Home / Home decorations / Tiling a Shower Niche (Step-by-Step) — by Home Repair Tutor

Tiling a Shower Niche (Step-by-Step) — by Home Repair Tutor

Tiling a shower niche isn’t that bad. Today you’ll learn how to install two niches. Click here to get more tips from our online courses

The first step is to do serious planning. You see this later in the video but Steve recommends having one solid sill for the niche. Usually that’s made of a 4 inch wide piece of tile or marble.

Once you have your plan down the installation begins by adding the sill to the shower niche. Place thin-set on the sill and the niche…add a bit more thin-set to the back of the sill so that it can slope toward the tub or shower.

You want this to happen so that water drains properly and doesn’t pool in the corners. The pitch should be about 1/16 of an inch.

Once the sill is in place you can add your tile mosaics to the main wall. Mosaics can sit directly on the sill and if you need multiple pieces, which is likely the case, you can use 1/16″ horseshoe shims to get proper grout joint spacing. Steve shares what these shims look like in the video.

Add the top piece of tile to cap the tile mosaic. Then measure for the side pieces of the niche.

Now this is where it gets a little tricky. Because the sill is sloped you’ll have to scribe cut the side pieces. One way to do this is with a a 4 1/2″ angle grinder equipped with a DeWALT XP4 disc.

Be very careful when using an angle grinder. It’s best to cut tiles outside and where all the safety gear…you’ll see Steve manhandle the grinder in this video but remember he’s a pro and use the right precautions.

Watch the video for all the details


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  1. Safety glasses when using that grinder!

  2. I really like your laser system you are using instead of choak-lining. What make/model are you using? What is the best and effective brand would you recommend? Thx very much!

  3. do you guys prefer to tile the niche first then the field tile?

  4. Cool video. What kind/brand laser do you use?

  5. Ahh watched the whole video to see how the pencil liner was installed and it wasn't in there!! Loved the video TONS of great tips. Would love to see one specifically about the pencil liner.

  6. Instead of pencil trim, what about a metal trim? Would that deteriorate over time, or does aluminum trim, like Schluter, last inside a shower?

  7. What kind of leveling laser are you using?

  8. no one uses 12×12 tiles anymore those are out of style 😉

  9. Where the hell is your waterproofing prep-work? that shower WILL have water penetration / damage inside a year.

  10. Really great commentary. I appreciate the detailed description of the process and when you explain your reasoning for doing everything! Great video, thanks!!

  11. 3 hours to just set 2 niches lol

  12. Great video! Was wondering if you have the footage of where the pencil tile was installed around the niche? The video ended before Steve got to that. My husband and I are really struggling with this. We have (what looks like) the identical border/pencil tile but not quite sure how to install it where it looks right. Would LOVE to see how it's done!! Much thanks!

  13. Jeff! Check out Handi-Shims. I embedded them into the mortar when pitching the niche shelves. Don't know if it's proper, but it worked! They also work great for all framing!

  14. Great video Jim. Eventually I'll get to my bathroom lol

  15. Another great vid Jeff! I'm so glad I found your channel.

  16. good morning Jeff any info on the level he is using and the sliding rail?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  17. Tiling the niche is killing me! No one shows the detail, up close, so I can see how the pieces meet. Ugh. How much thickness do I add to tile thickness for mortar? Where, exactly, did the pencil birder go relative to the pieces sticking out of the niche? Is there a grout joint at the top and bottom of the sides inside the niche, between the "shelf" and sides and the top "niche ceiling" and the sides? Ugh. Just need seven ways, in detail, to put a corner on a niche. I plan to use the quarter rounds to meet the shelf and the wall tile. I think I'm screwed. HELP!

  18. Do you silicone the bottom, top and sides of the tile joints in the niche? Thanx for the video.

  19. Beautiful! What kind of thinset are you using? Can it be used on Backerboards with porcelain tiles?

  20. Jeff would you ever do a door repair video. to fix a door that is out of square. love your videos

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