Next time I say this, someone should hit me upside the head. I'm glad we are doing it. It really is the perfect solution to our problems. But it was not simple, easy or quick! It took as long as tiling the big wall! Or longer... It also had some weird issues to troubleshoot. Here's my recap and how to.
First I cut 2x4's the right length to go between the studs and then screwed them in through the opposite side. So far... Not bad
Next came cement board... Uhhhh... This stuff was not as easy to cut as I thought it would be. Which lead to the first tricky part. I ended up scoring the board where the shelves opened up and then scoring an x through the middle. Then... A good ol hammer to break it out. This worked but wasn't pretty. So I bought a jigsaw blade with very large teeth and that did the job much better. Just go slow.
Once I had enough cement board cut and put in place to over the whole thing, (again, easier said than done) I used mesh tape and thinset to seal all the cracks and corners.
I ended up doing two thin layers of thinset to make sure I sealed the tape in well.
But... There is NO WAY I'm taking chances on anything leaking in this shower.
I covered the whole thing in two layers of Redguard. This stuff is basically liquid rubber. It seals up any cracks or crevices where water could potentially get in. I feel confident that this nook will not be the cause of any leaks.
Next came the fun part. (And by fun I mean terrible.). It actually is fun because it's one of the last steps and it's so satisfying to see the tile up. But there were so many weird parts to this. We are using subway tile. So the corners needed quarter round tile. (This was not fun to cut angled pieces for the corners...) But I wanted to do something different for the shelf. Ideally, I wanted it to be one seamless price of tile. That was not to be. I couldn't find a 14" piece that matched. So, my solution was to use matching edge tile for the shelves. Worked out perfect for the spacing.
It's not perfect but I love it!
I haven't cleaned it up yet and it's obviously not grouted. I can't wait to get all the rest of the tile up!!!