ESSENTIAL Shower Niche Design Ideas (new for 2019)

by | Last updated Jun 27, 2019 | Shower Niche, Shower Remodel

A complete rundown of shower niche design ideas to pick your perfect shower niche

So you’re looking for shower niche design ideas but you’re confused about the many options available?


If so, you’ve come to the right place!


This is Steve again from SKG Renovations (Steve’s Bio) to inform and inspire you with an abundance of shower niche design ideas.


In this post I will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the five main types of shower niche designs in terms of their beauty and practicality.



Large Storage area

Perhaps the greatest advantage of the custom built vertical tiled shower niche is its large storage area.


If you are planning to have a custom built tiled shower niche installed by your contractor anyways, it often makes sense to extend it vertically.


Because of the way the shower wall is structured, the space between the studs presents a great opportunity to create a long, tall shower niche.


Because there is no extra structure required to extend the niche space upwards between the studs, this is a very compelling custom shower niche design option.


Because these shower niches extend vertically, the number and styles of shelves you choose can alter it’s functionality and visual impact.


Glass shelves are often used in this type of shower niche design because they are almost invisible. This reduces their visual impact and allows the tiles on the back of the niche to be a focal point of your design.


There is a downside to using glass as a shelving material if you are a bar soap user. It’s difficult to keep the soap from slipping off the very smooth glass surface.

Feature tiling

Most modern vertical tiled shower niche designs include the same tile inside the niche that is installed on the surrounding shower wall.

This provides a very unified look and allows the niche to blend with surroundings instead of standing out.


Others that are interested in a more bold design statement use a contrasting tile on the back wall of the niche.


This highlights the niche interior, making your shower niche into a statement piece in your bathroom (see photo at top of section).

More subtle design statement

Another distinct advantage of this shower niche design is that it’s narrow.

A narrow wall recess creates less of a visual impact in your shower even if it does extend far up the shower wall.


Alternatively, a niche that extends horizontal, creates a very different feel as it tends to visually dominate your shower space.

This can be bad thing if you are looking to create a useful shower storage area that is more subtle in appearance.


Too Narrow?

Cladding & Tiling the interior surfaces of this type of shower niche reduces the usable space between the wall studs, which can make it a little too narrow for some people.


This is considered the main disadvantage of this type of shower niche design, especially when the shower wall contains wall studs that are closer than the standard 16” on center (14 1/2” space between).

Necessary tile edge trim

Another disadvantage is that a custom tile border piece or tile edge trim must be installed around the opening of the niche to present a clean and finished tile edge.


Failure to do this exposes the edge of the tile at the opening of the niche. A very unattractive look to be sure.


Tile edge trim is difficult to install for the DIY installer and adds labour costs if you are hiring a contractor to construct your shower niche.


It must also be mentioned that this issue can be entirely avoided if a solid material like natural stone or quartz is used to cover the niche interior.

The outer edges of this material can be polished to create a beautiful outer edge to frame your niche.

Interior waterproofing required

Installation of a waterproofing membrane is also required during construction of all custom built tiled shower niche designs.


This meticulous step is one of the most important of all the construction steps.


This step takes time, increasing your total installation costs.


It also has to be completed with almost perfect technique, thus not well suited as a DIY installation project.


It must also be mentioned that this waterproofing step can never be considered as optional.

The consequences can be dire if you decide to skip this crucial step.


I think you can imagine the results….

Water penetration through the tile assembly and into the wall cavity, causing potential structural problems, mold growth and health problems for the homeowners.


It also inevitably results in a total restoration of the shower surround and a total loss of that part of your investment.


Conclusion: Neglecting to install a waterproofing membrane is a risk you definitely do not want to take.