Is your shower looking a little dull or disorganized? Do you find yourself constantly crouching down to grab shampoo bottles off the shower floor? Upgrading your shower with stylish new shelves can completely transform the look and function of this essential bathroom space.
The right shelves offer handy storage for all your bathing necessities while also adding visual interest to your shower design. With options like sleek floating shelves, spacious shower niches, handy corner shelves, and creative DIY options, you can find the perfect shelves to suit your needs and style.
Shower Niche Shelves
One of the most popular and practical shower shelf options is installing a recessed niche shelf directly into your shower wall. Also called shower caddies, these built-in shelves are like customized nooks for stashing shampoo, razors, and other shower essentials.
What is a Shower Niche?
A shower niche is essentially a recessed shelf built seamlessly into your shower wall. Shower niches are installed so that they sit flush with the wall tiles, creating a unified and streamlined look. They offer concealed storage that helps keep your shower necessities neatly tucked away when not in use.
Shower niches come in a range of sizes, shapes, depths, and designs. You can choose a simple rectangular niche or explore more unique shapes like circular, curved, or asymmetrical niches. The depth also varies, with shallow niches around 4 inches deep to deeper shelves up to 16 inches. Consider what size and shape will suit your shower layout and storage needs.
Benefits of Shower Niches
There are many great reasons to consider adding a shower niche to your bathroom:
- More storage capacity – Shower niches can store multiple bottles, razors, loufas, and more in one organized space.
- Built-in, customized look – Shower niches are designed to seamlessly blend with your shower wall tile, creating a polished, high-end look.
- Convenient access – Keeping supplies in a shower niche prevents constant bending down to access products left on the shower floor.
- Can be styled – Shower niches can be enhanced with lighting, shelving, tile designs, glass doors, and more for added style.
Shower Niche Ideas and Inspiration
When designing your custom shower niche, there are endless options for creating a look you’ll love. Here are some niche shelf ideas and inspiration:
- Illuminated niche – Add LED strip lighting inside your niche for a spa-like glow.
- Decorative tile – Choose complementary mosaic, marble, or glass tiles to line your niche.
- Glass shower door – A glass niche door maintains visibility while protecting contents from water.
- Floating decorative shelves – Install floating glass or acrylic shelves inside a large niche for multi-layered storage.
- Display niche – A shallow, illuminated niche provides a perfect spot for displaying decorative vases, candles, or plants.
Your niche can be tiled to match your shower wall or use an accent tile that complements your scheme. For easy access, install your niche at chest height or consider multiple niches at staggered heights.
Corner Shower Shelves
While shower niches tend to offer the most storage capacity, corner shelves are another excellent option, especially for smaller showers. Corner shelves tuck neatly into shower corners to maximize your existing layout.
Benefits of Corner Shelves
Some reasons to consider corner shower shelves include:
- Great for small showers – Corner shelves don’t take up valuable floor space.
- Easily blend into existing corners – Simple DIY addition to most showers.
- Angled shape – Corner shelves provide easy access without fully turning your body.
- Keep products secure – Triangular shelves prevent bottles from falling over.
Corner Shelf Styles and Ideas
There are many creative ways to integrate a corner shelf into your shower design:
- Triangle – The classic corner shelf shape. Choose between floating, wall-mounted, or tile-constructed designs.
- Rounded – A rounded barrel corner shelf has a soft, contemporary edge.
- Rectangular – Shelf extends from corner for more storage space.
- Mosaic tile – Tiny, colorful tiles create a decorative focal point.
- Glass – Sleek glass or acrylic shelves add modern appeal.
Make sure your corner shelf has enough depth for your products. Stylish additions like undershelf lighting or metallic finish shelves can make this area pop.
Floating Shower Shelves
Floating shelves offer a lightweight, minimalist look perfect for contemporary shower designs. These shelves appear to “float” on the wall surface without visible brackets or hardware.
Benefits of Floating Shelves
Reasons to consider floating shower shelves:
- Modern, minimalist look – Floating shelves have an airy, uncluttered aesthetic.
- Install anywhere – Can be placed at any height and arranged creatively.
- Easy to install – Many floating shelf styles simply stick on tile or glass walls.
- Less drilling/damage – Often installed without drilling into shower tiles.
Floating Shelf Ideas
There are many options for stylish and functional floating shelves:
- Wood – Rustic floating shelves made of finished wood.
- Tempered glass – Glass shelves with chrome or gold brackets.
- Acrylic – Durable, waterproof translucent acrylic floating shelves.
- Unconventional shapes – Try wedge-shaped or irregularly shaped shelves.
- Illuminated – Shelves with built-in LED strip lighting.
Cluster multiple small floating shelves or go for a statement-making extra-long shelf. Mixing materials like wood and metal can create visual interest. Make sure any brackets match the overall aesthetic.
DIY Shower Shelf Installation
For the hands-on DIY-er, custom-building your own shower shelves can be a fun and rewarding project. As long as you have tiling experience and basic construction skills, you can tackle niche, corner, or floating shelf installation yourself.
Should You Install Shelves Yourself?
Consider these pros and cons of DIY shower shelf installation:
- Total control over custom design and finishing
- Choose exact shelf dimensions, tiles, lighting, etc.
- Lower cost than hiring a professional
- Personal satisfaction from a DIY project
- Learning curve if new to tiling or construction
- Mistakes may lead to uneven shelves or damaged tiles
- Manual work like measuring, cutting, drilling required
- Time consuming compared to hiring a pro
DIY Installation Guide
Follow this overview if you’re up for a DIY shower shelf challenge:
- Plan the design – Choose niche vs corner vs floating. Decide on dimensions, location, materials.
- Measure space – Precisely measure the shelf area. Account for tile widths, plumbing, obstructions.
- Cut shelf – Use ceramic tile wet saw to cut shelf substrate or tiles to fit.
- Mount backing – Secure waterproof backing board onto studs or shower surface.
- Attach niche – Glue, screw, or wire shelf molding onto backing if using a niche.
- Add tiles – Apply thinset and carefully tile the shelf surface using your chosen tiles.
- Grout & seal – Let tiles set, then grout & seal the shelf to waterproof it.
- Finish touches – Add final details like brackets, lighting, glass doors, etc.
Having the right tools, calculating everything precisely, and following directions are key for a successful install. Patience and attention to detail will pay off with a fully customized shower shelf perfect for your needs.
With so many options for stylish and functional shelves, it’s simple to upgrade your shower storage and design. Shower niches, corner shelves, and floating shelves each offer unique benefits. And you can even DIY your own custom shelves for a personally tailored solution. Improving both the form and function of your shower is as easy as installing the right shelves to keep your most-used items neatly stowed but still within arm’s reach.
No more sore backs from bending down or cluttered bottles crowding your shower floor. Simply pick shelves that match your bathroom aesthetic and maximize your shower layout. With the simple addition of shelves, you can enjoy a shower that looks amazing and works perfectly for all your bathing needs.