How to Build a Shower Niche, One Room Challenge Week 4

Hello!  This week as part of my one room challenge post I am going to show you How to Build a Shower Niche!
how to build a shower niche

I am super happy with how mine turned out...now it just needs some grout. ;)  All in good time folks!

Last week I showed you How to tile a cement floor, and let me tell you it has been a busy week!

cement board and water proofing membrane in the shower
The cement walls were installed and the waterproofing membrane added, but you can see one wall isn't finished.  I really wanted to add a shower niche so my friend that has been helping me left it at this point.

How to Build a Shower Niche 

Supplies: This post contains affiliate links, read more.

Step 1: Measure and mark tiles for Niche placement.

measuring tile for ideal shower niche placement
If you want your niche to match up with your tiles, it is nice to know where they will line up so you can make sure you get the placement you want, of course this is optional, but recommended.

Lay your tiles on a flat surface with spacers added to the height you want your niche to start.  Then measure and mark on a straight board where each tile begins and ends.   Once you have done this you can use the stick to determine where to place you niche in your shower.

You will most likely not have cement board up at this point...so you can measure in the studs.

Step 2:  Build your Niche to the size you desire.

Build a shower niche out of wood
I measured how big to build my niche and built it out of 2x4's.  I originally added scrap plywood to the back, but I removed it and attached cement board later.  You will need to make it fit for your space.

I recommend building it in the studs before backer board or cement board is attached.  But either way works.

Step 3:  Attach your built niche into the studs.

attach shower niche into the studs
After removing the top cement board my amazing friend Amy from Her Tool Belt helped me install the niche into the studs.  We used some plywood to shim it in so we could secure it with screws into the studs nice and tight.   

Amy is using my Multi-tool to cut out the lower part of the cement board to make it fit the niche.

I notched out the top cement board to fit my niche and then attached it with 1 5/8'' screws. Because I wanted a smaller niche for soap and a taller one for shampoo, I added some boards with pocket holes.  Not all showers and tiles are the same, so I am not providing measurements, but I did space the shelf to match my tiles.

*When spacing remember to take into account the cement board depth, the tile depth, and also allow for the space between tiles.  It takes some brain power but it is doable!

Step 4: Add your Cement board to all sides of your niche.

slope shower niche shelves and add cement board to niche
Measure, cut and attach cement board (or backer board, which ever you are using) to all sides of your niche.

I added the top boards and my shelves first, they will need to be flush with the cement board attached to the wall.

You need to slope your shelf, so the water can run off.  In the top photo above you can see I added a row of 1/8'' spacers to the back.  Then I attached my cement board over it with my screws.  This adds a perfect little slope!  I did this on both shelves.

Then attach cement board to the sides and the front of your shelf.  Remember to slope the sides to match the shelves.

Step 5: Finishing Shower Niche- Tape, thin set, and water proofing membrane.
tape, thin set, and add water proofing membrane to shower niche
Next up is finishing the niche.  It is important to do all these steps so you don't have leaking.  Use your tape to cover all the joints.  Including every joint inside the niche.  I was in process when I took the top photo, I still needed to do that back joints...and I did. :)

Once all your joints are taped apply thin set to seal them up.  You will do this to all the joints in your shower.  Just like mudding and taping drywall...so. much. fun.  

When your thin set is dry and sanded smooth you can paint on your water proofing membrane, and allow it to dry.  These come in different colors, mine happened to be blue.  Which is great because I love blue, but it doesn't matter it will be covered up. :) Just make sure you get a good seal and cover everything.

Step 6: Tile your niche!

tile shower niche

The last step is to tile your niche!  I did mine so my tile and grout lines matched up.  It wasn't totally perfect, but I think it will look good once I grout.

fixing shower niche tiling mistake
I got excited and started tiling my top niche and didn't even consider wrapping the decorative tile.  When I woke up the next morning I realized my mistake...ugh!  Luckily I was able to rip out the sides and start over...I had to fix it!
built in shower shelf
I am SOOOO glad I did!  Phew!  It would have driven me crazy!

This Stone Creek Tile you guys is AMAZING!  I love it, plus it looks better in person!   The Mosaic is perfect with it...just a touch of style!  Jeffery Court really knocked it out of the park with their tiles!

Now to show you what was going on while I built the niche...it took a while. 

Remember Amy?
best friends help each other in need
Amy offered to come and help me tile, because she is amazing like that!  So I got her for almost two days and she was such great help, I have such limited time to work on this bathroom so it meant the world to me!  Seriously so grateful for her!!
tiling shower
While I worked on the shower niche...and other things (which I will show you in a minute).  Amy knocked out most of my shower!  We got pretty cozy in there together!  Ha ha!  This is not a big space!  
adding metal corer bead to dry wall, taping and mudding
In order to add the ends of the shower tiles with the metal edge I needed to fix the wall.  I had to add a metal corner bead and then do some mudding and taping, yay!
tiling walls around toilet
Amy started the side walls around the toilet area and made sure they were level.  Then we let them set up before working on the other two walls.  
putting dryer vent into the wall
I spent some brain power trying to figure out my dryer vent and getting it into the wall.  I cut the drywall out to the studs for more room to work, and after some research online got some ideas.  
fixing dryer vent to go behind the drywall
I eventually found a top piece that I connected to my outside vent.  I taped it for extra precaution  since it will be inside the drywall.  I will still be able to clean inside the vent from the outside, which is good.

I may or may not use the the wall piece in the bottom right photo. I am still trying to decide.  Meanwhile my friend has let me do laundry at her house...and the piles are overflowing, again...good grief!
cutting out drywall to put dryer vent into the wall
I really need to get this thing solved.  Plus grouting, I still need to grout the floor!!  And two weeks seems like not enough time!
finishing tiling the shower

Ok, enough sob story!  After Amy left I was able to tile the shower niche, and fix it, and then I finished up the shower...
jeffery court tile in shower and on walls in bathroom
And the other wall by the toilet!  Ahhh happiness!!
stone creek and mosaic Jeffery court tile
As you can see I have a TON of work to do and not enough time.  I just want to sit and look at my pretty tile...is that allowed?!

Head on over to the One Room Challenge Week 4 and see all the amazing progress on everyone's rooms!


Until next week, wish me luck (and a few prayers might be nice too!)







*Jeffery Court has provided me with tile for this one room challenge.  All thoughts, opinions, designs, and ideas are my own.

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