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How To Tile Shower Niche Without Bullnose

A shower niche is a useful and space-saving bathroom fixture for all your bath materials. They sometimes have bullnose edges, which are round tiles that cover sharp corners and frames. However, some niches don't have a bullnose, so how exactly do you tile them? We have researched answers to find out.

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The first step to creating a shower niche without a bullnose starts with cutting a metal profile that you will install around the edges.

  • Slowly cut the legs of the metal profile using a miter saw. Make sure to do it carefully. 
  • Apply thin-set on the niche, then stick all the metal profiles on the outer edges.
  • Use a rubber mallet to make the corners even.
  • Measure the sill and cut the tiles according to size.
  • Apply thin-set on the sill and tile. Slope them just a little, so the water slides easily.
  • Apply thin-set on the first row of the niche. Make sure all the cut tiles are even. Continue going from starting down and moving upward. 
  • Do the same method on the sides of the niche.
  • Clean out all the grout joints and the profiles.

Shower niches have a lot of benefits, and you may want to have them in a bathroom. There are many things to consider, including the type of tiles, the aesthetic you're going after, and how deep you want the niche to be. If you want to learn more about shower niches, keep reading below!

Corner of the shower room interior with a frame vanity unit, a pink area with a niche shelf, a mirror and three lights - How To Tile Shower Niche Without Bullnose

Can A Shower Niche Not Have a Bullnose?

Shampoo and conditioner or shower gel dispensers in a rectangular niche made of white tiles with copy space

Most modern designs no longer put a bullnose on shower niches. They seem to have an outdated design that doesn't appeal to most contemporary aesthetics, so most homes have transitioned from bullnose to metal edges. 

How much do Shower Niches Cost?

The cost of your shower niche depends on the design, the type of the tiles if you are tiling it, the size, and whether you want it waterproofed--which is ideal. Including labor, you will need to prepare to shell out around $75-$300.

The cost is a little more expensive since adding a niche makes shower tiling more complicated than tiling a flat surface. The process is more meticulous, and you will also need to consider the contractor's quote. 

What to Consider when Installing a Shower Niche

Small bathroom design with integrated shower and bath area. A plant hangs in a cotton rope macrame from the ceiling near a timber window.

Planning is essential to any home project. When installing a niche, you will need to consider various things to ensure that it improves your daily routine and improves your bathroom. 

Having a personal style will make this process easier since there are a lot of designs available. Of course, you also need an intelligently-designed niche since this is where you will most likely be putting all your shower products.

You will need to build one that has enough storage and can adequately protect it from water splashes as much as possible.

Here are things you need to plan for when installing a niche. 

Waterproof the Niche

Waterproofing your niche will not only protect your shower products from moisture but will also protect the structure of the niche. Failing to waterproof it will cause them to expand and contract due to excessive moisture and vapor exposure, eventually causing cracks along the surface.

Without waterproofing, the niche will also be prone to dry rotting and molding since the joints will be consistently penetrated with water.

Once they are compromised, it's only a matter of time before you would need a complete remodel of your shower room--which is more expensive than simply having the niches waterproofed in the first place. 

Read: "Why Do My Bathroom Walls Sweat?"

Choose a Convenient Position

When figuring out the niche's position, you need to steer it away from the direct splash of the shower. You also need to place it in an area that is easily reachable by everyone in the household for when they need to get their shower products. 

If you have a bathtub, it is best to position it lower or at a height that is easily reachable when you are lying in the bathtub. Of course, the convenient position will change depending on whether the niche is horizontal or vertical. 

Consider its Size

Before construction, make a list of the usual products you usually use in the shower and determine which niche size will fit them all. If you usually buy large-sized products or ones encased in thick round bottles, you may need to build a bigger niche. 

If you are constructing a vertical niche, take advantage of the height and attach tiers inside. You can do this with horizontal niches too, but the spaces might be too narrow, and you won't be able to fit anything more than small bottles and bar soaps. 

If you intend to attach tiers, you need to build them in a larger size so you can fully take advantage of the storage. 

Vertical or Horizontal Niche?

Renovated modern bathroom with bathtub. Dark (Black Grey) tiles accent wall and niche with Grey tiles and white bathtub.

Choosing between horizontal or vertical niches depends on the products you intend to put in the niche and the amount of space you have in the shower stall. Horizontal niches are ideal for wide shower stalls since you will be taking advantage of the wide span of the wall. 

If you have a smaller shower stall, vertical niches are more beneficial since what it lacks in width; it makes up for with height. That way, you can still put a lot of products inside, especially if it is tiered.

Modern Shower Niche Designs

Corner of the shower room interior with a frame vanity unit, a pink area with a niche shelf, a mirror and three lights.

Shower niches can be an eye-catching fixture in the bathroom. The key is to make the tile colors complement the rest of the shower interior and to make sure they are installed correctly, so they don't deteriorate over time.

The tiles don't have to be expensive; they just need to have great quality. Ideally, you should have someone highly experienced install them so you won't encounter any issues in the future--you'll only enjoy the view. 

Modern designs are always about sleekness. Regardless of the color, they should blend seamlessly with the shower for visual cohesion. 

Read: "11 Gorgeous Bathrooms With Black Fixtures."

Marble Shower Niche

Marble shower tiles make for an elegant shower tile. They brighten up the space, creating a relaxing environment for your shower experience. These tiles go with any aesthetic--from classic to rustic--so the niche can blend with the interior. 

However, you need to make sure that you (or your contractor) seal the marble tiles as they are made of porous material. Without a seal, bacteria and moisture can enter the surface and ruin it. 

See this marble tile on Amazon.

Penny Tile Shower Niche

Penny tiles can introduce a retro vibe into your bathroom. If you have a vibrant color scheme, penny tiles create an interesting visual against the niche with their texture and unique color options.

Penny tiles are ideally installed in small spaces on walls since they can transform them into an accent wall by adding depth and dimension.

If you want to stick to neutrals, penny tiles look great with a dual-toned design. It will make your niche look eye-catching without being visually overwhelming, and it will make the space look clutter-free.

See this penny tile on Amazon.

Hexagon-tiled Shower Niche

Hexagon tiles elevate the look of your shower. Having this installed in your shower niche will make it more visually stimulating, especially if the rest of your tiles don't have this shape. 

You have the option to make the tiles look either elegant or retro. Light grout lines will make these tiles look soft and classic, while darker grout lines will give off an artistic and unique charm.

These tiles can be challenging to install because of their complicated shape, so you may need to hire a professional to lay them out effectively. 

See these hexagon tiles on Amazon.

Subway Tile Niche

Modern All White Bathroom with White Subway Tile in Shower and Black Hexagon Tile on the Floor

Subway tiles used to have a bad reputation for simply being a fad. Originally rising in popularity during the early 2000s and dwindling until the early 2010s, subway tiles have become a staple in modern bathroom designs.

Subway tiles are predicted to remain in style in years to come, so having this laid in your bathroom would be valuable in the future. 

The clean and polished look would look great against your shower niche, and you wouldn't need to worry too much about them since they are generally low maintenance. 

Final Thoughts

Shower niches are another opportunity to elevate your bathroom both in form and function--just make sure you install and maintain them properly so you won't have to go through the hassle of expensive repairs.