It’s so fun and easy to build your own shower niche

I’m excited to show you how easy it is to build your own shower niche. Have you ever wondered if it’s possible. The simple answer is yes and I’m excited to show you how we took our boring, impractical builder grade shower shelves and transformed them into something unique and pretty. Let’s not forget more functional.

How is it even possible?

In our semi custom home we didn’t upgrade the 3 showers in our home. They each came with the same ugly and impractical shelf that was barely big enough to hold a bar of soap and shampoo.

Boring uninspiring shower shelf

Our shower walls are cultured marble. It’s a step up from the plastic surrounds. I do like them for ease of cleaning but I was really hating the shelves they included in each shower.

These ugly shower shelves annoyed me. Monte and I had talked about changing them and started looking around to see what is possible.

We found these ez-niches shower niches at Floor and Decor that would work perfectly if we could figure out a couple things.

The first was can we cut the installed cultured marble without it cracking or breaking and because we were working backwards could we figure out a way to cover the lip of the niche mold and unfinished tile edge.

Over the first hurdle so we knew we could build our own shower niche.

One day when I was out on my walk I passed some homes in the building process. An installer was parked out front with cultured marble in his truck. I ran over and told him what I was wanting to do and ask if it was possible to cut the already installed cultured marble.

The contractor was a great guy and told me it could be cut. Then wrote down my home number so he could leave an old tile blade and a scrap piece of cultured marble so we could try it out.

Monte was out of town at the time or I would have sent him over but I was super excited to tell him what I learned and show him what we needed.

Check out this blog post for additional information on the supplies we used.

Over the first hurdle now hurdle two

After cutting some cultured marble and seeing how easily it cut we now had to figure out how to cover the lip of the tile. This wouldn’t be an issue if you are building from scratch and doing things in the proper order. You wouldn’t be left with the raw edge of the tile. The only thing Monte could figure out was to frame it with marble tile that had a finished edge.

Marble we are going to use to frame our shower niche

We talked with a few associates at the store and figured that would be the best for what we were dealing with.

Shower niche part 2

We completed the shower niche project a couple years ago and I was extremely happy with two of them. The first one I wished we’d done it a little different and wasn’t thrilled with the end result. It was fine and served it’s purposed but I didn’t love it. Thankfully it wasn’t the master shower so I really didn’t see it often.

When I decided to do some updates to the guest bathroom I was loving everything we did. I loved the board and batten and peel and stick wallpaper until I noticed how terribly it looked with the previously installed shower niche.

Not loving the way the previously installed shower niche.

Thankfully Monte agreed it looked bad and was willing to change it if I could find some tile I loved.

Finding the tile

Finding the tile was super easy. I picked up three samples from Floor and decor. After bringing them home I knew which one I wanted. I headed back to the store to make the purchase so we could start the project.

Out with the old and in with the new shower niche

The hope was to cut off the previously installed marble that was used to frame the niche and reuse it.

Trying to remove the frame of the shower niche.

Unfortunately we were only able to save a couple pieces. The rest broke in the process so we did have to purchase more marble.

Cutting, chiseling off the frame.

Since we weren’t trying to save the interior tile we didn’t need to be careful as we worked to get it off.

Taking down the tile from the shower niche

We removed the side pieces then worked on the main portion.

After everything was removed we were left with the niche liner we had previously purchased. This keeps everything water proof and gives you a support to work with since we couldn’t build one by hand. There are a few brand options and a variety of sizes. This is the medium ez niche.

The previously installed ez niche.

Installing the tile for the shower niche

The installation was pretty quick. I actually like tiling. I haven’t done a lot but I am learning and enjoying the process. The hardest part is working in a tight space. After we got the first piece in I knew I would love it.

Working on the installation

It looked amazing and was going to finish our bathroom off beautifully.

The back portion was super easy to install. The sides took a little more work. There was some cutting and figuring.

This shower niche is going to look so much better.

Taking the time to match up the tile so it looked professionally installed

Ready to frame the easy to install shower niche

Framing the niche

If we were doing this project in the proper order we wouldn’t need to frame the niche. It would be behind the cultured marble or we could add a trim.

After the back and sides were installed we just needed to cover up the raw edges with our marble frame. We purchased marble pieces and cut them in half to build the frame. Monte used GE tub and tile silicone to adhere the marble to the shower frame. It was purchased at Home Depot. We know it holds because it wasn’t easy to get the tile off from the previously installed shower niche.

Working on the shower niche frame

Because of the size of the tile and the size of the niche there is a small piece in the middle. We were working with a few things that couldn’t be changed so we made it work.

Working on the frame

The frame is done.

I think it looks so much better and will really complete the design of this guest bathroom

Grouting the pretty shower niche

We let the tile sit for 24 hours before we grouted. It’s important to let it settle for a few hours.

Grouting the super pretty shower niche

It was such a small space so it didn’t take much grout or take much time. Monte mixed up the grout in a little container then wiped it on the tile.

It went on so quick. It always takes a little time wiping off. You have some ghosting that takes a little extra washing and wiping.

So pretty after it was grouted

I love this makeover. It wasn’t happy that we needed to redo this project but then I thought I’m so glad we have the skills to make and create so much charm in our home. Even if I miss the mark on occasion.

This wasn’t terrible expensive. The ez-niche we used was $49. We didn’t have to take out the one we originally installed. This one was a medium size. The tile was pretty inexpensive, less then $30. We hoped to reused the marble frame which wouldn’t have cost anything but since we had to purchase more it was an addition $30.

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I am passionate about cultivating home. Whether you like DIY, design, decor or organization I want to help you cultivate the best home for you. One space and step at a time. Small simple to maintain changes with big results.