Placement of shower niche? Love to see pictures

marys235February 9, 2013

Please help with ideas on where to place my shower niche. I'd love to see pictures of what other people have done. My tiled shower wall will be 80" high on all three sides. My wall tile is 13x13. I want to do one row of tile along the top of the wall in a diamond pattern, then directly under that, a 6" band of mosaic accent tile. Then the rows of tile under that will be in basic straight rows. I want to do a 13x13 niche that is lined up with a tile row, without a lot of tile cuts, basically just taking the place of one 13x13 tile. Also, I plan to do the back of the niche in the same mosaic as the accent band. The ideal height for my niche seems to be in the row of tiles right below the accent band. I don't want it so low I have to bend down to get something. But I can't visualize having the top edge of the niche touch the bottom edge of the accent band, that seems as if it would not look right. Love to see what other people have done.

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One more question, is 3" deep enough for a niche? My bullnose is 3" wide, and I don't really want grout lines on the walls of the niche, but I see a lot of niches that seem to be 4" deep.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:31AM
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If you go to the john bridge forum, they have a thread devoted to showing niches. It's really worth the browsing. If you google floor elf niche, he has written an article on how to build a shower niche. He has photos showing exactly what you are describing. If you want a deeper shelf, you can make the bottom shelf of the niche protrude from the wall (like a window sill).

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:22PM
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I recently watched our tile guy build a niche. He had his own ideas about what was going to work best as far as fewest cuts and where to place it. (Part of this will be dictated by where your studs are.) It seems to me that you will end up with a very, very, tiny niche if you only plan to use the space of one 12x12 wall tile. The inside of the niche has to be finished out with all the same stuff as the rest of the shower, adding considerable thickness.

You will need to work together with your tiler on this--I'd get his (or her)thoughts before you get set on any particular configuration.

Here is ours:

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Thanks, catbuilder, I found some great ideas at the John Bridge forum. My tile guy did tell me he could not guarantee the size of a niche, or even if I could have a niche, until he tore out the existing tile, but I can't imagine there wouldn't be room for a 13x13 niche somewhere in there. I actually got the idea of making it the same size as one of the wall tiles from the floor elf's website, I like the clean lines of having the niche line up with the grout lines.

I will ask my granite fabricator who is doing my vanity about doing a bottom shelf, those looks nice. I'll have to wait until the tile guy gives me the okay to make sure of the size.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:52PM
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Mary, don't know how big your shower is going to be. But, honestly, try and make the niche as big as you can, or even do more than one niche. We have a four foot wide, 8" deep shelf in our basement shower, and believe it or not, it is pretty well full! Such a nice luxury, each person's products can be stored...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:00PM
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We used 12 x 18 tile with a 1/3 offset. We laid it out on the floor to calculate our rows, starting with the travertine base molding and working up 5 rows before starting our 4 x 4 accent tiles. This left us with about an 11" or 11 1/2" row at the top where the difference is hardly noticeable.

We decided that it would look best, and certainly be easiest, not to try to bring this row around to the wall were the tall niche is. Instead, we cut a couple of very large tiles down to a size equal to the accent row so that we could maintain the grout lines.

The tall niche was framed in but we didn't finalize the location of the shelf until we knew exactly where the rows of tile would line up.

The smaller niche is in our pony wall.

As you can see, we put a bullnose on the outside walls of the niches and then cut a tile to line up with it on the inside of the niche walls. I'd prioritize a deeper niche over avoiding a vertical grout line. As long as you have a solid piece, whether it be granite, quartz or tile on the bottom, I wouldn't be concerned about vertical grout lines in the niche.

As far as the size of your shelves, I'd want to make sure that my largest bottle could fit with some room to spare. My niches were designed to accomodate my Costco size bottles and I LOVE them!

(My son had just taken a shower before this picture was taken so the grout is darkened from the water... not mildew!)

I hope this helps!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:41PM
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I used 9"x18" marble, and my niche is the height of two of my tiles, but it couldn't be the width of one because he would have had to re-do the studs and make a box, which was more labor than I felt like paying for for it especially since it wasn't guaranteed that the tile lines would match perfectly (it's difficult to plan that far ahead because of mortar, etc. adding to the width). In the end I think it's 18" x 12". The tile guy also thought it would look best if the edge was in-line with the knee wall so that from straight on, the break in glass was where the grout line was. I think he was right about that.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Thanks so much for the pictures, KevenMP and treasuretheday, your showers are beautiful, lots of great ideas.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:54AM
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My shower niche is 4" deep, 2 ft. high and 1 ft wide. I wanted it on the wall I walk in on so it wouldn't be seen right away. I think shampoo bottles and clutter detract from the looks.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:58PM
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This is a tub enclosure.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:08PM
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