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This Complete Shower Niche Guide thoroughly explores the question What is a Shower Niche, by providing you with all the resources you might need for your important shower niche decisions (the different types, installation issues and where to buy them).


This is Steve from SKG Renovations (Steve’s bio). This actionable shower niche info comes from my experience installing all kinds of shower niches during my bathroom and shower remodelling career.

Included in this Post:


Answering the question: What is a Shower Niche?

Overview of the different Shower Niches Types

Shower Niche Design to help you pick exactly the right shower niche for you (pros & cons of each type)

Finding the perfect Shower Niche Height, Size, & Position in your shower wall

Avoiding the BIGGEST Shower Niche Install Problems

Shower Niches vs Other Shower Storage Options (shower caddies, shower shelves)

A Shower Niche Buyers Guide (Costs & Descriptions)

What is a Shower Niche?


A shower niche is a fairly common term used to describe a storage space in the wall of your shower or bath to store soap, shampoo bottles, etc. It is a permanent recessed shelf (or niche) in the tile wall that is finished and waterproof, that allows you to use the space inside the wall as extra storage.


Other less popular terms for shower niche include, built in shower shelves, recessed shower shelf, and shower shelf insert, to name a few of the less popular but also highly searched terms for shower niche. It can also be referred to more specifically as a bathtub niche if it’s installed in a tub/ shower combination, and more generally as a bathroom niche.


To fully answer the question, What is a shower niche?, we must also define the two main types: tiled shower niche and finished shower niche. Each of these two niche types also have some variations.

Shower Niche Types:


There are two main types of Shower Niches: Tiled and Finished.


1.  Tiled shower niches come in two variations:


 i)  Custom tiled niches require the construction of a framed box between the wall studs. This shower niche box is then covered with tile backer board, waterproofed, then tiled. This type is the most costly, time consuming, and error prone of all the niche types but can be built to any custom size.


ii)  The prefab niche, or preformed shower niche is the easiest tiling niche to install and waterproof. It can be made of plastic, foam board or stainless steel and it’s surface is designed to be tiled upon (has a tile bonding surface). They are available in only a few standard sizes.



2. Finished shower niches also come in two variations:


i)  The membrane bonding niche has an outer flange for bonding to waterproofing membranes and attachment to the framing. They can be made from stainless steel or porcelain. These are much easier to install than a tiled shower niche.


ii)  The retrofit niche mounts into a hole in the finished tile & fastens to the tile surface with adhesive. They can be made from stainless steel, porcelain or plastic. This type is the easiest to install but DOES NOT bond with the waterproofing membrane.

Tiled Shower Niche

Finished Shower Niche