Shower niches are growing in popularity. The convenience of having an in shower storage area for commonly used items makes the shower area more organized and keeps items within easy reach while taking a shower. Installing a shower niche in an older home with a tiled shower is well worth the time it takes to create the opening and install the pre-formed shower niche.
Waterproof shower niches are available that finish flush with the wall finish, and have a flange that screws to the wall and tile can be run over the flange for a seamless look. Protruding shower niches have a return flange that protrudes beyond the wall and returns to the tile, and you caulk the seam between the tile and the shower niche flange.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Rotary saw
- Reciprocating saw
- Screw tip for the drill
- 2 inch by 4 inch by 10 foot treated stud
- Circular saw
- Stainless steel 2 inch wood screws
- Cement board
- Shower niche
- Drop-in caulk gun
Locate where you would like the shower niche installed in the shower. Keep in mind a comfortable reaching distance from the shower head and also a height that allows you to easily view the items stored in the niche.
Measure the dimensions of the shower niche and transfer the measurements to the wall in the pre-determined location. Mark the rough opening 1/4 of an inch larger in both directions to allow you to level the shower niche after it is installed.
Remove one course of tile from around the entire area where the shower niche is to be installed. Use the rotary saw to cut along the grout lines and then free the tiles from the wall with the hammer and chisel. Discard the tiles and clean the wall of remaining tile pieces and remove the excess tile setting compound with the chisel.
Re-mark the rough opening on the exposed wall. Cut through the cement board with the reciprocating saw. Remove any screws that are holding the cement board in place. If there are any studs located in the hole for the shower niche, cut the hole 4 inches larger vertically, 2 inches up and 2 inches down. Cut the cement board to the new distances and discard the removed material. Cut the stud even with the top and bottom of the new hole height.
Cut two pieces of 2-by-4 to the width of the hole plus 3 1/2 inches and two the total height of the hole minus 3 1/2 inches. The deductions are to allow for the stud widths when assembled. Screw the two height pieces of wood to one of the width pieces, keeping the vertical pieces flush with the ends of the width piece. Mark the center on the other 2-by-4, set the 2-by-4 on the vertical stud, line it up on center and screw it to the vertical stud with 2 stainless steel screws. Insert the screwed 2-by-4 assembly into the hole. Use the hammer to tap the assembly into the hole and screw it to the vertical stud and the lower width cut 2-by-4.
Cut two pieces of cement board to screw to the top and bottom face of the stud assembly. This will create an even surface for mounting the shower niche.
Slide the shower niche into place and ensure that it is stable. Run a bead of caulk around the edges of the hole on the cement board and screw through each of the mounting holes in the shower niche flange. Tile the mounting flange area along the wall, and you can continue the tile into the shower niche.
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