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gtothek 10-03-2012 09:03 PM

Niche in shower
I'm getting conflicting answers from contractors on installing a niche in my shower renovation. The wall I'd like to put it on is an exterior wall of the house. One contractor said he won't do it, and uses the pre-molded niche forms. He said it would get too cold in the winter. Another contractor said he does it all the time, but it's custom built (framed?) and they insulate it with 1/2" board.

What are your guys thoughts? Should it be done, or will I run into problems down the line. Last thing I want is a cold draft while taking a shower in the winter! :laughing:


Fix'n it 10-03-2012 09:12 PM

build the wall thicker.

AtlanticWBConst. 10-04-2012 04:20 AM

I advise the same to Home Owners when we are performing bathroom renovations and new construction projects. We suggest an interior wall, not exterior.

Example - in our region: You need a minimum of 3.5" exterior wall insulation depth (to at least be ableto use closed-cell spray foam).

Freezing temperature can also damage interior building materials that are not designed for that kind of exposure.

gtothek 10-04-2012 07:37 AM

I forgot to mention, I live in NJ. The exterior wall where I'd like the niche does not have plumbing or electrical running in the bathroom. I'm just confused because I received conflicting info.

allthumbsdiy 10-04-2012 02:44 PM

Like others said, unless you have a 2x6 or thicker wall studs, I would install that niche on one of the interior walls.

Otherwise, all those surrounding tiles will get cold pretty quickly.

Is there something in those interior walls blocking the way?

gtothek 10-04-2012 03:05 PM

The other wall is interior, but the plumbing for the shower runs up the middle. So I can only do a niche on either side, not one big one like I want to do on the exterior wall.

I'm just a little disturbed that I'm getting conflicting info from 2 contractors.

Other than the tiles being cold, are there any other problems I could face?

And in your opinions, is it better to use a premolded plastic niche, or to build one into the framing?

allthumbsdiy 10-04-2012 07:50 PM

I bought and installed a metal box that was sealed with some sort of tar+granules (which allowed me the apply thinset + tiles on top).

To be honest, if I had to do it over, I would probably just buy a corner caddy stand because that niche area is a pain in the arse to clean.

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