Making a Carrara Marble Soap & Niche Shelf

Recently here in Florida I have been asked to build more niche’s in showers these days then ever before. Not only is a niche a good way to get a little extra room in the shower it also adds a little bit of style to your newly tiled shower. A niche will give you some extra room to place your shampoo bottles, razor or other things you use often in a nice little pocket set into your tiled shower wall. This will stop all that stuff from being cluttered on your shower floor or window ledge.

The pictures below are from a recent Custom tiled shower I did in St. Petersburg, Florida. The homeowners selected a 3×6 American Olean subway tile on the shower walls, 1×1 Glass tile in a mixture of white, gray and light gray on the shower floor (glass tile is Hakatai TA810 M China Blend) and 16×16 white Carrara marble on the main bathroom floor. The shower was waterproofed with Laticrete Hydro Barrier liquid waterproofing and a chrome Ebbe drain was also used. The homeowners had asked me to build a niche on the shower wall opposite of the shower head.

They wanted the niche to be set in the 3×6 subway tile, while it is a nice look at told them that it would be a little plain with the white tile and the bullnose tile. I suggested using the same 1×1 glass tile on the back of the niche and also making a couple shelves out of the Carrara marble we were using, and also to make a couple corner soap shelves and place them on each corner of the shower walls. This would add some of the glass tile and marble tile being used on the shower floor & main floor and bring it into the shower walls.

They liked my idea’s and gave me the approval to go ahead with the installation. These were additional adds to the original price but they understood this would class up a plain white shower and be worth the small amount it would cost to do. They also knew they would like the shower better in the long run and add style to it.

After I laid out the shower to achieve full tile in the corners and ends of wall, I laid out where the niche would go. I made the niche fall on the horizontal grout joints so it would fit nicely and look good visually. I also laid out where the corner marble shelves would go prior to cutting, fabricating and polishing them. below I will explain the process of how I made the shelves.

I first cut the 2 corner shelves out of the piece of  Carrara marble, this would allow me to have 2 long straight side and enable me to be able to also cut the 2 square niche shelves from one piece of marble. This was a good way to cut down on wasting marble tile. When I cut the 2 square shelves for the niche, I made return/ears on the sides to add a little style (see picture 8).  After I cut the shelves I pulled the pieces of marble back across to blade to make the slight micro bevel on the edge of the shelves.

After the shelves were cut I polished them with my Alpha PVA dry pads. I like the Alpha quick change adapter and dry pads for my grinder since its a good way to get fast results and a nice polish on natural stone for a good price. The niche shelves were cut to fit perfectly inside the niche, I then installed them in the tiled area’s. Once everything was grouted and caulked they became a beautiful working part of the shower.

We can also make these custom shelves for your shower project that we are installing for you. Contact Us for more info and pricing.

In my next blog I will show you how I make Travertine shelves for a niche.

hope you like the pictures.