The sensation of pebbles underfoot is incredibly soothing, especially when combined with the gentle flow of water. Imagine stepping onto a pebble shower floor and experiencing a natural foot massage after a tiring day. It’s an indulgence that can be easily achieved.
However, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons of pebble shower floors before deciding. The pros include being budget-friendly, resistant to slipping, durable, comfortable, and excellent finish. The cons are high maintenance, difficult to install, requires lots of grout, and might be uncomfortable on bare feet for some people.
Despite the potential challenges, I highly recommend installing a pebble shower floor in your bathroom. With proper installation and regular maintenance, you can enjoy a stunning and comfortable shower that will help you unwind after a long day.
Let’s dive further into details for thorough knowledge about pebble shower floors.
Pebble Shower Floor Pros and Cons
If you plan to install a pebble shower floor in your shower, you must know its upsides and downsides to make an informed decision.
And guess what? We have served them on your plate below. Let’s take a deep look at them.
Upsides of Pebble Shower Floor
Before diving into the pros of using pebbles for your shower floor, let’s take a moment to understand this material.
Pebbles are small, smooth, round stones often found on beaches or rivers. They are a natural material that can be easily sourced in large quantities and last forever.
Not only are pebbles environmentally friendly, as they come straight from Mother Nature, but they also offer numerous other advantages as a construction material.
Let’s explore why pebble shower floors are a fantastic choice!
1. Cost Friendly
The materials needed won’t break the bank when installing a pebble tile floor. You’ll only require pebbles, grout, a sealer, Thinset, and essential tools to do the job.
You can even collect the pebbles yourself from beaches or riverbanks to save on installation costs if you’re feeling adventurous!
In terms of cost, pebble flooring is quite affordable, with an average price ranging from $4 to $8 per square foot.
Traditional stone flooring can be significantly more expensive, averaging around $7 per square foot.
So, pebble flooring is a budget-friendly choice if you’re looking for an economical option with a natural and unique touch!
2. Provide Excellent Finish To the Floor
Pebble stone is the way to go if you’re after a natural bathroom finish! With its unique look resembling a natural river, pebble flooring can bring a touch of nature into your home.
Imagine stepping into your bathroom and being greeted by the serene beauty of a river-like pebble floor. It’s a perfect option to create a soothing and organic ambiance in your home.
3. Resistant to slipping
Safety is a top priority in any home, especially in bathrooms where slips and falls on slippery floors can lead to severe injuries.
That’s why having a bathroom floor that naturally prevents falls is a significant advantage, and pebble floors fit the bill perfectly.
Pebble floors are made up of various stones in various shapes and sizes that are securely set into the ground, with grout and a sealer filling the gaps in between.
This creates a textured surface that enhances traction under your feet, making slipping quickly tricky.
Additionally, wearing rubber footwear such as flip-flops or Crocs can further reduce the chances of falls on pebble floors, providing an extra layer of safety.
4. Therapeutic effect
Imagine indulging in a foot massage every time you take a shower! Walking barefoot on pebbles can be a healthy and refreshing practice, as it stimulates various reflexogenic points on the soles of your feet.
You don’t have to go on a trip to experience this, as you can enjoy the benefits of a foot massage right in your bathroom with a pebble shower floor.
Now, you might be wondering if pebble shower floors are comfortable. Well, it largely depends on the sensitivity level of your feet.
If you enjoy walking barefoot on pebbles outdoors, you will likely appreciate the same experience with a pebble floor in your bathroom.
5. Easy to install
One of the best things about installing a pebble floor is that it doesn’t require a lot of specialized skills, unlike other types of flooring like teak shower floors.
The installation process is relatively straightforward, and you don’t need extensive technical expertise.
The central part of the installation process involves placing the pebbles next to each other on the floor, creating a seamless and natural-looking surface.
It’s a simple process that can be quickly done with just a pair of hands, making it a DIY-friendly option for homeowners who want to add a touch of uniqueness to their bathroom.
Regarding durability, not all shower flooring options are created equal. While materials like fiberglass and composite are commonly used in traditional shower pans, they may not be as resilient as pebble flooring.
Stone or tile flooring can also be an option, but they often have drawbacks, such as being susceptible to scratches and damage. However, pebble flooring is a different story.
