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CARVE OUT YOUR NICHE

A MUST HAVE IN YOUR NEW BATHROOM

Raise your hand if your morning routine involves navigating around shampoo bottles precariously perched on the tub ledge, body wash and conditioner piled in a corner, or the sad caddy hanging from the shower head. It’s as annoying as it gets, and it’s ugly, too.

When you’re renovating your bathroom, it’s easy to let this predicament slip your mind as you peruse pretty new tiles and fixtures. But we’re here to tell you, don’t get distracted. Ask your contractor to incorporate a shower niche or two for storage—it will be the best decision you ever made.

Tiles Unlimited offers pre-made niches from industry heavyweights USG and Compotite. They are offered in various sizes in square, rectangle or arched top shapes.

Much like other tiling options (chair rails, listellos, inserts), adding a niche or two will add to the cost of your installation but not by much. The added cost is well worth it to “clean up” your shower products.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR NICHE

Your niche doesn’t have to simply be an inlet in your shower that looks exactly like its surroundings. Let it stand out with its own style! A great way to do this is by giving your niche a sleek, calm, seamless look. You can accomplish this by using sheets of glass tile that will give the niche a noticeable sheen that also blends into the surrounding tile. It breaks up the monotony of the tile pattern and becomes a focal point in the shower. This is a very glamorous look that you’ll love!

Another way to add some interest to your shower niche is to mix up the tile pattern. For instance, a herringbone tile pattern inside the shower niche when the rest of the shower features a traditional, horizontal pattern is the perfect way to make the niche a special space. A smooth, marble shower with a herringbone-patterned shower niche looks stunning. You can also get creative with the color and the style of the tile in the niche itself. These basic ways to distinguish the shower niche from the rest of the shower are the perfect methods for giving your bathroom an extra level of character.

If you’re looking for that modern, industrial look, consider a stainless steel niche. The design is simple, sleek and looks harmonious in every bathroom.

NOT JUST FOR BATHROOMS

Let’s face it, your shower is hardly the only area of your home that could use additional storage. Recessed wall niches are finding homes in kitchen backsplashes, walls in mud rooms or entryways and even living room walls to create a built in area for your nicknacks like in the image below. In fact, recessed niches can be installed anywhere you need additional storage or want to feature something as a focal point on a wall.

FINISHING YOUR NICHE

Don’t forget to discuss how you’d like the edges finished when buying your tile and niche. One popular option is using matching bullnose tile for a nice rounded edge. If the tile you selected does not have a bullnose option, consider using matching quarter round tile or metal edging.

PLANNING YOUR NICHE

The studs in your wall are typically 16″ apart. Choose a niche that will fit in between the studs

Niches should not be against outside walls if possible in cold weather climates. The niche space will replace valuable insulation in the wall cavity. If you must use an outside wall, be sure to put in some form of polyurethane insulation or the tile may frost up on cold winter days

Keep the tile dimensions in mind when specifying a niche. It’s best for tile to be symmetric around a niche

Your niche may require bullnose tile, particularly when using ceramic tile that don’t have color through the clay body. This may be problematic with porcelain but is rarely an issue with stone

Make sure your contractor waterproofs the niche and ensures there is proper drainage into the shower area

Here’s a design hack, if you shave your legs in your shower, consider a niche installed at the perfect height to make shaving easier.

 

CARVE OUT YOUR NICHE