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Useful & Practical, A Shower Niche Is What You Need – Tile It Yourself With This Guide

Duncan Brookes

An aesthetic but practical addition to the bathroom is a shower niche. These indents on the wall provide space for you to place shampoo and conditioner bottles, body wash, soap, and other bathroom essentials. It’s a great way to organize and declutter every item you use without affecting the overall look of your bathroom.

Building a shower niche might need more than one person to accomplish completely, but tiling it should be an easy project that you can do on your own. With hundreds and thousands of tile patterns available on the market, you will not run out of choices to decorate your shower niche. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide, then you’re in the right place! We have listed all the materials you’ll need and our easy-to-follow instructions will guide you along the way, so you won’t have any problems attaching your new tiles to your shower niche.

Materials needed

You’ll need the right tools for the right task in order to tile your shower niche properly. Some of the tools on our list are optional, but you can use them alongside other required tools.

  • New tiles
  • Square notched trowel
  • Thinset mortar
  • Level
  • Horseshoe shims
  • Grout sponge
  • 4 ½ angle grinder
  • Laser level (optional)
  • Grout float (optional)

Applying thinset

Before tiling your shower niche, it should be attached firmly on the wall or on the studs. This is to ensure that when you start applying thinset and attaching the tiles, everything should be in place.

Using the square notched trowel, apply thinset on the sill and the back of the niche first. Make sure the application is even to allow the tile to adhere properly on the niche. Back butter the tiles as well, especially the ones that you’ll attach on the sill. Be generous on your application because it is recommended that the sill is a bit sloped to let the water drain outwards and prevent it from pooling in the corners. Remove the excess thinset with a grout sponge.

As for the sides and the upper part of the shower niche, repeat the same process of applying thinset after attaching the tiles on the sill and the back of the niche.

Attaching the tiles

Attach the tiles on the sill first. As mentioned earlier, make sure that there is a generous coating of thinset to create a slope with the tile. Use a level to check the slope. You can attach tile mosaics to the back of the niche to enhance its look. These special tiles are usually held together by a mesh backing, so you’ll need to press this firmly with a grout float or any flat object to ensure that the tile is attached evenly on the wall. Attach the other tiles on the sides and the upper part after applying thinset.

Use a 4 ½ angle grinder to trim the edges of a tile if it doesn’t fit, especially on the sloped tile on the sill. This is to prevent the tile from sticking out of the niche. If you have two shower niches, repeat the whole process, but make sure that both niches are even. Use a laser level to check if the tiles on both niches are aligned.