Have you ever tried to crush, break, or scratch a pebble? It’s not easy unless you have a tool handy, which is not something you’d typically bring into the shower.
In other words, you don’t have to worry about dropping heavy objects on a pebble shower floor, as it’s highly resistant to damage.
Even if a pebble does happen to crack, they are easy to replace. Given the uneven nature of pebble flooring and the affordable price of pebbles, replacing a damaged pebble is a simple and cost-effective task.
This makes pebble flooring a durable and practical choice for your shower, ensuring it can withstand the test of time and everyday use without losing its charm.
Downsides Of Pebble Shower Floor
Hold your horses before you start gathering pebbles from the riverbank in excitement!
While pebble shower floors have many advantages, knowing the potential drawbacks is essential before diving into the installation.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these downsides:
1. Need High Maintenance
Cleaning pebble tile floors requires special attention to avoid wearing out the grout and sealer.
Unlike other types of flooring, such as tiles, pebble floors are more exposed and may require routine repairs to maintain their pristine condition. These repairs can add up and increase the overall maintenance costs of the floor.
Regular regrouting and resealing may be necessary every few weeks to keep your pebble shower floor in good shape.
Cleaning should be done carefully, ensuring the floor is dried adequately after cleaning to prevent any moisture-related issues.
It’s important to be mindful of the maintenance requirements of pebble floors when considering them for your shower.
2. Require Proper Installation And Finish
Proper installation of a pebble floor is crucial to avoid potential issues with water seepage.
If the floor is not finished to perfection, water may penetrate through the pebbles and cause damage to the underlying floor. Over time, this can lead to rot or erosion, posing structural concerns.
Additionally, standing water that accumulates between pebbles can create a favorable environment for mold and bacteria growth, compromising the cleanliness and hygiene of the shower floor.
Therefore, it is essential to ensure proper installation and sealing of the pebble floor to prevent water-related issues and maintain a healthy and functional shower environment.
3. May Discomfort Your Feet
It’s important to be mindful of the pebbles you choose for your shower floor, as sharp or uneven pebbles can cause discomfort when walked upon.
If you have sensitive feet, opting for a flat pebble shower floor may be advisable to avoid discomfort.
Wearing footwear, such as rubber flip-flops or shower shoes, while showering on a pebble floor can also be a practical solution to prevent discomfort or pain.
By being mindful of the pebble selection and taking precautions to protect your feet, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable showering experience on your pebble shower floor.
4. It Uses lots of grout.
Yes, installing pebble floors requires more grout than other flooring options, such as tiles, due to the need to fill the spaces between hundreds of tiny pebbles.
On average, you may need approximately 2.5 times more grout to install a pebble floor compared to a mosaic shower floor of a similar size.
The small size and irregular shapes of pebbles can result in more grout lines and joints, which require additional grout to fill. This can increase the overall cost and effort required for grouting during installation.
One way to partially mitigate this issue is by using larger pebbles, as they will naturally have fewer joints and require less grout.
However, using larger pebbles may alter the aesthetics and overall appearance of the pebble floor, as it may have a different look than a floor with smaller pebbles.
5. It May Retain Water, Especially River Rock
Using pebbles from rivers or other locations with different sizes and shapes in a pebble shower floor may pose a risk of mold growth.
The uneven surface of the pebbles can lead to water retention between them, creating a favorable environment for mold and mildew to grow.
If you notice a musty smell in your pebble shower, it may indicate the presence of mold.
River rocks, in particular, tend to retain moisture longer than other types of pebbles and, therefore, require extra attention in terms of drying and sealing to protect against mold growth.
Proper cleaning and drying of the pebble floor after each use, using flat or sliced pebbles that allow for better drainage, ensuring a steeper gradient to promote water runoff, and keeping the bathroom well-ventilated can all help to prevent mold growth on the pebble floor and bathroom sealant.
Regular maintenance and proper ventilation can go a long way in preventing mold and mildew issues on pebble shower floors and ensuring a clean and hygienic environment in your bathroom.
6. Not A Good Choice For Hard Water
Living in an area with hard water can pose challenges in maintaining the pristine appearance of your pebble floor in the bathroom.
Hard water can leave a thin chalky film on the surface of pebbles if not cleaned off promptly.
