One of the best parts of renovating your bathroom is deciding the style and decor. And, when it comes to shower floors, one of the most popular options people like to choose is a pebble floor.
Just by looking at them, it’s not hard to see why. Pebble floors are extremely aesthetically pleasing on top of being affordable. Not to mention, they feel great under your toes!
However, like every other shower floor option, pebble shower floors are not perfect and do come with their own set of disadvantages that may make people reconsider making them a part of their renovation project.
So, if you’re not sure whether you want to go for a pebble shower floor or would like to choose another option, then we are here to help! In this article, we will discuss all of the advantages and disadvantages of pebble floors. If you’re interested, read on for more!
What Are Pebble Shower Floors?
Pebble shower floors are also known as river rock shower floors and feature tiles made from rocks in different sizes and shapes. These rocks can either be cut or left whole. Once the design is complete, the stones are covered in mesh tiles that stick to them perfectly and provide them with a very smooth finish.
When the pebble shower floor is finished, it is pretty, colorful, and extremely easy to clean and maintain.
There are many different types of pebble shower floors. Let’s check them out in more detail below!
Pebble Shower Floors: Standard Pebble Tile Floors
This is more commonly known as the basic pebble tile and it is the most popular type of pebble shower floor to be installed in homes all over the world. Standard pebble tile floors feature stones still in their natural shape, so the surface of this style of pebble shower floor is very uneven.
However, standard pebble tile floors are not sharp or uncomfortable. This is because all of the stones are still polished and sanded as standard. So, they are very smooth and will not hurt your feet.
Pebble Shower Floors: Sliced Pebble Tile Floors
Sliced pebble tile floors are very similar to standard pebble tile floors. However, there are some key differences. For example, the stones of sliced pebble tile floors are cut in a way to make the tile’s surface totally smooth.
So, this is the option you should choose if you love the style of standard pebble tile floors but don’t like the way they feel under your feet – needing the extreme comfort that the sliced pebble tile floor will provide.
Pebble Shower Floors: Standing Pebble Tile Floors
The two previous options are both made using small pebbles. However, standing pebble tile floors are made with larger pebbles, which gives the floor a more compact style.
The stones of standing pebble tile floors are also more rounded and raised than their standard and sliced counterparts. So, they will massage your feet more!
If your shower floor is lower than the other floors in your bathroom, then these tiles are going to help even it out so it is at the same level.
Pebble Shower Floors: Should You Get One?
Now that you are more familiar with the look and feel of pebble shower floors, it’s time to decide whether or not you want one! Just like any other shower floor, pebble shower floors will have both pros and cons, and it is a good idea to assess them all before making a final decision.
So, to help you make an informed decision, we will list the pros and cons of pebble shower floors in more detail below!
The Pros Of Pebble Shower Floors
Here are the pros of pebble shower floors!
Pebble Shower Floors Are Very Affordable
First off, pebble shower floors are an affordable and often a very sustainable option! Many people like to collect the pebbles themselves on the beach or down by the river. Both of these options provide you with plenty of pebbles that can make up a beautiful shower floor.
If you do want to make your own pebble shower floor, then aside from stones you will also need grout, your chosen sealer, a trowel, and a thinset. These are all affordable tools and items you need to make the floor that can easily be found in hardware stores.
However, if you do want to buy a pebble shower floor ready-made, then this is still affordable and can sit well within your bathroom renovation budget.
If you want your shower floor to look and feel great without breaking the bank, then pebble shower floors are a fantastic option and will leave you with plenty of your budget left over to put into other areas of your bathroom.
Pebble Shower Floors Are Easy To Apply
The process of placing a pebble floor into your shower is slow. However, it is incredibly easy and very difficult to get wrong. Therefore, if you do not want to get someone in to do it then that’s okay because you can easily do it yourself!
Not only is this a fun DIY project, but it is also going to help you save a ton of money.
Pebble Shower Floors Are Less Slippery Than Other Shower Floors
Of course, it is a good idea to invest in a shower floor that won’t cause you to fall and potentially injure yourself. Pebble shower floors are a lot less slippery than other types of shower floors.
These stones allow your feet to stay firmly planted on the ground even when the floor is soaked with water and soap. You can even wear rubber slippers on pebble shower floors because they stick to the pebbles with ease.
However, it is important to note that, just with any other shower floor, you can still slip and fall on a pebble shower floor. So, you still need to be careful getting in and out of, and during your shower.
Pebble Shower Floors Are Aesthetically Pleasing
Many people will opt for pebble shower floors because they look great and will make your whole bathroom look great! Not only that, but because you can easily make these floors yourself, you can choose pebbles that suit your taste.
Most pebbles will look rustic and natural, giving your bathroom an air of sophistication that many people enjoy. You can design pebbles in different ways, so it also means that no two pebble shower floors are the same, and many people love the idea of their shower floor being one-of-a-kind.
What’s more, with pebble shower floors you are able to make the grout a part of the floor design. If you pick the right color then you can make it contrast the pebbles so everything pops in a beautiful way!
Pebble Shower Floors Are Comfortable
Pebble shower floors feel very comfortable on your feet. These stones massage your toes and the soles of your feet while you are having a shower, which is great after a long day at work or a workout.
