A Recent Bathroom Installation Featuring A Tiled Recess With Custom Cut CORIAN® Shelving.

CORIAN Tiled Alcove


Sometimes when installing a bathroom, we add an alcove or recess to add a little bit of much-needed storage space such as these:

Tiled Alcove ukbathroomguru

Bathroom Alcove

Narrow Alcove

Splitting a Bathroom Into an En Suite and bathroom

Blocking Up a Bathroom Window

In this particular bathroom installation we chose to split a bathroom into a bathroom and an en suite) and block up a window (to suit the new layout).
We used this as an opportunity to design & install a tall, and slim alcove over the bath (where part of the window reveal used to be)….

Blocking up the Window

Tiled Alcove

However, this tall and slim alcove necessitated the addition of shelves to maximise the storage space available.

We chose to use CORIAN® (rather than tiles or glass) for a couple of reasons:

  • Glass tends to watermark quickly and only toughened glass would be suitable for this installation, which would have been expensive to buy in the thickness we required.
  • The glass would have had to be supported by surface pegs rather than finishing it ‘into the tiles’ (as we have done below) and this not have looked great due to the transparency of the glass.
  • If we had used wall tiles for the shelves themselves you would have seen an unglazed front edge & underside (as ceramic tiles are glazed only on the front face.)
  • The wall tiles were also thin and not as strong as the thicker CORIAN® alternative, therefore more liable to break.
  • On the flip side, we could match the CORIAN® to the wall tiles in terms of colour and finish.
  • CORIAN® is a solid surface, so all visible edges were polished to a high finish.
  • We could tile the shelves into position, negating the need for any pegs or other means of support that could rust or ruin the aesthetic.
  • Using CORIAN® enabled us to install a fully waterproof, strong & hygienic material that would not rot, discolour or warp.


CORIAN® is a manufactured solid surface material produced by Dupont. It is made of a blend of minerals and acrylics and manufactured in solid sheets that can be cut and thermoformed into almost any shape and is mostly used for high-end kitchen worktops and under-mounted sinks. CORIAN® comes in many different colours, including solid and patterned options, which enabled us to match it to these matt white ceramic wall tiles in this instance. CORIAN® can be repaired or polished should any damage occur because it is a softer material than granite or quartz.

CORIAN® Bathroom Shelving Installation

To reduce the need for any pegs or other means of support for the shelves, we chose to tile the CORIAN® shelves into the tiled recess directly.
This meant that they would be a permanently fixed feature.

Bonding Up Walls Prior to Tiling

Once the window was blocked up and the dividing wall and alcove built and boarded, shower pipework was run in the wall before it was bonded up level for tiling.

Tiling Around a Bathroom Alcove

Once the plaster had dried out, wall tiling was carried out.

PS Tanking is heavily recommended.

The tile layout was carefully worked out to coincide with the shelf positioning (on the horizontal grout lines)

Wall Tiling Alcove

Tiling continued and metal chrome tile trims were added to the edges of the reveal.

Custom Cut CORIAN Shelving

The 1st CORIAN shelf (custom cut to the size required) was installed by placing it on the top edge of the tiles on either side of the reveal and gluing it into position with tile adhesive.

CORIAN bathroom shelving

PS Due to the short span of the reveal (approx 18cm) we chose not to support the shelf on the back edge so we tiled this surface 1st.

adding CORIAN shelves to bathroom alcove

We then added the wall tiles above this shelf before adding the next shelf and working our way upwards to the top of the alcove.

PS Notice in the picture above how a wall tile has been shown instead of a piece of CORIAN® to show how the exposed unglazed edge would look.

corian shelving in bathroom recess

Eventually, all of the tiling/shelves were done and the area was ready to be grouted…

grouted alcove

After grouting, the final step was to seal all of the joints with a colour-matched sanitary silicone sealant, and fit the shower etc!

CORIAN shelving in recess over bath

The final result is a seamless finish with many practical applications.

This was part of a new bathroom install we did recently.

PS Many thanks to Gary from S&J Surfaces who supplied the CORIAN® for this installation.

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