystyrene foam panel. These panels have special reinforcement material on both sides and fleece webbing.
Polystyrene is a petroleum product. Many states have begun banning polystyrene products. They are not easily recycled or biodegradable. Egg cartons, coolers, packaging peanuts, and food service containers are all made using polystyrene.
These pre-made niches cannot be integrated like a fully tiled shower niche. This means they are subject to water intrusion on at least 4 different seam points. The only benefit these units provide are up front cost savings. I have personally seen many polystyrene shower systems fail in as little as 5 years after installation. DAD’s Construction only uses a fully integrated traditional cement application for its shower systems.
What Size Should My Niche in the Shower be?
To answer this question, we will assume a tiled shower niche (since this is the best method to use). We will also look at shower niches on the back wall and on the side wall.
For both a back and side wall configuration, for the best comfort and performance you want a shower niche that is just above waist level. Waist level varies according to your height. If you are still not sure, consider 43 to 45-inches a good height.
The length largely depends on the following:
- Your preference.
- Inside wall cavity framing.
- The year house was built.
- Depth of your shower.
- How many items you want to store.
For a standard 60-inch sized shower, a back wall niche should be about 44 to 48-inches long. Any longer and it begins to look odd, uncentered, and overbearing. The typical size for a side wall niche is between 12 and 16-inches.
The best height for both is 16-inches. This height allows for the larger shampoo and conditioner bottles.
Regardless of back or side wall niches, depth depends on your wall construction. A 2×4 wall will give you a finished depth of about 3-1/2 inches to 4-inches. A 2×6 wall provides a finished depth of about 5-1/2 inches to 6 inches.
What about Waterproofing a Niche in the Shower?
To ensure the lasting beauty of your new bathroom and protect your investment, a complete waterproofing system is essential.
Tile and grout are not designed to waterproof. Therefore, the need for a waterproofing system becomes paramount. Moisture that penetrates these areas and collects in the wall cavities or floor structure is the primary cause of leaks and mold. To create a tiled shower that will last a lifetime, a waterproofing system is needed beneath the tile covering.
A shower niche must be waterproof. Waterproofing consists of hot mopping in the same manner as the shower pan or an applied liquid elastomeric waterproofing membrane. Do not use cementitious boards (HardieBacker®, Durock®, Wonderboard®, GoBoard®, FiberRock®, etc.). In similar fashion, never use Kerdi-Board®, Schluter Kerdi-Shower System®, PVC shower liner, Pro-Slope™, asphalt emulsions, etc.
A properly constructed shower niche is the first step in enjoying an attractive, durable, and comfortable shower experience. They will fail if not constructed and waterproofed correctly. Serious personal injury and damage to your home may result. Always use an experienced Contractor such as DAD’s Construction. DAD’s Construction are experts on all phases of your shower remodel.
How Do I make my Shower Niche Stand Out?
Use a different tile inside the shower niche than the rest of the shower wall. This will make your niche stand out and act as a design feature that lifts your entire bathroom. On the flip side, using the same tile will make your shower niche blend in inconspicuously for a more monochromatic style.
Always Hire a Reliable and Dependable Contractor to Remodel your Shower
Always work with a trustworthy contractor like DAD’s Construction. We are experts in shower and bathroom remodeling who can manage projects in an efficient manner. DAD’s Construction will do everything to minimize the possibility of change orders. Our team will make sure we have all the necessary information to prepare a proposal that meets your requirements. Rest assured that we will provide you with a detailed, by line-item contract. We will make sure that the contents of this agreement are properly and clearly communicated to you. If you have questions or need updates regarding your project, we will always answer your inquiries.
How Can I Receive More Information on Remodeling my Bathroom Shower?
If you would like more information on enjoying the best bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling experience in Orange County, call Dan at (949) 380-0177 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free in home consultation. DAD’s serves all of South Orange County California. This includes Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo.