Skip to main content

To Niche, or not to Niche, that is the question. Luxury in-wall storage for your bathroom.

Nooks, slots, pigeon-holes, sunken-shelves, one-of-those-wall-hole-thingys. We call them niches. Whatever you refer to them as, it’s true – the proud niche has an appeal as a smart design statement in your bathroom. They are a recessed shelf to store all your showering goodies and enabling you to look down at the lesser-peasants with only shower baskets whist you lather up and chortle to yourself.

They come in all shapes and sizes but mainly they are around 300mm x 300mm, or 600mm x 300mm (landscape)

Not everyone can have them. If it’s an outside wall for instance, unless you have the ability to build out a false wall to then recess this back in, it’s just not viable.

We will always suggest a niche or niches where possible as they do look great. We have done many over the years. Take a look below at a nice batch of them.

These were all custom made. We prepare a hole, waterproof it, then tile it. It sounds simple, and it is, to a degree. The cost links heavily to the time they take. They must be implemented well as there are lots of things that can spoil the effect that have to be considered.

What initially makes them tricky is finding/creating the depth needed so the shape can be built. Whether that be moving studs, altering pipework/wiring etc. or building a complete full-height stud wall,

Planning the required hole at the right height to work with the alignment of your future tiles is also an important factor. Thin, odd-looking slithers of tile look bad, really bad. There are unavoidable elements in a room that dictate good tile-height decisions. These are windows, doors, baths and alike. The goal is not creating another headache with building a niche at the wrong height, so they need to be planned well in advance. Lighting in them looks great but the process of adding strip or spotlights has to firstly conform to electrical regulations, and also allow for any future maintenance that may be required. This can make it fiddly and time-consuming to add, depending on the area involved. Moving on, it’s really important that the bottom section is ‘cranked’ off-level to allow the inevitable water to drain out and not make an unintended water trough. The trim work (metal, plastic is dire) surrounding the niche has to be cut intricately well not only ensure no water ingress, but aesthetically any cut slightly off is glaringly obvious.

In summary, they look great. The downside is owing to the time they take to do properly (they have to be done properly) they are not a cheap upgrade. On average we price a non-lit small niche around the £300 mark.

But before you buck and sweep the idea aside, there is an alternative that’s a bit more wallet-friendly. Pre-formed stainless steel niches are a thing. Take a look.

These are a really clever product that lessens the labour involved in the traditional method. Available in polished chrome, brushed chrome, matt gunmetal, and matt black. Sizes are a good 300mm square or 600mm x 300mm portrait or landscape with the latter having an optional shelf mid-height if portrait is the desired orientation. All outer sides are slightly cranked and it really is a well-designed piece of kit for that stylish bathroom of yours. The last picture shows us having used 2 floor tiles as the background to compliment the floor pattern.

Prices start at around £190 fitted and we are finding this version is growing in popularity. Lighting isn’t really an option with this type though.

Personally I think both versions have merit depending on the application and style of the setting.

The ‘display’ attribute of niches has always won me. It’s an aspect that I offer whenever it might suit the project.

This was from a project in Harvington, where we utilised the space to have a rolled-up towel section in what is essentially a large niche. The glass shelf allowed light to penetrate the whole area and also kept it looking more open, but still practical, rather that two long, deep individual tunnel sections.

A similar display and clever space-usage designing can be seen in this large straight-through display niche. There was just enough material left over when the client stated the need for his spontaneously-bought Sonos subwoofer to be sited ‘somewhere’. (!) This was the one end of his kitchen island and part of a high-end, multi-room refurbishment in Solihull that we completed autumn 2023. The final media of that project isn’t ready yet to post (you can see the T.V. wall wasn’t quite finished.) but I wanted to include this picture anyway. Above that glorious booming speaker is a Philips Hue Playbar providing (in this instance) purple mood lighting. Of course every colour and brightness is available to expertly show off this really cool feature during whatever mood.

In summary; Your space can be is lavish, or as standard as you wish. I always aim to ascertain what our customers want, and advise accordingly to that taste. My final thought? If you can – do it! J.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *