I used to be the Sales and design manager for a large (150+ per year) residential building company. For quite a few years I encouraged the builder principal ( my boss) to forgo using those horrible / space robbing / soap holders and create a recess in the wall that not only looked stylish, allowed more products such as shampoo and conditioner bottles / soap and razors but didn’t intrude on the space inside a shower. Keep in mind the most common size for a shower cubicle by far is 900mm x 900mm. Just enough for room for a person to shower but not much else.
My ex-employer resisted all my attempts to have our showers have fabricated recessed “in wall” shampoo holders with a single comment. They all leak he said, he was of course right, because the traditional way of constructing an in wall recessed soap / shampoo holder was to have the carpenter construct the niche during frame stage. This is a tedious process that all carpenters without exception loathe. They would much prefer to devote their time to constructing the more important elements of a house. The end result is that they will do this non profitable element of a house in the shortest time possible.
This unfortunately means more often than not the constructed recess is neither perfectly square and typically has large internal gaps where the backing board has been cut and nailed !! into position. This now becomes, first the water proofers problem and secondly the wall tilers problem. The poor tiler now has to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.
Some conscientious tilers just get on with it and straighten everything out. But many others just go “Oh well” and tile over constructed recess and dodge the out “its out of square” comment with its not my fault. Keep in mind a unit only has to be slightly out of square to catch the owner’s eye every time he / she uses the shower. This out of square may not be obvious to all who look!
Out of square isn’t the main problem for constructed bathroom niches. Leaking is. Quite often these carpenter built niches don’t leak but my boss, as a conscientious quality builder, would not take this chance. Each warranty issue in a bathroom is an expensive repair that will damage not just his wallet but even more valuable his reputation. The problem is the internal joins of the carpenter-constructed niche.
With these issues in mind I searched the globe (thank god for Google) and found a European system that solved all these well-documented issues.
My ex-employer now, like many other building companies and renovators, use our products as they address all the issues.
- The carpenter now likes them as he doesn’t have to frame them out and take less than 3 minutes to install
- The waterproofer likes them because he only has to do the external seam
- The tiler likes them because they are totally square.
- The builders likes them because they don’t fail and everyone else likes them
- The house owner likes them because they look great function beautifully and add an element of style that is missing from other bathrooms.