For most of us lucky enough to have an ensuite bathroom, we long for them to be relaxing, restful sanctuaries. They are the space in our homes where we start and end our day, so they need to be functional as well as beautiful. When we were redesigning our ensuite prior to beginning our renovation, one of our bathroom must-haves was the addition of a shower niche. (Click here to see more about our ensuite selections).
Not only did we want to expand the size and improve the appearance of our shower, we also wanted to include some kind of extra design detail to really finish it off. Enter the shower niche. Goodbye shower caddies and messy clusters of bottles, hello gorgeous built-in shelving! (Click here to see more on how to plan your renovation).
Creating the perfect shower niche though requires careful planning and attention to detail. Think about what you want and what you need in a niche. Work together with your tile installer to make sure you get the space just right. If you are thinking about adding a shower niche to your shower, here are a few tips to follow to keep you on the right track.
1. Shower Niche Location
Where your shower is (or will be) located, what is the best wall for the shower niche? In cold weather zones like where we live, exterior walls are not advisable. This is due to insulation requirements and temperature fluctuations. In addition, make sure there are no existing plumbing or electrical runs in the desired wall that will influence your ability to add a niche.
2. Size and Shape
Once you have determined any site restrictions due to existing conditions, think about the possible niche layouts. Do you want it to be square or rectangular? Will it be vertical or horizontal? Some shower niches are made by grouping multiple inlays together.
3. Shower Niche Height
Most shower niches are positioned at or around chest height. Although this will vary depending on the size and shape you have chosen, this will put your niche at approx 48″ -60″ from the floor.
4. Consider Your Tile
When planning your shower niche, consider the materials you are planning to use in the shower. That way you can adjust to final location of the niche to accommodate the tile selection. This will create fewer cut lines and prevent awkward seams.
No one wants to have a leaky shower, especially a brand newly renovated shower. Make sure you have solid waterproofing plan for the entire shower, including your shower niche. We hired a professional to put in a Schluter shower system with a KERDI board waterproofing membrane into our shower.
6. Choose Your Edging
Decide what type of trim you want to edge your shower niche. This can affect the overall look of the niche and can vary from tile to metal. We opted for the ease and simplicity of a metal schluter to trim our niche.
If you are able to design a vertical shower niche, consider including a shelf or two to add to your storage options. Shelves can be made from tile, glass or stone. We added a soapstone shelf in our shower niche to create a more uniform profile.
8. Styling Your Shower Niche
It may be small in size but your shower niche can have a big impact on your overall shower decor. Keep your lovely new niche neat and tidy by minimizing the clutter and adding a personal touch.
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