7 Tips to Design a Recessed Wall Niche for a Shower or Bathtub

General Article

Is your bathtub or shower space smaller than you’d like? Is it messy and unsafe because bars of soap and shampoo bottles are stacked up on the shower floor or bathtub rail? Eliminate these problems during your next bath tub or shower remodeling project by designing in recessed wall niche for your soap and shampoo. Here’s 7 tips to guide you through this process.

Tip 1 – Know the benefits of a wall niche vs. an externally mounted product – Niches built into the wall save space (i.e. they don’t stick out) – a great feature for small stand up showers or tubs. Since they’re incorporated inside the wall they create a cleaner look and help to minimize slippery shower floors or tubs. This dramatically cuts down the risks of injury from a fall (an excellent benefit for aging parents or those with mobility challenges).

Tip 2 – Determine where to locate the shampoo caddie and soap holder – The most common place to locate your soap and shampoo storage is in close proximity to the shower head. The plumbing wall and back walls furthest away from a door or glass walls are chosen most often.

Tip 3 – Identify the right time to install a shower shelf – The best time to add in wall storage compartments is after rough framing during a bath tub or shower remodeling or new construction project. It is not practical to put in a recessed niche by cutting out an existing finished wall surround in a tub or shower space.

Tip 4 – How to build the niche – You can either build your own niche (by framing, covering the space with cement board and then sealing around the seams) or purchase a pre-built waterproof niche made of expanded or extruded polystyrene. A pre-manufactured unit can save labor costs and ensure water does not leak behind the walls.

Tip 5 – Sizing the space – When sizing your bath or shampoo storage area measure the height and number of bottles you want to store at one time. Premade units come in standard sizes – 22″ x 11″, 14″ x 11″ and 6″ x 11″ – to name just a few.

Tip 6 – Determining where to locate the wall niche – Identify the location that can best serve all people who might be using the shower or tub for both the long and short run. For a more accessible and universal design a good location is approximately 48″ above a shower floor. Placing the niche higher will also work (except for small people and those in wheelchairs).

Tip 7 – If confused, get help – Don’t be that stubborn person who doesn’t ask for help. Call a professional bathroom remodeling contractor to guide you through selections, options as well as providing a professional installation.

Now that you’re knowledgeable about these 7 tips to design a recessed wall niche you’re one step closer to creating a safer and more organized bath tub or shower stall.