In this post I’ll show you how to find the best shower niche size for your shower remodel project.
I’ll go over the dimensions of all the popular prefab / preformed shower niche products and tell you what you need to know to make an informed decision.
I’ll provide you with a handy list of the most popular Prefab Tile Ready, and Prefab Finished shower niches available from the biggest manufacturers.
Even if you plan to build a custom niche, you should still check out this post because you may find a Prefab that fits your needs. This will save you big $ on niche construction and waterproofing.
This is Steve from SKG Renovations with another addition to my Redblock shower niche series. I sure wish I had this info handy when I installed my first prefabricated shower Niche!
I hope you enjoy it!.
Determining Shower Niche Dimensions
Standard Shower Niche Size
Assuming that you are considering installing a prefab tile ready foam board shower niche, the most popular standard shower niche size is 12″ wide x 28″ high x 3-1/2″ deep. This is based on sales volume of the biggest brand of prefab foam shower niches*. The second most popular size is their 12″ x 12″ niche.
Stud Bay Width
If you’ve chosen a general location for your shower niche, the first thing you need to check is if the space between the studs will fit the niche size you’ve chosen.
Every shower niche, whether it’s a prefabricated tiling Shower Niche or a finished niche, is designed to be mounted in the standard 14-1/2″ gap between two of the structural studs in your shower wall.
The problem is that your chosen stud bay may not be the standard 14-1/2″ that you or your contractor was expecting.
See my Shower Niche Planning post for more info.
How Much Space Do You Need?
This is probably the most important question to ask yourself. Be realistic about your required bathroom niche dimensions – you don’t want any regret after you’ve finished your shower remodel.
It’s important to consider all the liquids and soaps that will regularly be used in the shower, as well as all the personal grooming tools like razors, shaving tubs – even your washing puff or shower brush (if you’re niche includes a place to hang it).
Shelves in your Niche ?
If you decide that you need a bit more room than a standard 12″ x 12″ shower niche will provide, you need to go vertical!
That means you need to buy the taller shower niche so that a shelf or two can be installed.
More shelves will obviously multiply your shower niche dimensions. The higher you go, the more shelves you can install, and the more stuff you can put into it.
You should also consider your bulk sized bottles if you routinely use them in the shower. This will determine how tall at least one of your niche shelves needs to be.
Do you need a space for your bar soap and razor? You should seriously consider installing a shelf near the top of your niche to create a 3″ space for these narrow items.
As well, you should think about installing as narrow a shelf as possible. Most of the tile ready foam board niches come standard with a super thick shelf. Once this shelf is tiled, it eliminates a huge amount of your interior dimensions of your niche.
Instead, think about installing a glass or stainless steel shelf to recover some of your interior niche size. Just keep in mind that a glass shelf is super slippery, so it’s maybe not the best choice for bar soap storage.
Horizontal Shower Niche
During your process of deciding what size your shower niche should be, you may decide that you need a horizontal shower niche. This means it will horizontally span two or more stud bays on the back wall of your shower.
You may feel that you just need the gargantuan storage area of a horizontal niche, or you may just like it’s bold design statement.
Either way, when you increase the scale and dimensions of your shower niche horizontally like this, you can create some serious problems if it’s not installed correctly.
Popular Prefabs Compared
Below, I’ll show you all the sizes of the most popular prefab shower niches available.
But before I do that, you need to know a bit about the different prefab niche classifications.
First of all, these niches are referred to in four different ways – prefab, prefabricated, preformed, and premanufactured. All of these terms mean the same thing 🙂 .
Secondly, there are two main types of prefab niches, each with a couple of sub-types.
1. Tile Ready Shower Niches:
- Plastic (ABS) shower niches
- Foam Board shower niches
2. Finished Shower Niches:
- Membrane Bonding shower niches
- Retrofit (Non-Membrane Bonding) shower niches
Now that you know the scoop, here’s the list :
Tile Ready Shower Niches
Foam Board Tile Ready Shower Niches:
*Schluter Kerdi SN – Tile ready foam shelves are available for these niches as well depending on the model chosen or you can buy the separately.
12″ x 28″ x 3-1/2″
12″ x 20″ x 3-1/2″
12″ x 12″ x 3-1/2″
12″ x 6″ x 3-1/2″
Wedi Niche – These niches are coated with a thin cementitious layer which helps the tile to bond and increases surface rigidity (my favorite tile ready niche!). They also have tile ready foam shelves that can be mounted into most of their models.
