Need quick info: what height & size for niche in tub/shower?

jacobseMarch 21, 2010

We're planning where the contractor needs framing in the tub/shower in our guest bathroom remodel, and we're pondering the placement of the niche for soap & shampoo. We'll shower much more often than take a bath, so it seems the niche should be placed for someone standing in the tub. Is there any rule of thumb for how high that should be? I was thinking of putting the base of the niche at a height that aligns with the fourth row of our 13"x13" tiles, or about 39" above the tub floor. We were thinking we'd make the opening exactly the size of one 13x13 tile. Any thoughts that this isn't a good size? Does that height seem okay? Any reason it should be higher or lower? (If I go higher, then it runs into the listello of accent tile running around the room; I was thinking it would be simpler if the niche didn't need the listello running through it.) And... would you center it on the 60" long wall of the tub, which seems best aesthetically, or place it off-center further away from the shower head to avoid water from the shower head hitting the niche?

One more question: for the very occasional bath, we're pondering what to do for a place to put a bar of soap. The niche placed comfortably for someone standing for a shower is too high. Do we need a second, smaller niche closer to the top of the tub? Is putting out a soap dish when needed an acceptable alternative?

Thanks for any and all answers and opinions!

-- Eric

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bill_vincent

It can be any size you like, if you're going to frame it out. What I like to do, if at all possible, is work it out so that there's at the very least full tiles at the bottom of the niche, and preferably all the way around. But definitely for the shelf. You want to plan for a 1/2" of cement board, and then give it about another 1/2" to give it some "fudge room". It can always be filled with thinset later.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:29PM
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jacobse

Bill, my plan was to use a single 13x13 tile for the back of the niche, and 3x13 bullnose tiles for the top, bottom and sides. Would that work? And is it too tough to do this on the same horizontal and vertical grid as the other 13x13s on the wall. (In other words, it would be as if someone took one of the 13x13s in the middle of the wall and pushed it back into the wall a few inches.) Is that going to be too hard to line up, considering the framing is done before the tiling starts, or if it's calculated correctly, will it work out fine?.

Would like to hear from you or others on the height, and also what to do about soap for the tub if the niche is placed at shower height. Thanks!

-- Eric

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:25AM
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pricklypearcactus

In terms of height, I'd take a look at the largest shampoo bottle your family might use and make certain to be a little taller than that. (My largest shampoo bottle is 10" high.) Then I'd try to factor in what other items need to fit in the space. Soap or body wash? Loofa? Shaving cream and razor? Additional face soap?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:32AM
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jacobse

Pricklypearcactus, we measured shampoo bottles and determined that 13" high will be tall enough. But my question is how high it should be on the wall. Putting the bottom (shelf) of the niche 39" off the floor would work well with the tile layout, so I'm wondering if anyone thinks that's too low (or high). And whatever the height for someone showering, what should we do for someone taking a bath? Put out a soap dish? Create a second (shorter) niche lower on the wall a little above the top of the tub to hold a bar of soap?

-- Eric

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:55AM
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bill_vincent

39" should be fine, but not much lower than that.

As for someone taking a bath, you could always mount a standard soap dish in the traditional spot, that being the center of the back wall.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 7:54AM
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