Bathrooms aren’t complete anymore without a niche — or several — studding your closet wall to make an ingenious storage room for shampoo, shampoo, shaving products and body scrub. Experienced pros give lots of thought to how to tile every single niche, so you and your houseguests do not need to squint at permanent mistakes, wondering what doesn’t appear quite right about your DIY niche installation. You can follow their tips to get the small details just so.
Picking a Location
A terrific niche or recess begins long before you begin troweling thinset on the wall. Think carefully about where to locate the niche. Place it away from the region of shower splashing which comes heavily away from your shoulders and head and strikes the wall toward the front of the bathtub. Avoid putting a cubbyhole in an outside wall, in which the absence of insulation after you cut between the studs can freeze your Perfect designer bathroom suites Pittsburgh products solid — perhaps not the best start to a bathtub. Mark on your green board or bare studs the approximate height you would like your niche or niches — but hold off for now on placing the exact last stage for the bottom and top shelves.
Aligning Niche Height and Tiles
Regardless of the size of the tiles, you need them to line up at least with the underside of the niche for a professional look. The easiest way to do this is to make a jury stick — a 1-by-2 or similarly sized piece of wood, marked in increments to show the magnitude of each tile and including a tolerance for grout. Hold the jury stick up against the green board or studs so you can mark the approximate bottom and top of the niche. You can begin tiling for real now, a row at a time till you hit the base of the first niche.
Aligning the Niche Width
You may choose to align the sides of the niche with your grout lines too, although it’s absolutely OK to pursue other design alternatives. If you want to align the sides, 1 choice is to utilize 13-inch-square shingles. Should you pursue this option, you’ll need to screw in framing members together with the niche’s present studs to narrow them in the full 14 1/2-inch space available between studs. You can also combine normal 6- and 8-inch tiles to produce a pattern which comes near 14 inches, and require only a small buildup of the niche’s sides. You are also free to ignore both top and side alignment and utilize super-sized tiles. Notch them around the sides and top of the niche at a symmetric pattern.
Tips of the Trade
The pros also listen to other small touches and details worth emulating. When you put at the bottom crosspiece for the niche, tilt it slightly forward so that if it is tiled, it sheds water into the bathtub. A level of merely 1/16 of the inch made with a cardboard shim will do, advises Roger Lodwig of Floor Elf. If you plan to use listello tiles — intricate tile boundaries available on mesh backing — align these with the cap of the niche, or just a bit higher, Lodwig recommends.