Bathroom Remodel: Knockdown and Niches


DIY shower niches inset

Niches get Stitches

First things first. We had in mind that we’d like some shelves in the shower, right? Not any after-the-fact shelves, but real built-ins. There are a few ways to get recessed, inset shelves installed from the get go. Let’s explore the options.

If you really want to build shower shelves in yourself, you could frame them into your walls while you’re in the process of framing. You can simply add 2×4’s horizontally and cut your backerboard into small pieces, blanketing your shelves, and build them out that way. It’s a good way to save some money. We’ve heard they have potential to rot out in a few years if any water slips in. You have to be sure to slope your shelves just like your shower pan if you do it this way. For these reasons, we decided to wait until our backer board was up and get plastic inserts, or niches, as they call ’em.

Shop Online

They can get pricey, so I’d suggest shopping around. They are not sold in most hardware stores. You’ll likely have to special order them from the big box retailers, or go to a specialty tile shop otherwise.


shower recessed niches

Laticrete 12″X6″, 12″X12″ Wide Combo Niche Laticrete


Niche Installation

Figure out ahead of time what sizes you want, and remember where your 2×4’s are located, because they will need to be wedged between them.

inset recessed shower niche DIYOnce you’ve got the niches where you want for all your beauty stuff, figure out their placement on your wall. When you’ve situated your nooks between 2×4’s, trace an outline with a pencil.

inset recessed shower niche DIY

You’ll then cut holes into the walls and gently wedge them into place, flush against the backerboard.  Pro Tip: Be sure they’re level. The nice thing about these plastic ones is they’re already sloped away from the wall so water will drain out of them.

inset recessed shower niche DIYYou’ll want to putty and seal around the edges of the niches, just like any other cracks, holes or joints.

shower waterproofing product

Waterproof around them with our favorite goo.

backerboard waterproof glue shower

Now you can tile around them and in them. Pretty slick, huh?

Knockdown Ceiling

Before you tile, you’ll want to finish the ceiling. We’ve done a tutorial on knockdown ceiling once before, so we won’t get into the nitty gritty details, but here’s a general idea of what we did.

This time around, we didn’t have to fuss with scraping off old popcorn ceiling, luckily. Again, that tutorial is pretty comprehensive, so I’d recommend checking it out for the basics. In a nutshell, here’s what you’ll need:

knockdown ceiling supplies

  • Add air compressor to that list

knockdown ceiling sprayer

Buy or rent a good ceiling sprayer/hopper. This will be your best friend.

andy knockdown ceilingSpeaking of best friends, Andy helped us out again. Thank so much 😀


With all that said, I’ll leave you with two videos of the boys in action. Sometimes it helps to show rather than tell. Enjoy!

Do it Yourself Knockdown Ceiling

DIY Knockdown Ceiling Technique


Next on the list: We prime and paint this fresh looking ceiling. And the little walls too.

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