Shower Niche Tile Spacing Question - Kitchen & Bath Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 07-06-2015, 03:44 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Shower niche tile spacing question

So this is kind of complicated but here goes:

This is the wall around my tub. The studs are 12 inches apart and I am using 12 inch tiles.

I would like to put in a 12x12 (1 tile) niche as the second tile in from the shower head and the 4th tile up (so 12 inches from the left wall and 36 inches up from the edge of the tub).

The problem is the way the studs are in the wall, I either have to have about a 4 inch strip of tile starting the field from the left or the groutlines do not line up with studs.

I think a 4 inch strip on one side (and thus an 8 inch strip on the other side) is unsightly and a lot of tile cutting and since the 12 inch tiles should fit pretty much perfectly along the 5 foot wall I am planning to lay it out with groutlines not lining up with studs.

The HVAC duct you see at top left has a block under it that is 50 inches up from the side of the tub.

My plan is to chop the stud tuching the right of the HVAC duct from 34" to the bottom of the current block and brace it with 2x4 between the surrounding studs.

Assuming 1 1/2 inch 2x4s that should leave me an opening that is 35.5 inches up from the side of the tub and with the top brace being 48.5 inches from the side of the tub.

After installing cement board at just under .5 inches This should leave me right where I need to be for niche cutout.

Once I get the a few tiles in place and line up the exact groutlines I plan to chop out the cement board and install the sides of the niche cutout as necessary, water proof and go from there.

My concern is that these measurements don't leave me a lot of room for error especially at the top of the box...

An option I was thinking is to remove the bock that is currently under the HVAC vent and replace it with a brace all the way across the missing stud. This will still support the HVAC vent (or whatever that block is doing) and leave me enough room to play around with at the top of the niche.

In this case I am thinking I would shim the top 2x4 of the niche to the right night, screw up into the new bracing and then install the side 2x4s of the niche between that and the bottom which is the brace at 34 inches.

Sorry if this explanation is complicated but just hoping to run it by you guys to see if it's a reasonable idea or if there is a better way to do this.

Let me know if it was unclear!

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Old 07-13-2015, 08:22 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ferndale, Michigan
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Your pic didn't work, can you try adding it as an attachment in your post?

If I understand correctly you are trying to line up your tiles inside the niche with the ones outside the niche without having any small strips of tile or goofy cuts, correct?

Do we know whether this wall is load-bearing? Regardless, I would avoid chopping up your studs. Instead, when you start tiling, have you considered starting with the niche and using that as your basis to line up the rest of the tile?

Or have you thought about using a different tile inside the niche? Could make a nice accent. See attached for an example.
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Shower niche tile spacing question-tile-niche.jpg  
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