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Unread 04-16-2020, 07:57 AM   #1
nheflin86
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Shower niche location problem

Hello all,

First time posting on this forum, but it looked like there was a lot of good advice from knowledgeable people so I thought I would give it a try.

I am a complete newbie attempting my first bathroom remodel. Pretty much learning as I go and making plenty of mistakes. I am currently tiling the walk in shower and have a question about my niche location and how to make it look nice.

I used the kerdi membrane and kerdi niche for the shower. I tried very hard to place the niche where it would hit the grout lines, but apparently I am not very good at math. I will be off by an 1/8 inch horizontally and about 1/2 inch vertically. Because of the pattern we chose to lay the tile, I'm afraid it will stand out big time if the niche is off. We wanted to just continue the same tile into the niche and make it look seamless. Hopefully you can see from the picture what I am describing. Are there any options to fix it at this point? My thoughts were:

1) Just do the best I can and tile around it and live with the imperfection because I am a DIYer and not a professional.
2) Attempt to cut the kerdi membrane back and move the niche. This makes me very nervous to mess with my waterproofing. No one was more surprised than I was when I passed the flood test. Not sure I can strike lighting twice.
3) Find some type of trim (bullnose, etc.) to go around the edges. I bought the kerdi profile trim for the niche but I cant get it to line up right.
4) Fill in the niche and buy a stand alone bench for the shampoo.

Does anyone have any tricks or suggestions to help? I have never tiled anything of this size so any help is appreciated. Thanks!
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Unread 04-16-2020, 08:18 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, James.

How long have the tile been on the wall?

Do you have any trim pieces, such as bullnose tile?
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Unread 04-16-2020, 08:35 AM   #3
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Thanks Kevin.

The tiles around the niche have been on the wall for a couple of days. Yesterday I gently tried to pry the one off closest to the niche. It did not want to come off - which i guess is a good thing! To move the niche and get the 2" waterproofing back around it I would probably have to remove several tiles. I'm nervous that doing that would wreck the kerdi membrane beneath.

I found some bullnose trim at our local big box store, but the color was slightly different. I might go back to where we bought the tile and see if they have anything that matches. Even with the bullnose, I'm still not clear on how to set it inside the niche.
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Unread 04-16-2020, 09:08 AM   #4
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When you bring the column beneath the niche up, how far off is it from the right side?

You can always make the niche a little smaller, you just can't really expand it.
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Unread 04-16-2020, 09:09 AM   #5
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With bullnose, I thought you might be able to picture-frame the niche, and hide the fact that it's off a little.
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Unread 04-16-2020, 09:58 AM   #6
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Shower niche location problem

The picture frame seems like a good solution. Do you think also changing the tile of the back of niche to a mosaic or something else or changing the layout of the back of the niche with the same tile owould help hide the alignment of wall tile to back of niche

How would a pro prevent this from happening? Would you start at niche? Would you change layout? Be useful for some else in the future. I realize pointing out errors is not what op wants to hear.


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Unread 04-16-2020, 11:14 AM   #7
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Depends on the size of the bullnose, if you can find them.

It's hard to say for sure until we see the answer to my question above.
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Unread 04-16-2020, 02:40 PM   #8
nheflin86
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Kevin - not sure if you can tell from the pictures below, but on the left side the grout line would be just on the inside of the niche, on the right side it runs along the outside of the niche.

And I dont mind people pointing out my errors! I've got two other bathrooms that need some help at some point in the future.
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Unread 04-16-2020, 03:22 PM   #9
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I'm just having a difficult time telling which side is which. Are the first and third pictures the bottom, and I can't tell which side the second picture is.

I don't think the sides would be a problem if you did the picture frame, but the top and bottom would still leave a sliver of tile next to the bullnose. You could always build the top and bottom up if you're willing to reduce the height of the box.
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Unread 04-16-2020, 03:30 PM   #10
nheflin86
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Sorry I cant figure out how to rotate the pictures. They all need to be rotated 90 degrees to the right

The 1st picture shows the left side of the niche

2nd picture shows the right side

3rd picture shows the bottom of the niche
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Unread 04-16-2020, 04:02 PM   #11
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Ok, do you know how it will lay out when it gets to the top of the niche?

That one will be the key. I think you would be fine on the other three sides. Do you understand how to picture frame the niche?
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Unread 04-17-2020, 07:07 AM   #12
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The grout line at the top of the niche will be about 1/2" too high. If it had been dead on, I should have been able to get 4 full tiles in the niche. Instead, I will have to cut the top one to get it to fit, which im assuming will leave a sliver of tile above the niche. Hopefully I can hide it with the picture frame method you mentioned.

No, I'm not sure how to do the picture frame. Do you mind explaining that process? Thanks for the help.
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Unread 04-17-2020, 10:41 PM   #13
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Here's one I did a couple of years ago.

Name:  KIMG0566.jpg
Views: 321
Size:  26.4 KB

You'll see that the bullnose edge of the trim covers the edge of the pieces inside the niche, and the corners are mitered at 45 degrees. It takes some careful work and cutting, I can spend a couple of hours or more getting a niche just right. And the bottom piece has to be sloped to shed water.

So we still need to know the size of the bullnose you would use. Are the tile on the wall 3x12?

Edit: you're not the only one with problems orienting pictures.
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Unread 04-17-2020, 11:12 PM   #14
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Keep in mind that doing a picture frame will require removal of that one tile on the bottom left of the niche.

I think it's likely that no matter what you do, the tile surrounding the box aren't going to be symmetrical at the top and bottom.
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Unread 04-18-2020, 08:20 AM   #15
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Carefully cut out right side of niche foam, leaving back thickness run as it does now. Replace with another piece of Kerdiboard. Then re-band with Kerdi-band.

If your niche is centered between studs you’ll likely have room for a 1/2” Kerdiboard. If not -there’s 3/8”, 1/4”, and 1/8” in Kerdi or competing boards available.

Use Kerdi-Fix for adhesive the re-band. Snap, Bob’s your uncle.
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