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Shower niche vs shower shelf: the best option for your bathroom

25th Jun '23 • By

Having an organised shower space is essential for a relaxing and efficient experience when it comes time to unwind. With a number of options available, it can take some time to decide on the best storage solution for your shower.

We’ll explore two popular choices: shower niches and shower shelves. By understanding their pros and cons, you can determine the perfect design to create a functional and aesthetic bathroom.

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  • Advantages of shower niches
  • Disadvantages of shower niches
  • Advantages of shower shelves
  • Disadvantages of shower shelves
  • Factors to consider when deciding


Advantages of Shower Niches

Shower niches are recessed compartments built into the shower wall, offering seamless storage for your everyday items as one of many valuable bathroom improvements. The pros of incorporating shower niches in your bathroom include:

Seamless Integration with the Shower Wall

A shower niche blends seamlessly with the shower wall, providing a sleek and cohesive look to your space. Select shower niche tiles to match your existing design to create a harmonious bathroom interior — this can be especially impactful in a wet room bathroom.

Increased Storage Capacity

One significant advantage of shower niches is their ample storage capacity. They can accommodate a bunch of shower essentials, such as shampoo bottles, soap, and loofahs, without cluttering the area. This allows for easy access to your products and eliminates the need for additional storage options, like removable baskets.

Minimal Maintenance and Cleaning

Since shower niches are integrated into the wall, cleaning is incredibly easy. Unlike shower shelves, there are no surfaces or corners to accumulate grime, so a quick wipe down is all that's needed.

Disadvantages of Shower Niches

Alongside these benefits, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks of shower niches:

More Expensive Installation Process

Shower niche construction requires professional expertise, which can increase the overall cost of your bathroom renovation or remodeling project. The process involves cutting into the shower wall and ensuring proper waterproofing to prevent any potential leaks.

Limited Flexibility in Repositioning or Removal

Once a shower niche is installed, it becomes a permanent fixture in your bathroom. This lack of flexibility means that if you ever want to reposition or remove it, it may require additional renovation work and expenses.

Potential for Water Pooling or Leakage 

Improper installation of a shower niche can lead to water pooling or leakage within the wall cavity. To avoid these issues, it's crucial to hire a professional who understands the proper waterproofing techniques and ensures a secure and watertight installation.


Advantages of Shower Shelves

Shower shelves offer a convenient and versatile storage solution for your products, and are attached to the wall as a protruding fixture. The benefits include:

Affordability and Design Options

Shower shelves are available in a wide range of styles, materials, and price points, making them a versatile and budget-friendly option. Whether you prefer sleek glass shelves or rustic wooden ones, there's a variety to suit every bathroom aesthetic.


One of the major advantages of shower shelves is their adjustability. You can easily customise the height and position of the shelves to accommodate different-sized bottles or adapt them as your storage needs change over time.

Easy Installation and Removal Process

Compared to shower niches, shower shelves are relatively simple to install. They often come with mounting hardware or adhesive options, allowing for easy attachment to the shower wall. If you ever decide to replace or remove them, the process is hassle-free.

Disadvantages of Shower Shelves

There are a few limitations to consider when opting for shower shelves:

Visible Clutter

Unlike shower niches, shelves can create a more visually cluttered look. The open design can expose bottles, loofahs, and other items, impacting on the streamlined aesthetic you might be going for.

Regular Cleaning Required

With open shelving, dust accumulation is inevitable. Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to keep your shower shelves free from grime and encourage a hygienic environment, especially around the edges and mounting sections.

Limited Storage Capacity Compared to Shower Niches

While shower shelves offer convenience, they may not provide as much storage capacity as shower niches. If you have an extensive collection of bath products or a larger household, you may find that shower shelves fall short in meeting your storage needs.

Factors to Consider When Deciding

When choosing between shower niches and shower shelves, several factors come into play:

Bathroom Size and Layout

If you have limited space or a smaller shower enclosure, shower shelves may be a better choice. On the other hand, larger bathrooms with ample wall space can accommodate shower niche dimensions.

Aesthetic Considerations

Think about your personal style and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve in your bathroom. If you prefer a clean and minimalist look, shower niches can help maintain a streamlined appearance. However, if you enjoy a more eclectic style, shower shelves can be an opportunity to display decorative items or create visual interest.



Evaluate your budget and the cost of each option. Shower shelves tend to be more cost-effective, whereas shower niches involve additional expenses for professional installation. Consider the long-term value and durability of each choice when determining their cost-effectiveness.


Assess your practical needs and storage requirements. If you have a large family or require ample storage for lots of shower products, a shower niche may be the better solution. Alternatively, if you have fewer items or prefer a minimalist approach, shower shelves can adequately accommodate your essentials.

Clearly, both options offer unique advantages, and the decision ultimately depends on your personal preferences and bathroom setup. By understanding these factors, you can create an organised and functional shower space that enhances your bathing experience.

If you need some help determining the best storage solutions for your bathroom or installing a shower niche, get in touch with local bathroom renovation experts today.

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Get quotes from our qualified and licensed tradies Australia-wide.

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