The best way to achieve this therapeutic effect is to go for rounded stones. The more natural the stones are, the better they are going to feel on your feet. However, if you don’t particularly like this feeling, then you can still opt for a pebble shower floor but opt for one that has a smoother finish.
Pebble Shower Floors Don’t Scratch Easily
Many tile materials are extremely prone to get scratched, even if you are careful while you clean them. However, pebble tiles are more resilient than these other types. You would need to apply a lot of pressure to leave a mark on them, which means they are far more durable than other types of stone.
Not only that but because the stones vary in shape, size, and color, it means that any imperfections in the floor will be a lot less obvious to guests, and even to you!
The Cons Of Pebble Shower Floors
Here are the cons of pebble shower floors!
Pebble Shower Floors Can Be Difficult To Maintain
Even though they are easy to install, pebble shower floors can be extremely difficult to maintain. Whether you need to replace tiles or reapply grout, maintaining pebble shower floors can be a real challenge.
If you install this type of shower floor, then it needs to be resealed every six months. Water can seep through the uneven floor which can make it unseemly. So, this becomes more and more of a safety hazard the longer you leave it without sealing it.
Not only that, but the grout you used will need to be reapplied on a regular basis. This is to ensure the floor remains waterproof and safe to stand on.
And, for extra maintenance to ensure the durability of your pebble shower floors, it is a good idea to ensure that you wipe the shower floor after it is used to ensure the water is removed.
Pebble Shower Floors Do Not Last Forever
Pebble shower floors may look amazing, but they do not last as long as some other shower floor types on the market.
As previously mentioned, you need to reapply the sealant and grout often. However, this is only a sustainable option for a few years, and as time passes, the repairs will not be sufficient and they will begin to cost more than it would to install a brand-new floor.
So, if you want a floor that is going to last for many years, you’re better off choosing a different shower floor style, such as marble or porcelain tiles.
Pebble Shower Floors Increase The Risk Of Mold
All kinds of shower floors are susceptible to mold, thanks to the high humidity in the bathroom. However, this susceptibility only increases with pebble shower floors.
This is because the surface of these floors is uneven and so you need to use grout to fill up these uneven spots. However, as the grout dissolves over time it provides a perfect place for mold to grow.
Although regular maintenance of your pebble shower floor can reduce the mold risk in the shower, it cannot be prevented altogether. So, after a few years of your pebble shower floor, it will be far easier for mold to become a persistent problem.
It is good to note that mold has more chance of showing up depending on what type of rock you use. For example, river pebbles retain water a lot more easily than other types of pebbles, which means mold is more likely to grow on them.
Pebble Shower Floors Are Not Suitable For Hard Water
If you live in an area with hard water, then installing a pebble shower floor is not a good idea. Hard water will leave a lot of grime behind on the stones, which makes them very slippery and dangerous. It also reduces their durability and you will most likely need to replace the shower floor faster than usual.
If you do have a pebble shower floor and live in an area with hard water, then you will need to clean the shower floor after every use which is extremely time-consuming and not sustainable.
Installing A Pebble Shower Floor In Your Bathroom
If you have looked over the list of pros and cons and determined a pebble shower floor is indeed what you want for your bathroom, then great! All you need to do now is decide if you are going to buy one ready-made or if you are going to install it yourself.
If you are going to install it yourself, then here’s a guide on how to do it perfectly!
How To Install A Pebble Shower Floor: A Guide
- First, you need to prepare the existing shower floor. This means giving it a thorough clean and ensuring there is no debris present. Then, you need to dry it with a clean towel.
- Now, gather your collected pebbles and arrange them in whatever pattern you like. This step is likely going to take the most time as you try different steps and determine what you like and what looks good in the bathroom.
- As soon as you have finished arranging the stones, you will need to apply the thinset mortar. Spread the thinset mortar over all of the pebbles, making sure they are thoroughly covered. However, the thinset mortar should not be thicker than 1/8th of an inch, so be sure to measure it beforehand.
- Now, you need to wait for the thinset mortar to dry. This will take an average of 1-2 days.
- Once the thinset mortar is dry, you can go ahead and apply a layer of sealant. Take your brush and wipe the sealant over all of the pebbles thoroughly. Once you have done this, you will need to wait between 18-24 hrs for it to dry.
- When the sealant has dried, you can go ahead and apply the grout. This needs to be generously applied so all of the crevices are filled.
- Wait one hour for the grout to dry. Once this hour is up, take a wet sponge and remove any excess grout.
- Now you can apply a second coating of sealant.
- Wait for the second coat of sealant to dry. Once this is complete, all that’s left to do is congratulate yourself. Your brand-new pebble shower floor is ready to be used!
Pebble shower floors are a pretty and popular choice when it comes to shower renovation. There are three different kinds, some smoother than others, but all offering an amazing set of advantages such as style, comfort, affordability, and all are easy to install or make yourself.
However, pebble shower floors also come with disadvantages. They are very difficult to maintain and are often susceptible to mold. Not only that, but they need to be replaced every few years, so they are not as sustainable as you would initially think.
So, with all this in mind, you can go ahead and make an informed choice about your new shower floor!