How to plan for a bathroom niche

Space is at a premium in most bathrooms. That means that the details really matter when it comes to both functionality and design. The bathroom niche, a type of built-in shelf, ticks both boxes – it creates more storage without taking up floor space or building outwards into the room, like you’d have to with a cabinet or normal shelf. Plus, its sleek finish instantly offers that contemporary aesthetic desired by many.

Another benefit is that bathroom niches are usually straightforward to install. Before you get started, here are 6 features to consider so you can be sure yours is as useful as you need it to be.


Wall niche next to toilet

Take a look around your bathroom and identify the area with the most clutter. Once you’ve found it, you’ll probably know where to put a bathroom niche to make the most impact.

In the shower or bath

The sides of the bathtub or shower floor can become overwhelmed with bottles of body wash and shampoo. Place a shower niche at eye-level or a bath niche just above your bath to store those products away tidily, whilst still keeping them in arm’s reach.

Next to the toilet

Having no loo roll is a familiar bathroom problem – and it’s even more infuriating when it’s the same person that fails to replace it! Install a wall niche right next to your toilet to hold those extra rolls and the culprit will have no excuse next time.

Above the sink

Toothbrushes, hand soap and face wash all live on the limited surface space offered by our sinks. Place a niche above yours to reduce the clutter. Plus, with the sink being a high-touch area harbouring bacteria, moving products away from it will make disinfecting it easier.


When you’re deciding on the size of your bathroom niche, think about what you’d like to store in there and how you can get the best use out of your wall space.

A vertical niche works well in smaller bathrooms. Simply add in shelves to make sure all the space is usable and taller bottles can be accommodated. If you’ve got more space to play with, then a horizontal niche going all the way across the wall will maximise your wall space and offer a modern, clean and linear look.

Hear how Abdul, a tradesperson on Rated People, installed a full wall shower niche for new homeowner, Pirantheesh.

Bear in mind, you might be limited with your size choices if you’re installing a bathroom niche in an existing wall rather than building a niche into a wall from scratch. This is because it’ll need to be positioned in between the existing wall studs. A bathroom fitter can give you specific advice for your bathroom.


Full wall shower niche

Waterproof, hidden LED lighting transforms your bathroom niche into a beautiful focal point and adds a relaxing, spa-like glow to your bathroom. It also makes smaller bathrooms appear bigger and brightens up bathrooms lacking natural light.

Uplights, which are mounted at the bottom of the niche, are great if your niche will be a stylistic feature rather than practical, as they’ll highlight any ornaments and trinkets displayed inside. However, they probably won’t work well if you’re planning to keep lots of products in your niche as the lights will get covered up easily.

Downlights work well in small spaces like a bathroom niche. They cast a precise pool of light that’s useful for finding products in your niche if you’re partial to a night-time bath.

Or, you can combine both uplights and downlights to create a unique layered effect. An electrician can design and install the perfect lighting solution for your bathroom niche.


Make your bathroom niche work harder by adding in extra shelves – especially if you opt for a vertical style. Go for the barely there look with a glass shelf, or make your shelves match the surrounding wall so they flow with the theme of your bathroom.

Glass shelves with towels and toiletries
Towels and toilet paper in bathroom


Installing a bathroom niche is the perfect opportunity to experiment with a pop of colour or a striking pattern. Choose a covering that contrasts with the surrounding wall to bring interest and dimension to the space. Smooth mosaic tiles add an artistic flair; they’re also non-porous so you won’t need to worry about mould. If your wall niche isn’t in the shower, you could paint it in that vibrant colour that you love but don’t think would work in a bigger space.

A bathroom niche trim is a detail that’s often overlooked. However, a standout trim will make your wall niche look more expensive than it actually was! Matte blacks, powerful golds and flawless marbles are all perfect trim materials for a modern vibe.


There are plenty of bathroom wall niches on the market, from pre-manufactured options to custom-made ones. A few safety points to consider during the installation process include:

  • Waterproofing: Moisture in an enclosed space such as the bathroom can cause mould and mildew to grow quickly. A waterproof membrane or other chemicals will stop this from happening.
  • Levelling: Water can collect in the niche if it’s not level. That’s another breeding ground for mould.
  • Structural integrity: Technique is key when it comes to maintaining the structural integrity of the wall. Existing studs, pipes, wiring and insulation in the wall are all things to keep an eye out for.

All in all, a bathroom fitter has the knowledge to fit a wall niche in your bathroom safely. Get quotes from bathroom fitters near you by posting your job for free on Rated People.


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