Niche question - tile guys will be onto the niches tomorrow

phiwwyNovember 2, 2012

There will be 2 niches in the master bath shower. I bought marble 3/4" pieces for the bottoms of the niches. they are tall and narrow, because of the walls. The backs of the niches will have my basketweave marble mosaic. The sides will have the large format white subway (bullnose). There will be glass shelves (tempered) with a pencil edge.

The marble shelves are deep enough to protrude about 1/4 " from the face of the wall tile. Should I do this, or make them flush? They are slightly wider than the niches so they can come out like a sill. What is practical here?

The glass shelves will go side to side and will be flush with the wall tile, held up by the side tiles. Trouble is, the glass shelves will have to go against the back of the niche not tile (or else they WILL protrude). So the marble tile will go up to the bottom of the glass, then start again on top of the glass.

This is the 2nd time I've ordered these shelves (ouch) they are starfire, tempered and very expensive.

I had the idea of putting glass adhesive behind the edge of the glass shelf. I'm concerned about what the look will be, looking straight at the shelf.

Any ideas/suggestions for either of these issues?

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My feeling about shelves (or anything) protruding or projecting from tub or shower walls, is to avoid them. I am a total klutz, and have been known to whack my elbow(s) on the recessed niche/shelf in my own bathroom (while reaching to take something from the niche, or, while putting something back. Having something projecting outward is just asking for an "ouch!" for a klutz like me.

I've seen some beautiful, sill-like shelves in niches, but as flush as possible would still be my preference.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 3:23PM
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I like having the shelves extend out from the wall because you gain added depth....a good thing, IMO. Having said that, it can't just jut straight out. I generally have a granite house fabricate them with a curve on the outside that ends in a point...with "L" cuts on both sides, allowing the shelf to slide into place and the ends fit out about an inch over the wall tile.

Probably too late for you on this, but perhaps someone else can benefit...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Good picture of what I'm describing on this thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: niche pics

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Pictures of my niches are in the thread that StoneTech linked. We're really happy with the design of our niches, especially the rounded granite shelves. The middle shelf on our tall niche was installed in the way I believe that you are describing, with the shelf on top of the tile below it but directly against the Kerdi behind it.

You might get an idea from the photo below...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 10:14PM
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So we made the bottom of the niches flush. There was not enough depth to make it worth it.

I have 2 niches so I'm not worried about the space or depth.

Good point about knocking into things. I would probably bang them when I'm wiping or cleaning the shower too.

This is crazy how many decisions go into tiling a shower! My field tile is 4x10.... that presents so many, not issues really, but decision points.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 9:51AM
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My niches are also on that thread (linked above) and they are a lot like your plan. You cannot see anything behind my glass shelves. They are between the tile on the back and the sides of the niche.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 1:47PM
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treasuretheday - love the niches! I would have never ever thought to extend the edge of the niche. What a beautiful job you've done. Thanks to you and this forum for giving me yet another inspiration picture!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 3:04PM
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