Framing in a New Shower Niche

4 Materials
$30
4 Hours
Medium

If you are about to tile a shower, now is the time to frame in a new shower niche. I just framed in a new shower niche as a part of a full Master Bathroom Remodel and videotaped a short video to explain how I did it.

framing in a new shower niche

Installing a new shower niche can get pretty complicated based on the size of the niche, the age of your home, and the location of the niche. This tutorial only covers a basic shower niche on a wall that isn't load bearing AND is in modern 2x4 stud framed wall.

If you are framing in a niche on a load bearing wall or a longer niche than mine (around 2' wide or wider), you'll most likely need to use a double 2x4 header with 2x4 supported sides. BUT, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND googling the requirements for your type of niche to be sure.


framing in a new shower niche

Watch the video for a more detailed explanation and a look at me actually doing the work.

This wall doesn't support the floor above it, so I knew I could cut pretty much any size niche into it. BUT, if I had gone wider than about 2', I would have used a double header (2 layers of 2x4) to prevent sagging from the weight of the framing above it.

I made sure to mark center on my wall then cut into the 2x4 that was in the way of the new niche. This is tricky, you don't want to cut the drywall behind it. So, I started with my circular saw, to get a nice straight and deep start on each cut. Then carefully used my Reciprocating Saw to finish the cuts. A Skill Saw would have been even better, but I don't have one of those.

I used 2 1/2" wood screws to secure the new niche frame in place. Always make sure everything is level and square as you work.

It's also REALLY IMPORTANT to slightly angle the bottom piece down at the front to allow for proper water drainage in the niche. Then as you add the hardiboard and tile, always make sure that the slight angle is still there. Angling all 3 layers for drainage is the best practice for shower niche installs.

framing in a new shower niche

Hardiboard and RedGuard were used here. They both provide extra protection against water.

framing in a new shower niche

This gets more complicated (sorry) but if you're careful about the height of the niche and plan ahead, you can get it to line up with the tile and avoid any small slivers of tile or hard cuts.

framing in a new shower niche

I also framed this niche with Schluter Aluminum Edging. You can find this style at Lowes and Home Depot or order other styles and finishes on Amazon. You can find more info about my tile install in this blog post.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Krafty Mrs.K
    on Jun 20, 2019

    We need to retile our tiny shower stall. While I have done tub surrounds and floors, I am concerned about waterproofing for niche and shower floor. We have no operable window Just an exhaust fan so i worry about the fumes from using RedGuard.

    Could I paint the Hardiboard outside then seal the seams and floor after installing them? or does it need to be one continuous coat.?

    • Krafty Mrs.K
      on Jun 26, 2019

      Thanks.

      Even with a box fan, we may need to vacated our bedroom for a couple days. It will be worth it.

Join the conversation

4 of 6 comments
  • Lisa
    on Jun 13, 2019

    What timing! I just found a crack in my shower insert and have to rip it out. I was planning to do exactly this. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Doreen Kennedy
    on Jun 16, 2019

    We’re getting ready to do ours so thanks for the great tips! Yours looks terrific.

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