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Install Shower Niches After Tile Installed - Holes Cut

Install Shower Niches After Tile Installed - Holes Cut

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  #1  
Old 01-22-11, 05:32 PM
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Install Shower Niches After Tile Installed - Holes Cut

We ran out of money for our contractor in the middle of our bathroom remodel. When he left, the concrete board was up, and the holes for the niches were cut for two niche inserts. He hadn't packed out from the studs, and when he left, he took all unused materials, including the niche inserts.

Since then my wife took the initiative to tile the shower in glass mosaic tiles. She then bought new niche inserts, but decided to change the size from something around 10"x14" to a square 14"x14" Noble niche. So I had to cut the holes in the tiled concrete board larger. We also have the problem that the studs on either side of each hole don't have the same offset. One is 16" on center, and the other is around 14" on center, which will require trimming the width down on one of the niches.

1) Should I cut the hole all the way to the studs? (my wife thinks she will be able to wedge it in between the studs even though the hole isn't cut all the way out to the studs).

2) When our contractor built the wall, he used 2x6's not 2x4's so the niche can't be affixed to the drywall. Should I pack out the wall to meet the back of the niche? How should I do that? From the drywall, or build it out using the studs?

3) Should I just ditch the niche inserts, and build the niche myself with backer board?

This is obviously not orthodox, and the niches should have been installed before tiling, but this is my predicament, and I would appreciate some guidance.
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 01-22-11 at 05:39 PM. Reason: No soliciting please
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Old 01-22-11, 08:55 PM
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So I figure I can build out the back with 2x to make up for the 2x6's, thus creating 4 surfaces for the niche to make contact with. Then my main concern is how to waterproof the cavity before I put in the niche, or is that entirely necessary. It makes me really nervous not to do this right and have a water proof niche. I certainly don't want water getting into the wall.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 03:48 AM
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Welcome to the forums! I understand what you have, but have questions about how they are built. Could you post some pictures on a site such as photobucket.com and http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...your-post.html That way we can see what you see and offer better advice.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 09:49 AM
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Here is a picture of the hole for the niche:



This is the of the left side, which is narrower than the right side, but the conditions are the same.

Here is a picture of the Noble niche insert, which is about 14 5/16" square:



Yes it is broken in half diagonally, but my wife is convinced it shouldn't be a problem.

So right now, my idea would be to nail/screw two horizontal 2x4's along the back and set the depth so the front of the niche is flush with the backer board, and put another 2x4 along the bottom to set its height.

Here's a picture of what I mean:



My wife's idea is to put the niche against the back of the 2x6 wall, and put 2x4's on the front of the niche, with 2x4's the depth of the wall attached to fix to the studs. Her idea is too complex for me to wrap my head around, so I can't really depict it here, but I think you might be able to picture it.

Since the tile is already in place I can't screw thought the backer board to secure the 2x4's, which will make nailing/screwing them more difficult through the hole, but I see no other way.

How would y'all approach this?
 
  #5  
Old 01-23-11, 10:11 AM
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The noble niche's are waterproof. The fact that yours is cracked makes it a problem. You might try thinset and mesh tape over the crack, and then redgard or some other paint on membrane over the taped and mudded crack.

The only area you normally have to concern yourself with in waterproofing the Noble niches are around the outside perimeter where the cement board meets the niche. You have to caulk that joint with silicone, then you have to mud and tape the joint. I don't see how you can do that with what you currently have, unless you remove some of the tile surrounding the niche. If you used a good quality modified thinset it may not be easy to remove some tile without making a mess out of the cement board, but it needs to be done.

The niche is held in place with silicone only. For that reason, yes, I'd install blocking to support the back of the niche. Others may not find it necessary, but I'd do it.

As I read your post, it appears to me that you and your wife are under the impression that tile and grout make for a waterproof wall. They do not. Water will penetrate the grout joints and makes it way to the cement board, and the niche. Thats why you need to make sure that the joint between the cement board and the niche is properly siliconed, mudded and taped as per Noble's instructions. The niche is waterproof, however the cement board is not. While cement board will not be negatively affected by water, it will absorb and wick water. Question, did you install a vapor barrier (4 mil poly or 15lb felt) behind the cement board? It doesn't look like it from the pics you posted?
 
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Old 01-23-11, 10:12 AM
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These are meant to be installed prior to tiling. You won't get it to fit your openings without doing some major surgery. Do you have any of the tile left over? BTW, the unit you have pictured is sitting upside down.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 10:16 AM
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BTW, the unit you have pictured is sitting upside down.
All right Larry, explain yourself.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 11:05 AM
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In the pix, the slanted bottom with the drain area is on top and the squared part is on the bottom. Just an observation. Unless the pix is fooling me.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by HeresJohnny View Post
The noble niche's are waterproof. The fact that yours is cracked makes it a problem. You might try thinset and mesh tape over the crack, and then redgard or some other paint on membrane over the taped and mudded crack.

The only area you normally have to concern yourself with in waterproofing the Noble niches are around the outside perimeter where the cement board meets the niche. You have to caulk that joint with silicone, then you have to mud and tape the joint. I don't see how you can do that with what you currently have, unless you remove some of the tile surrounding the niche. If you used a good quality modified thinset it may not be easy to remove some tile without making a mess out of the cement board, but it needs to be done.

The niche is held in place with silicone only. For that reason, yes, I'd install blocking to support the back of the niche. Others may not find it necessary, but I'd do it.

As I read your post, it appears to me that you and your wife are under the impression that tile and grout make for a waterproof wall. They do not. Water will penetrate the grout joints and makes it way to the cement board, and the niche. Thats why you need to make sure that the joint between the cement board and the niche is properly siliconed, mudded and taped as per Noble's instructions. The niche is waterproof, however the cement board is not. While cement board will not be negatively affected by water, it will absorb and wick water. Question, did you install a vapor barrier (4 mil poly or 15lb felt) behind the cement board? It doesn't look like it from the pics you posted?
Thank you for confirming my concern. Our contractor installed a membrane on top of the cement board, and the tile sits on top of the membrane. Of course having to cut the hole larger also cut off all the excess membrane that was left from the original hole that could have overlapped the joint.

So we will have to then remove at least 1 course of tile around the edge of the hole (preferably with the membrane intact) to be able to properly seal the joint?

My wife is convinced that the putty the tile store gave her is going to make everything water tight. I'm just afraid this project is almost FUBAR.
 
  #10  
Old 01-23-11, 12:41 PM
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Membrane over the cement board is a good thing. Makes for a waterproof shower. Yes, you will have to remove some tile, tape and mud. You should also use the membrane that your contractor used over the taped and mudded joint. That way, you keep the shower water tight.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 12:44 PM
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In the pix, the slanted bottom with the drain area is on top and the squared part is on the bottom. Just an observation. Unless the pix is fooling me.
Wow, good eyes, I didnt notice, but now that I take a second look, maybe so.
 
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