Niches With Lighting for Showers and Beyond

Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-NLT, a new illuminated shower niche technology.
Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-SNLT Illuminated Niches

Illuminated niches provide unique opportunities to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of shower walls, as well as many other applications. Schlüter® Systems, a reputable manufacturer of tile installation products, recently introduced Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-SNLT, a new illuminated shower niche technology that is generating enthusiasm among designers, homeowners, and tile installers. Let’s examine the technology more closely and explore various potential uses.

Why Tile Installers Appreciate This Niche

If an electrician were to install your tile shower, chances are you would not be happy with how it looked and would have concerns about waterproofing, building codes, and functionality. The same holds true for a tile installer attempting to supply electricity to an illuminated niche, especially in a wet area like a shower. As tile installers, we know where our area of expertise ends and an electrician’s begins. 

Jon Wommack, Wommack Electric, is a trusted electrician based in Paso Robles, California, who has two decades of experience. “None of what I do is brain surgery,” Wommack says, “and tile installation isn’t brain surgery. But they’re both art forms that take knowledge and attention to details.”

Schlüter® offers both “EASY” and “PRO” versions of Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-SNLT that integrate with “Schlüter-KERDI waterproofing system as a bonded waterproofing assembly.” This is great news for anyone who wants shower niches to provide easy access to shampoo, soap, and the like. Sound waterproofing will help ensure the niches stand the test of time. 

Products of the EASY series are “plug and play” systems that are “immediately ready for use.” Skilled installers who have been building their own niches can get started right away so projects can be completed in a more timely manner. The niches are “designed to ensure that all connections are compliant with the National Electrical Code (NEC).” 

The PRO series requires electrical expertise, but installers can save time by purchasing kits that come with all the components “for installing LED lights in tiled spaces: support profiles, diffuser lenses, LEDs, control equipment and additional accessories.”

Illuminated Niches are a Hit with Designers and Homeowners

Designers integrate niches into their designs for numerous reasons. One of the most practical of these is that niches offer clever and convenient solutions to design challenges, such as boring, blank walls or imbalances of visual elements in a space.

For designers and homeowners alike, maximizing the potential of a space is important for accommodating practical needs. Illuminated niches are an ideal way to tastefully store and display often-used items in the bathroom, kitchen and more.

Illuminated Tile Niches in the Bathroom

Homeowners used to think of bathrooms as primarily functional spaces for brushing teeth, tending to scrapes, and other self-care needs. The evolution of bathroom design to a spa-like environment resulted in luxury upgrades and custom designs.

Illuminated niches in the shower add soft lighting for a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Outside the shower, illuminated niches provide easily accessible, decorative storage spaces for a variety of items, from aromatherapy candles and Epsom salts to Bluetooth speakers and natural soaps.

Illuminated Tile Niches in the Kitchen

Niches are not just for showers and bathrooms. In the kitchen, niches can display special dishware and provide storage for essential items like spices, oils, and cookbooks. They can be incorporated directly into backsplashes and tiled walls.

Illuminated Tile Niches Throughout the Home

Lighting plays an important part in interior design. Niches are an excellent source of secondary lighting throughout the home. 

When it comes to tile and stone niches, lighting can showcase rich colors, interesting textures, and elegant finishes. Like carefully planned lighting in an art gallery, lit tile niches in decorative tile, stacked stone, or thin brick veneer accent walls are an invitation for personal expression. Homeowners can showcase collectables and conversation-starting memorabilia in niches. 

Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-SNLT Kits: Quick Facts and Features

Here are some essential facts and features that make illuminated tile niches a beneficial addition to any space. The Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-SNLT kits:

  • have an LED strip contained inside the body of the niche “in a shadow gap type profile.” (A shadow gap is a deliberately recessed area positioned between two adjacent surfaces.)
  • are designed to integrate with other shower system components.
  • components are approved for electrical codes.
  • are available in multiple sizes.
  • have a connection box that connects to a low-voltage cable.
  • include power supply and driver options.
  • have a fully waterproof connection assembly (that can’t be submerged).
  • cables are rated for in-wall installation.
  • come with power supply options, such as all-in one-dimmer switches for a simpler approach, dimmer switch-and-driver combination (so dimmer switches can be matched with other dimmer switches throughout the home).
  • come in these colors: warm white, neutral/cool white, and RGB+white.
  • come in these mm dimensions: 305 x 305 x 89, 305 x 508 x 89, 305 x 711 x 89, 508 x 305 x 89, 711 x 305 x 89.

NOTE: The light is on the top and the short side of the niche only.

The PRO versions of Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-SNLT expand installation possibilities. With Schlüter-LIPROTEC, Copher Tile & Stone installers can “freely combine light profiles, control elements and accessory components without design restrictions” to create custom features you will love. 

Fully Backed Warranty

Schlüter® illuminated niches are backed by a warranty. Read the details here

One of the convenient features of the Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-SNLT system is that in the event the LED lights need to be replaced, it is not a major production and will not compromise the waterproofing in your shower.

Illuminated niches can be incorporated into existing tile installations in some scenarios. Otherwise the niche installation will need to take place at the same time as your main installation project. Feel free to contact us with your illuminated tile niche ideas, and we can let you know what is possible.

by Alice Dean

Copher Tile & Stone proudly stays up to date on tile installation with ongoing education with Mapei Technical Institute, Ardex Academy, the National Tile Contractors Association, Laticrete, and Schluter. Copher is a Certified Tile Installer (#1644).

Do you want a quote for tile installation? Contact us online or call 805-286-7460. We are San Luis Obispo County’s preferred tile installation company, serving Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, San Simeon, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Shell Beach, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, Los Osos, and Grover Beach.

Contact us today!