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shower niche in outer wall

We are remodling our bathroom, and two of the walls of the shower are outer walls.  The plumbing is all on the inner wall.  We would like to install 2 (inset) shower niches in the walls as we tile, so that there is a place for shower items, without having shelves stick out into the small space.


Our concerns are (a) how to handle the plastic sheeting that we would put over the studs.  How would the niche "push" it back to be flush with the cement board.  and (b) how to handle the insulation in the outer walls with the shower niche.  We need insulation in the outer wall.  Again, how would the niche "fit or push" with the insulation there.  We have to put the niche's on the outer walls, as the plumbing is on the only interior shower wall.


Any advice/thoughts?  Thanks!!

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Posted 2012-09-07T13:04:53+0000  by undomial undomial


Hello and welcome to the How-To-Community.


You may have to bring  that wall out for the thickness of the insulation...I'm assuming you've got standard 2x4 for the exterior framing? You would have to  frame a new wall right in front of the existing wall... it would need to be build out of 2x4 to satisfy minimum energy code which is R13 or 3-12 inches of fiberglass insulation.


Another option is to spray foam that wall with closed cell insulation...this would give you necessary vapor barrier ... + more room for the shower niche...Going this option you would have to bring out existing wall only 1.5 inches...which is how thick you would have to spray the foam to get to the R13.


Hope this helps.




Posted 2012-09-10T19:05:57+0000  by George_HD_CHI
Unless you are in Florida or another very warm spot in the country, shower niches in exterior walls are NOT recommended. If you have enough room, you could do a half height wall (with glass above) and a small glass door, and then do your niche lower down in that half height interior wall. Be sure you understand how to correctly waterproof both the shower and the niche before beginning the project.
Posted 2012-09-13T12:53:18+0000  by msrose
I had only a 2x4 exterior wall and went the hi-tech route instead of building the wall out. I gave up 20 mm (0.79 inches) of shelf space to put in two 10 mm layers of Spaceloft aerogel insulation (R-7.8 at an R value of 9.62/inch). I still had 2.7 inches depth of niche shelf which was sufficient for most shampoo bottles. The outside wall had a half inch of foil-faced polyurethane board under the vinyl siding (R value 6.8/in when new but which drops to 5.5/in with age) and a half inch of Wedi waterproofing panel (R value of 4.2/in) for a total R value of 11.9 behind the niche. Compared to 3.5 inches of fiberglass batting at R-12.6 (R value 3.6/in), it was good enough. If you have a 2x6 wall then you could easily put in three or four layers of 10 mm Spaceloft for a total R value of 11.4-15.1, not counting any other materials present. Spaceloft is a product of Aspen Aerogel and is available for about seven a half bucks a square foot from their distributor, Airtight Distribution.
Posted 2018-12-30T03:17:51+0000  by DIYDan
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