How to Frame a Shower Niche How to Frame a Shower Niche

What You'll Need
Hammer or nail gun
N1.5-inch nails
Saber Saw
1x4-inch or 1x6-inch lumber
Corner brackets
.75-inch screws
Screwdriver or drill with screw bit
Tape measure
Safety glasses
Utility gloves
Carpenter's square
Level
Laser Level or chalk line
Sand paper or small hand wood plane

If you are remodeling your bath to include a shower niche, do it right. Framing a shower niche will improve the strength and longevity of your project. Building a shower niche frame is not a difficult task that you can do in about 1 hour.

Step 1 - Prepare Area for Niche

Consider the height of everyone who will be using the niche and measure the area for installation of the frame. Make preliminary marks to determine the top and bottom of the niche frame assembly and then use a level to ensure straight lines and a carpenter's square to make sure that the angles are at 90°.

Step 2 - Cutting the Frame Pieces

Measure the space where you will be installing the frame and transfer those measurements to the framing wood. Wear your safety glasses and utility gloves, and use the saber saw to cut the pieces to fit. Be careful to move the saw away from your body when you are cutting the wood. Cut all 4 pieces for the frame.

Step 3 - Attaching Frame to Wall

Begin with the vertical sides of the frame. Attach them to the wall using the nail gun or hammer. When you have the first of the side frames up, ensure that the other vertical frame slat is square and level with the others to ensure a perfect niche. Do so by using a laser level to place a line all the way across, or a chalk line to mark a level line. Attach the second vertical frame. Lay the top frame piece on the vertical frame pieces. Ensure once again that the lines are level and square. From the top, attach the top frame to the vertical frame slats. Use 4 nails on each side. Finally attach the bottom slat to the vertical slats, working from under the bottom slat and attaching it to the vertical slats.

Step 4 - Finishing

Once you have finished attaching all the sides of the frame to the house secure the angles to maintain their integrity. Put a corner bracket on each interior 90° corner of the frame and drive flat head screws to the frame. This step is not required; however, the wood frame can begin to lose its integrity over time.

Considering that the frame is in a moist atmosphere of a bathtub, the addition of metal corner brackets will keep your shower niche square and even for many years. Ensure that you have even edges along each seam of the frame. If you have any corners that are uneven you can use some sand paper or a small wood plane to shave off the extra overlap to keep a smooth frame for attaching the niche.

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