Therefore, it is crucial to be diligent with your cleaning and maintenance routines to preserve the look of your pebble floor.
After every shower, it is crucial to thoroughly clean and dry the pebble floor to prevent any buildup of hard water deposits.
By staying consistent with regular cleaning and drying, you can manage and prevent any issues related to hard water deposits on your pebble shower floor.
Despite these challenges, it’s important to note that with proper care and maintenance, a pebble tile shower floor can still be a stunning addition to your bathroom.
Don’t let these concerns deter you from achieving the beautiful shower floor you desire, as they are manageable with regular upkeep.
How To Install A Pebble Shower Floor: Step By Step Guide
Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing a pebble shower floor in your bathroom. Follow each step with attention to avoid costly replacement.
Step 1. Inspection
To ensure a successful installation of a pebble shower floor, it’s crucial to have a floor of adequate thickness, waterproof, and slightly steeper than other types of flooring.
These factors are essential in preventing water from infiltrating under the pebbles and causing potential issues.
Step 2. Preparation
Once the underlying floor is in good condition, the next step is to prepare the area for installation. This includes cleaning the surface thoroughly, removing debris or dust, and ensuring it’s dry and moisture-free.
Step 3. Pebble Selection
Pebbles can vary in size, shape, and material. Choose pebbles that are suitable for your desired design and comfort. River rocks, for example, may retain moisture longer, requiring additional drying and sealing.
Step 4. Application (Thinset and Pebbles)
Using a notched trowel, apply a thin-set mortar or adhesive layer on the prepared floor surface.
If you’re wondering what is thin set? It is an adhesive made from cement, water, and fine sand. This mixture will hold your pebbles attached to the foundation.
Then carefully place the pebbles on top, pressing them firmly into the mortar to ensure proper adhesion. Adjust the pebbles to achieve your desired pattern or design.
Once applied, let the floor rest for 24 hours.
Step 5. Grouting
Grouting is a critical step in pebble floor installation. Since pebbles are smaller and more irregular compared to tiles, they require more grout to fill the gaps.
Apply grout using a grout float, ensuring it fills all the spaces between the pebbles. After 20 minutes, wipe off any excess grout from the surface of the pebbles with a damp sponge, taking care not to displace the pebbles.
Once applied, let it rest there for 24 hours.
Step 6. Sealing
Once the grout has dried, sealing the pebble floor is vital to protect it from moisture, stains, and mold growth.
Apply the sealer evenly, allowing it to penetrate the grout lines and pebbles, and then wipe off any excess. Leave it there to dry for 24 hours.
Do You Have to Seal Pebble Shower Flooring?
If you want your pebble shower floor to last, you’ve got to seal it properly. Adding a few coats of a good-quality sealer will make your grout last longer and keep moisture out.
Don’t worry; sealing a pebble floor is not too expensive or complicated. It’s a simple step that can go a long way in protecting your floor and ensuring its durability.
So, how often should you reseal your pebble floor? Well, it depends on the product you’re using, but generally, plan to reseal your shower floor at least once every 6 to 12 months. This will help maintain a strong seal and prevent water damage, mold, and mildew growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is pebble tile suitable for shower floors?
Definitely! Pebble tile can be an excellent choice for a shower floor, as it offers a unique and natural look while providing good traction and slip resistance. However, it requires proper installation, maintenance, and sealing to avoid mold growth, grout deterioration, and water infiltration.
Is it hard to clean pebble shower floor?
Cleaning a pebble shower floor requires some attention and care compared to other types of flooring. Pebble floors have more exposed grout and sealer, which can wear out over time. However, pebble floors can remain in good shape with routine cleaning and maintenance.
Do pebble shower floors need sealing?
Yes, pebble shower floors need to be sealed to protect the grout and prevent water from seeping through the pebbles. Sealing the floor will also make it easier to clean and maintain.
Does pebble tile hurt your feet?
Pebble tile floors may hurt your feet if the pebbles used are sharp or unevenly sized. If you have sensitive feet, it’s best to opt for a flat pebble shower floor or wear footwear while showering to avoid discomfort.
How often do you reseal pebble shower floors?
You should plan to reseal your pebble shower floor at least once every 6 to 12 months, depending on the product you use. Regular resealing will help prolong the grout’s life and maintain the floor’s appearance.