12″ x 5″ x 3″
12″ x 9″ x 3″
12″ x 13″ x 3″
12″ x 13″ x 3″
12″ x 19″ x 3″
12″ x 38″ x 3″
Noble Niches – Some of these niches come with integrated shelves, and some have arches or peaked top profiles.
13-1/4″ x 48″ x 3-7/8″
13-1/4″ x 30-1/2″ x 3-7/8″
13-1/4″ x 26-3/4″ x 3-7/8″
13-1/4″ x 21-1/2″ x 3-7/8″ (Options: shelf or square, peaked, arched top)
13-1/4″ x 13-1/2″ x 3-7/8″
7-1/4″ x 21-1/2″ x 3-7/8″ (Options: shelf or square, peaked, arched top)
7-1/4″ x 7-1/4″ x 3-7/8″
Laticrete ( Hydro Ban ) Preformed Niche – Some models contain fixed shelves. The interior is coated with a material that allows for secure mortar bonding.
12″ x 12″ x 3-1/2″
12″ x 20″ x 3-1/2″
8″ x 8″ x 3-1/2″
12″ x 12″ & 12″ x 6″ (x 3-1/2″ deep)
12″ x 12″ & 8″ x 6″ (x 3-1/2″ deep)
Plastic (ABS) Prefabricated Shower Niches:
USG Durock Prefab Shower Niches – Interior is coated with a nonwoven fleece membrane to allow better tile adhesion with standard thin set mortars.
13-3/4″ x 22″ x 3-5/8″
13-3/4″ x 13-3/4″ x 3-5/8″
EZ-Niche – Has no tile bonding fleece like the Durock niche. The manufacturer says you can bond tiles to its surface with modified thin set mortar. I am sceptical about this – polymer modified thin set mortar has a hard time sticking to plastics. Has no shelf options.
7″ x 8″ x 3-5/8″
8″ x 14″ x 3-5/8″
11″ x 16″ x 3-5/8″
14″ x 14″ x 3-5/8″ (with or without arch)
14″ x 22″ x 3-5/8″ (with or without arch)
14″ x 36″ x 3-5/8″ ( Horizontal niche )
Finished Shower Niches
Membrane Bonding Shower Niches:
Redblock Stainless Steel Shower Niche – Bonds to waterproofing membrane, integrated tile border flange, non-slip perforated shelves, 316 stainless steel for enhanced corrosion resistance. Currently available in brushed SS finishes.
10″ x 14″ x 4″ (One shelf)
10″ x 28″ x 4″ (2 shelves)
Easy Drain Stainless Steel Shower Niche – Includes a plastic inner niche that bonds to waterproofing membrane. A finished stainless steel niche inserts into this plastic inner piece. There are no models with shelves. Avail. in brushed SS finish as well as 3 other powder coated color finishes.
6″ x 12″ x 4″
12″ x 12″ x 4″
24″ x 12″ x 4″ ( Horizontal niche )
36″ x 12″ x 4″ ( Horizontal niche )
48″ x 12″ x 4″ ( Horizontal niche )
Retrofit (Non-Membrane Bonding) shower niches:
Generic Stainless Steel Shower Niche – Does not bond with waterproofing shower membranes.
12″ x 12″ x 3-1/4″
24″ x 12″ x 3-1/4″ (Horizontal)
Apple Creek Ceramic Shower Niches – Does not bond with shower waterproofing membranes. Most have integrated shelves / soap holders.
11-3/4″ x 11-3/4″ x 3-5/8″
11-3/4″ x 11-3/4″ x 3-5/8″ (with 3 compartments)
Kohler Acrylic Shower Niches – These models are made of a formed acrylic (plastic) and are designed to be used with their custom wall panel system. They come in a few different colors and all have integrated shelves.
17″ x 62″ x 3-1/2″
14″ x 64″ x 3-1/2″
9″ x 64″ x 3-1/2″
6″ x 61″ x 3-1/2″
I hope this post has provided you with a valuable resource of the different size options out there for prefab shower niches. I hope I’ve also shown you that size is important when it comes to shower niches, but there are also some other important considerations.
Please leave a comment below to let me know if this post has been of any help to you, or if I can add anything to make it better.
This post is for information purposes only and should NOT be interpreted as professional advice. You should always consult a licensed local contractor before undertaking any remodelling work in your home. Click here for my full Personal / Professional Disclosure.