How to install a bathroom tile niche

Sash, Team member
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How to install a bathroom tile niche

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Project Overview

A tile niche is easy to install and is the perfect place to put your soap, shampoo and other bathroom toiletries. We will show you how to install one in a few simple steps.
Continue to step-by-step instructions
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Keep your plaster cut outs

If you need to cut a large hole in your ceiling to install a fan or a light, always keep the plaster. You can leave it up in the roof cavity next to the hole. That way, you’ll always have the perfect replacement piece if you need to fill the hole back in.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Mark out the tile niche location
2 Cut the timber studs
3 Measure for the horizontal beam
4 Cut the horizontal beam
5 Install the beam
6 Install the tile niche
7 Measure for the studs
8 Cut the timber
9 Install the vertical studs
10 Measure and cut a horizontal beam
11 Install the horizontal beam
12 Secure the tile niche
13 Install a vertical stud
14 Install the insulation
15 Measure for the plasterboard
16 Cut the plasterboard
17 Apply the adhesive
18 Install the plasterboard
19 Secure the plasterboard
20 Locate the tile niche
21 Cut the plasterboard
22 Prepare the tile niche for waterproofing
23 Apply a waterproof membrane
24 Seal the joins
25 Apply a second coat of membrane
  • Step 1. Mark out the tile niche location

    For our tile niche, we measured 300mm above the bath on our timber studs and marked it with a pencil. Use a spirit level to make sure the markings are level.
  • Step 2. Cut the timber studs

    To cut the studs where you’ve marked, set the correct depth of the circular saw so that you don’t cut the bricks behind the timber. Cut where you’ve marked and finish off your cuts with a handsaw if you need to. Then use a hammer to remove the studs.

  • Step 3. Measure for the horizontal beam

    Measure the width of the wall space. Then mark this measurement onto the timber you will use for your horizontal beam, which will be used to support the niche. Use the T-square to make sure the line is straight.

  • Step 4. Cut the horizontal beam

    Clamp the timber to the workhorses. Then with your safety gear on, cut the timber to size with the circular saw.

  • Step 5. Install the beam

    Put the beam in place, making sure it’s straight with your spirit level. Then secure it in place with the nail gun.

  • Step 6. Install the tile niche

    Measure the length of the tile niche you are installing. Mark the halfway point on the tile niche with a pencil. Measure the length of the horizontal beam and mark the halfway point. Place the tile niche on the beam, so that its halfway mark aligns with the halfway mark on the beam.

  • Step 7. Measure for the studs

    With the tile niche in place, mark either side of it on the horizontal beam. Remove the tile niche. Mark the lines with an X. Measure the distance from the beam to the window rail above and this will give you the timber stud lengths.

  • Step 8. Cut the timber

    Transfer the measurements onto the timber you will use for your vertical studs. Use a T-square to make sure the line is straight for you to cut along. With your timber clamped down and your safety gear on, cut the timber with the circular saw.

  • Step 9. Install the vertical studs

    Put the vertical studs in place using a spirit level to make sure they’re straight. A good tip is to place the tile niche between the studs to make sure if fits in the space. Then use a nail gun to secure the two studs.
  • Step 10. Measure and cut a horizontal beam

    Measure on a piece of timber the length of your tile niche, in our case it is 620mm. Cut the timber with the circular saw.

  • Step 11. Install the horizontal beam

    Put the beam in place so that it’s resting above the tile niche. Use the nail gun to secure the beam.

  • Step 12. Secure the tile niche

    Use the drill and screws to secure the tile niche to the vertical studs.

  • Step 13. Install a vertical stud

    You may need a timber stud at the end of your wall. If so, use a timber off-cut as a vertical stud. Then secure it near the end of the wall with a nail gun. The waterproof plasterboard can be attached to this stud.

  • Step 14. Install the insulation

    With your safety gear on, install insulation by putting it into place and use the utility knife to trim it to size. Repeat this until the whole wall cavity is insulated
  • Step 15. Measure for the plasterboard

    Measure the height and width of where the waterproof plasterboard will go.

  • Step 16. Cut the plasterboard

    Transfer the measurements onto the waterproof plasterboard. Use the utility knife to score and then snap the plasterboard.

  • Step 17. Apply the adhesive

    Use the putty knife to apply acrylic adhesive onto the wall studs. You should apply this every 20 centimetres along the studs. Make sure you measure and remember where the centre of the tile niche is. You’ll need this when you cut the plasterboard.

  • Step 18. Install the plasterboard

    Carefully lift the plasterboard into place and push it into the adhesive.

  • Step 19. Secure the plasterboard

    Use a spirit level to mark where the studs are behind the plasterboard or use a stud finder to locate them. Use a drill and screws to secure the plasterboard to the studs.

  • Step 20. Locate the tile niche

    With the measurements you took earlier, mark on the plasterboard where the centre of the tile niche is.

  • Step 21. Cut the plasterboard

    Use a hammer to knock a small hole where the centre of the tile niche is. Then use a hand saw to cut the plasterboard to the shape of the tile niche.

  • Step 22. Prepare the tile niche for waterproofing

    Prepare the tile niche for waterproofing by using either a dustpan and brush or a vacuum cleaner to clean the tile niche.

  • Step 23. Apply a waterproof membrane

    Use a paint brush to apply a waterproof membrane inside the tile niche and on the plasterboard around the tile niche.

  • Step 24. Seal the joins

    Seal all of the joins around the tile niche with waterproof tape. Also, apply tape in the corners of the walls inside the niche.

  • Step 25. Apply a second coat of membrane

    Once the waterproof tape is dry, use the paint brush to apply a second coat of membrane. Paint the membrane over the tape, inside the tile niche and on the plasterboard around the tile niche. Once the waterproofing membrane is dry, your wall is ready for tiling.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Angle grinder
  • Buckets
  • Drill
  • Dust mask
  • Ear muffs
  • Hammer
  • Marker pen
  • Measuring tape
  • Mixing paddle
  • Notch trowel
  • Paint scraper
  • Pencil
  • Rags
  • Safety glasses
  • Spirit level
  • Tile cutter
  • Timber strip

Materials

  • Mastic glue
  • Tile separators
  • Tile wedges
  • Tiles
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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