How to Build a Recessed Shower Shelf

shower shelf
  • 4-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 200-500
What You'll Need
Stud finder
Concrete backerboard

A recessed shower shelf adds to the beauty, elegance, functionality, and style of your bathroom. Building a small recessed area in your shower that can store shampoos, bath gel, and soap is limited by space. The only available area where recessed shower shelves can be installed is between the framing studs. A comfortable sized recessed shower shelf is around 3-inches deep and 14-inches wide, which is the distance between the wall studs.

Accurate Marking

The first step in building the shower shelf is to locate the wall studs between which you are planning on building your niche shower shelf. Locate the studs with accuracy before proceeding to the next step. Vertical lines have should be precisely marked next to the studs on the wall where the recessed shelf will go. Use a level to make sure that the lines you draw are accurate and straight. On the wall where you want your niche shelf, create a box outline by drawing horizontal lines between the vertical lines.

Cutting Process

A hole has to be drilled in the wall enough to fit your saw inside the marked box. Along the marked horizontal lines, cut through gradually until you reach the area where you encounter the vertical wall stud with the saw. Take care not to cut into the wall stud. Completely remove the existing wall covering by cutting along the vertical lines.

Framing the Recessed Shower Shelf

To ensure that the boards fit perfectly into the niche, it is necessary to measure between the wall studs accurately. Matching to the wall studs already in place, measure precisely and cut 2 wall stud board pieces to make them fit into the niche shelf space across the vertical wall studs. Be sure to test fit the boards to check for accuracy.

Install the 2 horizontal boards to the horizontal edges, taking care to place the face to the inside of the wall. Secure the boards with the help of 2-inch long wood screws to the existing wall studs.

Finishing the Recessed Shower Shelf

Cover the newly prepared rough frame opening with a concrete backer board measured and cut to perfection. Glue this backer with the help of a tile adhesive. It is important to ensure that the surface is finished in an even manner to facilitate tile installation.

Use tile adhesive to install the tiles you have chosen on the surface of the backer board. Tile adhesive has to be carefully applied to the back of every single tile. Completely cover the inside of the recessed shower shelf by cutting tiles with the help of a tile saw to accommodate the edges. Leave it to dry overnight.

The next day, fill the joints between individual tiles with tile grout of your choice. Use a trowel that is covered by sponge for this purpose. Wipe away excess tile grout immediately. Remove residual tile grout using a wet sponge to give a complete wipe down.