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Is a shower niche a good idea? Consider these things before your bathroom renovation

We'll help you figure out if a shower niche is the right design idea for your space

shower head next to shower niche
Cultura Creative RF / Alamy

When it comes to renovating your bathroom, every detail counts. One element that often sparks debate among homeowners is the inclusion of a shower niche. Is it worth the investment? Will it enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your space?

Before you make a decision, let’s dig into the world of shower niches to weigh the pros and cons. We’ll also give you some amazing shower niche design ideas that will make your shower space pop.

shower niche with green bottles
Suzanne Rushton / Unsplash

What is a shower niche?

A shower niche is a built-in shelf or alcove within the shower enclosure, designed to hold bathing essentials like shampoo, conditioner, soap, and loofahs. It serves both practical and aesthetic purposes, providing storage while contributing to the overall design scheme of the bathroom.

Bathroom with marble shower and shower niche
Zac Gudakov / Unsplash

Pros of having a shower niche

Integrating a shower niche into your bathroom design offers several advantages, and here are a few of the top benefits.

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1. Looks sleek and modern 

A well-crafted shower niche adds a touch of sophistication to your bathroom, elevating its visual appeal. Whether you opt for a minimalist tiled niche or a luxurious stone alcove, it enhances the contemporary ambiance of the space.

2. Stores necessities without taking up shower space

Say goodbye to cluttered shower caddies and precarious corner shelves. A built-in niche keeps essential items within arm’s reach, eliminating the need for bulky storage solutions that encroach upon your shower space.

3. Can be designed as a beautiful focal point 

With the right design choices, a shower niche can become a stunning focal point in your bathroom. Incorporating contrasting tiles, intricate patterns, or accent lighting can transform it into a captivating feature that catches the eye.

Bathtub with two large shower niches
Max Rahubovskiy / Pexels

Cons of having a shower niche

While shower niches offer numerous benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider.

1. Often requires professional installation

Achieving a seamless, watertight shower niche requires precision and expertise. Constructing this luxurious bathroom feature involves several steps, including:

  1. Measuring and marking the desired location
  2. Cutting an opening in the wall
  3. Installing waterproofing materials
  4. Framing the niche
  5. Adding support structures if necessary
  6. Tiling or finishing the interior surfaces

Additionally, attention to detail during installation is crucial to achieve a seamless and aesthetically pleasing result. That’s why it’s often essential to enlist the services of experienced professionals to ensure a flawless finish.

2. Can lead to mold and water damage if constructed improperly

Inadequate waterproofing or subpar construction techniques can create vulnerabilities within the shower niche, allowing moisture to seep into the surrounding walls. Over time, this can foster mold growth and structural deterioration, posing health risks and requiring mold remediation measures.

3. Installing on an exterior wall could cause insulation issues

If you’re considering placing your shower niche on an exterior wall, be mindful of potential insulation concerns. Penetrating the wall surface for niche installation may compromise thermal efficiency, leading to heat loss and increased energy consumption.

Black and white bold patterned shower with subway tiled shower niche
Andrea Davis / Pexels

Design ideas for your shower niche

When planning your shower niche, explore various design possibilities to tailor it to your preferences and functional needs.


Consider the following materials for your shower niche to achieve the desired aesthetic and durability:

Tile Stone Wood Metal
Ceramic or porcelain tiles offer versatility in design, allowing you to create custom patterns and color schemes. Marble, granite, or travertine lend a luxurious touch to your shower niche, exuding timeless elegance. Teak or cedar adds warmth and organic texture to your bathroom, creating a spa-like ambiance. Stainless steel or aluminum provides a sleek, contemporary look, complementing modern decor themes.

Size, shape, and placement

Experiment with different dimensions and configurations to optimize the functionality and visual impact of your shower niche:

  • Oversized niches: Maximize shower storage capacity and visual presence with a spacious niche that spans the height or width of your shower wall.
  • Corner niche: Use corner spaces efficiently by installing a triangular or trapezoidal niche, which is ideal for compact shower enclosures.
  • Arched niche: Introduce architectural interest with a curved or arched niche, adding elegance and dimension to your shower design.
  • Additional low niche: Enhance versatility by incorporating a secondary niche at a lower height, perfect for storing bathing accessories or performing grooming tasks like shaving.

Additional niche features

You can elevate the functionality of your shower niche even further with some supplementary features. For example, you can illuminate your niche with integrated LED strips or overhead spotlights to enhance visibility and ambiance. You can also incorporate adjustable or fixed shelves within the niche to accommodate varying bottle heights and organizational needs.

When it comes to enhancing the design and aesthetics of your shower niche, consider framing it with contrasting tile borders, metallic trims, or decorative mosaics to make it a focal point. You can also extend the tile or stone from your niche to create a cohesive backsplash that ties the design elements of your shower together.

The shower niche is a fantastic bathroom trend to get on board with, but the decision to include one in your bathroom renovation requires careful consideration of its benefits and drawbacks. While it offers convenient storage and enhances the aesthetic appeal of your shower, proper installation and maintenance are crucial to avoid potential pitfalls such as water damage and mold growth. By exploring creative design ideas and consulting with professionals, you can ensure that your shower niche not only meets your practical needs but also contributes to the overall beauty and functionality of your shower space.

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Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
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