7 tips for designing a recessed wall niche for a shower or bathtub

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 on the shower floor or bathtub rail? Eliminate these problems during your next tub or shower remodeling project by designing a recessed niche in the wall for your soap and shampoo. Here are 7 tips to guide you through this process.

Tip 1 – Know the benefits of a wall niche vs. an outside mount product – Recessed wall niches save space (ie do not protrude) – a great feature for small showers or tubs. Since they are built into the wall, they create a cleaner look and help minimize slippery tub or shower floors. This drastically reduces the risks of injury from falls (an excellent benefit for elderly parents or those with mobility problems).

Tip 2 – Determine where to locate the shampoo caddy and soap holder – The most common place to locate soap and shampoo storage is very close to the shower head. Plumbing wall and back walls farthest from a door or glass walls are most often chosen.

Tip 3 – Identify the Right Time to Install a Shower Shelf – The best time to add wall storage bins is after preliminary framing during a tub or shower remodel or new construction project. It is not practical to fit a recessed niche by cutting through an existing finished wall frame 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 caulking around the seams) or by purchasing a pre-built waterproof niche made of Styrofoam or Styrofoam. A prefabricated unit can save labor costs and ensure that water does not seep behind the walls.

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

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

Tip 7 – If you’re 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, and professional installation.

Now that you know these 7 tips for designing a recessed wall niche, you are one step closer to creating a safer and more organized bathtub or shower stall.

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