Monday, November 26, 2012

How to Pick a Shower Niche That's Not Stuck in a Rut

by John Whipple
Forget "standard." When you're designing a niche, the shelves and spacing have to work for your individual needs

Shower niches are more complicated than they look. Every decision for shelving, sizing and materials makes a difference in function and style. Is glass or Caesarstone best? How many shelves are needed, and how should they be placed? These examples can help you make the right decisions.

 True to the golden ratio, dividing shelves into thirds tends to look best. When it comes to niches, I'm a firm believer in following this rule.

Tip: Most glass looks slightly green. If you want a whiter glass, choose a low-iron version, like starphire glass.
This shelf makes use of three stone shelves rather than glass.

So, which is better? Personally, I like the look of glass. But if a shower niche is getting soaked and taking on soap spray every day, a stone surface will look cleaner longer.

Tip: Make sure the bottom of the niche and any shelves are slightly tipped toward the shower so they drain. Shower niches are super useful, but if they hold water after every shower, they won't look great for long.
Like it? Save it to your IdA niche installation often depends on the tile choice and how the edges of those tiles look. Many times we miter the edges of the tile to eliminate the plain edge that many tiles have.

Here's an example of mitered tile corners. The top shower niche was built larger and then divided with a glowing shelf of starfire glass.

Tip: Starphire glass scratches easier than regular glass. Take extra care cleaning and working with this glass.

The scale of this niche is excellent. Notice how the shower niche has 11 glass tiles on the back. The glass shelf sits on the seventh tile down from the top — almost two-thirds of the way down. Sometimes this doesn't work out when you get onsite, but here the scale is superb.

Tip: Make sure you measure your favorite shower products. A nicely designed shower niche is great, but if your shampoo bottle of choice does not fit, it won't be of any help.

If you sit on a bench, you probably want to access to your stuff. Keep things in reach and plan the niche placement to work for you and your kids.

Tip: If you have kids, assume that they will try to climb anything that looks like a ladder, so keep your shelving secure. Installing the glass or stone first in the niche and then setting the tile around it is far safer than siliconing a glass shelf into a finished tiled niche.

What a feature! This corner bench is obviously the focal element in the shower. When planning your main design points, a shower niche should not compete with your space's design. The use of glass in this niche makes for a subtler look.

Tip: Glass is usually affordable. But make sure you order your niche shelving with other glass items to get the most bang for your buck. If you're using three shelves in a niche, ask your contractor to order four. It's always nice to have a backup in case something breaks.
This is a great use of space. Many of the little things needed in a shower can fit in a small niche. The low glass shelf doubles the footprint and creates extra room for lotions and potions.

Tip: Make sure the glass is tempered so it's safe in case of an accident.
I love the contrast of this shower niche. This hardworking spot is great for a squeegee. The shorter wall (often called a pony wall) hides the niche from the other parts of the bathroom. Some homeowners don't like to have their shower products on display. Hiding your niche down low like this can be a great solution.

Tip: If the niche ends up on display, then make it a gem!

The large glowing niche in my daughter's bathroom has a one-third split. The smaller top niche won't collect water — it's a great spot for a bar of soap.

Tip: When working with slabs for niches, you will need to specify to the stone supplier that the pieces be double polished, meaning both the top and bottom get polished.

At Cabinet-S-Top, we specialize in designing baths and showers accented with beautiful niche's that will work for your individual needs.  Stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 or give us a call to set up an appointment 330.239.3630.



1 comment:

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