How to Build a Custom Shower Niche

Mar 8 2022

Are you interested in building a custom shower niche? Despite what you may think regarding the self-construction, it is not challenging to do. You just need to proceed with a few simple steps to build your custom shower niche, and the effort will deliver numerous benefits in the long run. With the magnitude of the benefits, it is well worth it to carry out this DIY project to achieve your personalized shower niche. Continue to read, so we can share all the steps in detail.

Step 1: Decide the Size of the Shower Niche and Where to place it

In order to begin the construction of your custom shower niche, you must determine the size and the placement of it. You will notice that shower niches can be divided into two different categories: horizontal and vertical. Out of these two options, we encourage you to proceed with getting a vertical shower niche to maximize storage space and keep everything looking neat.

For the vertical shower niche, you can either build it all the way up to the ceiling or decide your own custom height. However, you need to make sure that enough space is available in the bathroom to accommodate your desired niche. Based on the availability of space, you can determine the overall size of your shower niche.

Step 2: Frame the Shower Niche

After deciding the size and placement of your shower niche, you need to decide how to frame it. It is necessary to make measurements, so you can understand where exactly the edge of your shower pan ends. Based on those measurements, you can determine how to create the frame.

Before framing the shower niche, you need to cut the horizontally placed stud braces visible on the right hand side and then remove them. After, you can proceed with framing both the left and right side of the openings using double stud posts which will help result in a solid shower niche frame.

To complete the framing process, you need to remove the section of the wall located under the niche to enhance the aesthetical aspect of your shower niche. However, you should pay extra caution during this process since it is quite delicate. Otherwise, you will end up damaging the drywall on the opposite side of your wall.

Step 3: Install the Foam Backer Board

Now go near the bottom plate located under the niche and cut out a section from it. You need to consider whether to use a foam backer board because it will enhance the functionality of a waterproofing membrane as well as a backer board. The foam backer will help you to save a considerable amount of time. On top of that, you can overcome the struggle of applying a waterproofing membrane inside the shower.

You can proceed with installing the foam backer board first and then proceed with attaching the other panels to the shower. Next, you need to make sure that the seams located in between the wall panels and niche panels are facing inside of the shower niche. In order to do this, you can cut the HYDRO-BLOK board and install it at the back of your niche with a small bead of sealant on each side.

You can cut out the backer board pieces of the different sides of shower niche surrounding the wall framing, and you can apply the bed of HYDRO-BLOK joint sealant against the back panel. After that, you can cut the backer board pieces and install different sides of the niche. The last few HYDRO-BLOK Board pieces should be installed on the face of your shower wall on both sides of the niche. You should also make sure that these side pieces are overlapping the pieces that you have mounted on the left and right sides of your shower niche. You should also make sure that the HYDRO-BLOK sealant gets applied to help you with creating a watertight seal.

After that, you will need to install the HYDRO-BLOK Board places on the faces of your shower wall. You can install them on the left-hand side and the right hand side. Next, you should install a smaller part of the HYDRO-BLOK board to fill in the perimeter of the base notch channel in front of your niche.

Step 4:  Waterproof the Shower Niche

In the previous step, you were able to seal together the panels with the help of a joint sealant. By doing that, you can make sure that the shower wall is waterproof. However, you will still need to be mindful about waterproofing the base of your shower niche as it has recessed plywood subfloor and should be raised to the subfloor grade before you proceed with waterproofing.

To waterproof, you may think about spreading a thin set layer of mortar of a thickness of around ¼ inches onto the base of your shower niche. You need to make sure that it is properly sloped outwards to ensure proper draining of the shower. To achieve optimal results, you should have a slope of around 1/16 inches from the back to front. Next, you can install the shower pan seams near the base of your shower niche.

As the next step, you will need to seal the joint of the niche panels, so that they properly attach to the floor.

Step 5: Install the Tiles and Shelves for Shower Niche

Now you come to the step where you can proceed with installing the tiles of the shower niche as well as other shelves. You have the freedom to select any type of tile based on your preferences, but we encourage choosing an option such as composite marble. You can expose the edges of tiles on different sides of your shower niche.

You can cut the wall tiles and set them on the right hand side of your shower niche. Then you can proceed with installing tiles at the back of your shower niche. You should be careful to install the tiles on both sides of your shower niche before you proceed with the niche side wall. That way you can make sure that both sides look perfectly well. You can also proceed with cutting and installing the tiles on the shelves.

Step 6: Apply grout to the Shower Niche

After the installation of tiles, you can proceed with grouting, and you may consider utilizing a pre-sealed grout. Make sure to apply it only on a part of your area before you proceed with applying on the entire shower niche, so you can develop the right technique to apply the rest of the grout.

Step 7: Seal the Shower Niche if not Using a Pre-sealing Grout

Now you have come to the last step of completing your customized shower niche where you will need to seal it. If you use a pre-sealed grout, there is no need to worry too much about sealing the grout, so you can skip this step. However, you should make sure that you have properly applied grout on all surfaces.

In case if you did not use a pre-sealing grout, you may think about using a good grout to get the sealing job done. Or else, you can also think about using a reputed tile or stone sealer available on the market. The sealer you select should be compatible with the nature of tiles that you have installed. For example, if you have marble tiles which are porous and soft, you should pick an appropriate sealant for the texture. Once you are done with applying the sealant, you should also apply a small bead of silicon around your shelves which is the niche perimeter.

Wrap Up

Now you have a clear understanding of the steps associated with building a custom shower niche. While keeping these in mind, you can proceed with constructing the custom shower niche of your desires. The freedom you obtain from the customizability of this DIY project allows you to create a personalized home.

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