Have you ever wanted a space in your shower that contains all your grooming things such as shampoo, loofah or soaps? If you are fond of space utilization, chances are you have thought about putting shower niche in your bathrooms.
However, although shower niches are widely used in many bathrooms, more people are searching for alternatives to shower niches due to some inconveniences caused by these niche.
Commonly known as shower nooks or recesses, shower niche is a shower shelf where you can place items such as conditioners, soaps, shampoos, etc.
They are more permanent than shower shelves and caddies and can hold much more space than these alternatives. However, due to certain problems that these shower niche cause, many homeowners are exploring alternatives to shower niche which are more long-lasting and robust.
Before we dwell on the problems of shower niche, let us take a look at the shower niche alternatives available in the market.
Alternatives to Shower Niche
A shower niche is an in-built vessel that you can use to store items of bath use in your shower. Although shower niche have been around for quite some time and many people think of installing a shower niche when constructing their bathrooms, shower niches come with their own problems. Due to this reason, people consider alternatives to shower niches such as corner shelves, ledges and nib walls.
One of the major problems of a new bathroom is waterproofing, which needs to be done carefully so as not to cause moisture to seep in the walls.
This is the major reason why a shower niche needs to be fitted properly without leaving any room for water to seep inside or behind the niche.
Another aspect that causes people to consider choosing other options than shower niche is the space that it is built in–you need an external wall to house the niche or create a completely new wall to install this cavity in your shower.
Problems Caused by Shower Niche
Although shower niche is still very much in trend these days, many people are opting out of building shower niches in their bathrooms and are on the lookout for alternatives to these shower niches. The main problems which force these people to think about these alternatives are:
- Requires Separate Construction
A niche is an internally-built space or cavity in the shower wall that acts as a storage space for items used in the shower. They are built or recessed inside the washower’s ll frame o, creating a box-like cavity inside. If your walls are steel-framed or made of wood, these niches can be easy to construct and would act as an excellent utilization of space. However, if your walls are made up of bricks, it will be tough to build a niche in them, and you might need to create a false wall to accommodate the cavity. This separate building of the wall can be pretty challenging and costly as well.
- Insufficient Storage Space
When it comes to size, niches can be pretty small and crowded. Think of all the items you want to store in your shower niche–and they are not only shampoo, conditioner or soaps. People use various other items in a bathroom,, and the size of all these items are bound to be different. Due to the limited space offered by shower niches, all items of usage may not fit in them, causing clutter and inconvenience. Moreover, the height and depth of a shower niche are relatively small, which implies that if you have shampoo and conditioner bottles of large sizes, they will definitely not fit inside these niches.
- Hard to keep waterproof
A niche is built close and beside a shower, which means it can get wet and waterlogged easily. The best place for installing a shower before, is away from the water splash area, representing a good arm’s length away from the shower head. In addition, waterproofing of the shower niche is essential as seepage of water can be a breeding ground for pests and moulds.
- Does not provide proper hygiene
A big lsignificanttation of a shower niche is the absence of hanging space to hang all the items to dry. However, since a shower niche is simply a cavity or a box inside a wall, it does not contain a hanging space for hanging all the shower puffs, loofahs, facecloths, shower caps and body gloves. These items can get wet whenever someone takes a shower. This is highly unhygienic and a perfect breeding ground for mould and germs.
- May be hard to give pleasing aesthetics.
Aesthetics are important when it comes to installing or building a shower niche. After all, you don’t want a mismatched shower niche in your bathroom.
To make it aesthetically pleasing, however, you will have to install tiles inside the niche to make it stand out or use the same tile as used on the wall behind the shower niche. Choosing tiles to complement the look of the niche can be an additional burden for homeowners and can be heavy on the pocket as well.
As a result of all the problems caused by shower niche, we have come up with some of the alternatives that you use in your shower for extra space, hygiene and storage.
Why You Should Use a Corner Shelf instead of a Shower Niche?
There are some reasons why a corner shelf is better than a shower niche:
- Can be waterproofed easily
Corner shelves can be waterproofed easily: Unlike a shower niche, which is built inside the wall and cannot be waterproofed, a corner shelf can be made waterproof with the help of a polythene sheet spread inside the shelf to keep the water away. They can also be waterproofed with the rest of the wall tile.
- Easier to Construct
Corner shelves are easier to construct: unlike a shower niche, a corner shelf is easier to plan and construct. This is because planning for a shower niche starts at the framing stage, and its support has to be considered even before installing the cement board, followed by the planning to waterproof the niche box. On the other hand, you can plan for a corner shelf during the installation of a tile, the last steps of a shower construction.
- Can be customized
A shower niche is made one time and there is no room for an extra niche if you plan to change your mind. You must break down the shower wall if you insist on another shower niche. On the other hand, if you want more than one corner shelf, or want additional corner shelves added to the previous ones, you can always add shelves to your existing corner shelf without going through an arduous and tough process of breaking down a wall.
- Easier to tile
When constructing a shower niche, you will need to take care of the cuts of the wall tile and the top and back of the along as these areas will need to be cut to install the tiles. An improperly placed tile at the bottom of the niche will look out of place and haphazard. This is a lot of work and takes up quite a lot of time. On the other hand, you can place a corner shelf wherever you want without removing or adding a new tile. In addition, while a frame is easier to install at the bottom or top of a vertical tile, the tile can be cut in the middle to fit the frame inside.
- Has much more space
A shelf’s other significant advantage over a shower niche is space. Contrary to a shower niche with less room, a corner shelf can also house bottles of large sizes. While a shower niche cannot be adjusted for height, a frame can be added or removed to make up more space for large-sized bottles and items.
- Is less costly
A niche is built inside a wall and needs more labor and material to give a final look. In addition, its framing, detailing, and tiling need to be done carefully and precisely.
All these activities require labor, time, and cost. Contrary to this, a corner shelf does not involve much work. All you have to do is to make your own shelf by combining slabs from the leftover material without worrying about the sides and top of the shelf.
If you are a homeowner seeking to build or renovate your shower area, chances are you have thought well about installing a shower niche in the bathroom area. Although shower niches are used by many people today, specific problems associated with shower niches have forced people to consider alternatives to shower niches. Nevertheless, this does not mean you cannot have a shower niche in your bathroom area. On the contrary, with proper planning and the right size, space and tile selection, you can utilize the shower niche space quite well.