Wall Niche for the Shower: How to Create Storage Space in the Shower Enclosure

Putting shower gel and shampoo on the floor of the shower cubicle is neither aesthetic nor practical – and a shower basket also has its drawbacks. We show how to build a wall niche for the shower and thus attractively provide storage space in the shower stall.

What Types of Shower Shelves Can Be Installed?

In upscale hotels, recessed shower niches in the bathroom are standard. On the other hand, most domestic bathrooms lack a niche for shower utensils such as shampoos, conditioners, and shower gels. However, compared to a conventional shower basket or shelf, it has its advantages: For one, it is more elegant and easier to clean. On the other hand, you have more freedom of movement when showering because you don’t constantly bump your elbows against the basket. In addition, you can also equip the niche with lighting, which immediately makes the bathroom look like a spa.

If you want to equip your shower stall with such a shower niche afterward, there are two options:

  • Build shower niche yourself: If a sufficiently thick solid masonry wall surrounds your shower, you can mill an opening into it and tile it. Theoretically, you can do the work yourself, but tiling and grouting should be done professionally to prevent mold behind and on the shelf.
  • Buy ready-made shower niche: A ready-to-install wall niche is an option if your bathroom has sufficiently thick drywall (at least eleven inches thick). The niches are made of stainless steel or a foam core with a metal coating and are available in various sizes and colors and with or without a door. They can be easily integrated into drywall, and even amateurs can install them independently. However, the dimensions are predetermined so that design freedom could be better than a self-made niche. Such ready-made shower niches are available not only for drywall construction but also for solid construction.

What dimensions should have a niche in the shower room?

How large the storage space in the bathroom should depend on personal taste. In any case, the shelf should be enough for shampoo and shower gel. Thus, the height and width should be at least 30 centimeters.

If the room is tiled, it is convenient to make the niche as large as, for example, two by two tiles so that no tile has to be cut.

How do I install a built-in niche for the shower?

If you have a solid wall, you should first install a tileable drywall (sheetrock wall) in front of it. Indeed, a niche can also be integrated into a solid wall. However, the effort to cut out the material is much higher. Below we explain the steps to install a ready-made niche (for example, from Sanwell or Hansgrohe) in drywall.

1. Prepare wall opening
Determine the exact position of the wall niche and trace the contours with a pencil. Using a spirit level, check that the lines are straight.

2. Saw out the niche
For drywall made of sheetrock, the wall niche can be cut out with a jigsaw. Once you are done, remove the cut material and clean the work surface.

3. Fixing the wall niche
Apply mounting adhesive to the frame and slide in the stainless steel niche. The next step is to fix the shower niche. Depending on the model, this will require a different number of screws.

4. Seal joints
Seal the joints between the angle frame and the niche with adhesive. In the second step, apply sealing tape (usually included in the installation kit) along the outer frame of the niche.

5. Apply the sealing compound with a putty knife
The filler is usually sealing slurry. It ensures that moisture does not penetrate through the masonry.

6. Tile the surface
As a rule, lay the wall tiles flush with the niche from all sides.

7. Seal joints between tiles and steel with silicone.
The last step is to close the joints between the wall and the niche – this will ensure that there is no mold.

How to realize a shower niche if the shower wall is not suitable?

If you are not the most talented handyman, you may be reluctant to cut an opening in the wall, as explained in the previous section – this does not mean you have to give up a convenient wall niche in the shower room.

You can also purchase a wall element with an integrated niche and place this drywall in front of the actual wall. In addition, the component acts as a partition in a shower at ground level or on one side of the bathtub. For example, you can also set accents with wall tiles in various designs.

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