Back of shower niche is drywall- what's the best way to proceed?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by arkanos, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. arkanos

    arkanos New Member

    Dec 7, 2020
    I'm going to be building shower niche in an upcoming remodel and, when everything is stripped down, drywall will be on the other side of the studs.

    What's the best practice for constructing a niche in this situation? I imagine that waterproofing and tiling directly on the back of the drywall is not recommended?

    My current thought is to press fit some cement board into the back of the niche, but not actually adhere or bond it to the drywall. I would put sealant around the edges of the back piece so when I put the side/top/bottom pieces in, they bond and seal. In addition the side/top/bottom pieces would be bonded to the studs/blocking. The final construction would be a backpiece sealed and bonded to the side/top/bottom pieces, which are bonded to the wall frame.

    My reason for doing this is because I don't like the idea of tilework being structurally dependent on the drywall in the room behind it.
  2. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2019
    Berkeley, CA
    Cement board alone is not a waterproofing layer. A prefabricated foam niche with a tileable waterproofing surface is the simplest option.

    Cheers, Wayne
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  4. DIYorBust

    DIYorBust Active Member

    Mar 5, 2019
    Long Island, New York
    The niche should be framed and not adhered to the drywall on the other side. Blocking installed in the studs, and then backed with plywood screwed into the blocking and or studs, then waterproof substrate applied over that and tiled. A pre-fab niche would be easier, but you may still have to add some blocking to support it depending on the situation.
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