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Building a Stud Wall with Recessed Shelving

Not much has been happening on the bathroom renovation front for the last couple of weeks - we took a little break over easter and looked towards the garden to enjoy some of this gorgeous spring sunshine! Oh I'm so glad it's getting warm again.. I'm so not a winter kinda girl! But we're back on the progress (oh hasn't this bathroom renovation being going for soooo long, you're thinking!) and today I'm sharing a newly built false stud wall.

So I've been calling this a 'stud' wall, but Grant kept telling me "it's not a stud wall!" buuut it's made from stud-timber.... it's kind of like a wall... I'm struggling to think of another way to explain it. Apologies if my terminology annoys you, but I'm convinced this is a stud wall. Anywho - I built this 'wall' to hide the water pipes to the electric shower. It's a little OTT for such a small 15mm copper pipe, yes. Okay, MASSIVELY OTT. However, I felt simply boxing it in would have looked kind of out of place, really obvious and just damn right ugly; so instead I opted for an entire feature stud wall. I drew up some plans of how I wanted it to look once finished.. 

And then I got to work. Oh what I would give for a drop saw and a drill that wasn't stuck on hammer-mode. First world problems much? Lots of sawing, many measurements, a few swear words and many hours later... 

Ta-dah! The entire frame is affixed to both the wall, floor and ceiling (with a bit of help from Grant!) so that it has literally no movability. It really is as sturdy as it possibly can be! The inset shelves are 360mm apart and around 140mm wide, so they're not huuuuge. But I'm hoping they'll be big enough to hold just a few bottles - I don't really like the cluttered look anyway, so having smaller shelves will hopefully prevent excess clutter. Which brings me onto my second idea within this stud wall: A concealed cupboard - this will sit at the bottom of the wall which will conceal all those toiletries that are either ugly, or you just don't want on show. This will be made a little later on...

I used aqua panel cement board on the front of the wall - this will be tiled eventually so needed to be  a super water resistant material and also strong enough to hold the weight of tiles. On the side with the shelving I just used the plasterboard we had left over from installing the ceiling. Yes, at this point  the finish was looking pretty messy...

I've seen so many photos online of builders installing recessed shelving with picture perfect measurements that just need a dab of filling to cover up the joints. Oh how mine looks NOTHING like those images. Have faith though - My methods may be slightly... unusual. But they usually turn out OK. I used a corner angle bead to straighten up the corner - this will also protect it against knocks.

I then used a ton of filler to smooth out and finish off the recessed shelving. Ideally it would have been plastered, but my plaster skills are definitely not up to scratch for this job! However my filling and sanding capabilities are somewhat alright.. Although I forgot how much I HATE sanding! One coat down my vision was beginning to come to sight...

Another coat of filler and a bit of caulk to fill any gaps inside the shelves... ta-dah!

The wall isn't totally finished on the bottom half, but we need to keep a section open for access of installing the power supply anyway. I'm fairly impressed with how it's turned out - looking good right?  Even if it has been crazy filled to the max!

Next up: plastering the ceiling!
...I have to admit, I am beginning to have serious fears that I've under-estimated the enormity of the shower enclosure and how much room it's going to take up! Whoops.


(rounded to the nearest pound)

New Tools Purchased:

Materials Used:
Stud timber x7 £12
Screws £5
Angle Bead £2
Aqua Panels x2 £30
Plasterboard and Filler - leftover from previous jobs

Total: £49

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