Want to Modernise Your Shower? Introduce a Shower Ledge

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Shower ledge in modern bathroom

If there is a storage design I love seeing in bathrooms right now, it’s the shower ledge.

Unlike the shower niche, the shower ledge is a half-height built out wall in the shower that acts as a shelf for your shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles. You can even style the space with a draping plant.

There are many benefits to introducing a built out wall to your shower. Here are just a few to consider

  • Allows for more room to hold shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles, making it ideal for family bathrooms who use multiple products
  • It balances your shower space as it runs along the full length of the shower enclosure wall
  • Open space above the ledge removes frustration of fitting different height bottles in the shower.
  • Enables an easy break between tile or wall material choices in the bathroom. For example you may decide to introduce colour by changing the tile above the ledge.
  • Alternatively, the ledge can camouflage into the shower wall if the same tile is used from top to bottom giving the illusion of a floating shelf

Shower ledge installation tips

A ledge in your shower can work on any wall but functionality and space need to be key considerations.

The depth needs to be up to 100mm to make it a functional shelf. If your shower enclosure is narrow, install the ledge on the width of the shower, not the length.

The best installations I’ve seen have been against the back side wall of the shower away from the vanity. If you extend the half wall beyond the shower, think about other fixtures it may affect in the bathroom – like tapware to the vanity and mirror placement above the vanity.

If you install the ledge on the tapware side of the shower, ensure your plumber knows so they can rough in the combo for the shower accordingly.

Install the shower handle on the opposite wall or below the ledge for a balanced look. Installing the mixer handle above the ledge will make the shower look odd.

Ledge heights will vary from bathroom to bathroom and client to client.

Rule of thumbs is to install the shower ledge approximately half wall height from the finished tile height of your bathroom floor. So if your ceiling is 2400mm, 1200-1300mm is ideal. If you decide to install higher, think about reachability for those using the shower.

Shower ledge in marble in open shower
Photo by Studio Gorman

 The shower ledge will instantly update your bathroom. However, keep in mind if your bathroom is small, building out a half wall can make your bathroom feel smaller.

It’s best to discuss the right options for your space with your builder. And of course, advise your plumber as they will need to ensure the shower combo and mixer are installed in the correct location to make the shower look aesthetically pleasing.

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