Do you know what are pebble shower floor pros and cons? For many years, sandstone tiles have been the norm for creating practical bathroom floors. They come in an endless range of colors, are affordable, and easy to clean.
But like every interior design trend, they have slowly gone out of fashion.
The latest trends when it comes to floor tiles in 2021 include:
- Large-format tiles;
- Minimal grout lines for a cohesive appearance of the floor;
- Wood-like riles;
- Unique tile shapes such as hexagons;
- Marble and travertine floors;
- Plastic tiles that mimic natural materials.
Another popular choice for obtaining a unique shower floor is pebble. This natural material is very resilient and attractive to nature lovers.
Pebble shower floor pros and cons
This should help you decide whether this is a good choice for your bathroom or not.
Pebble Shower Floor Benefits
Before discovering the pros of using pebble for your shower floor, let’s see what this material is.
Pebble is a small smooth round stone found on beaches and in rivers. It is a natural material that can be easily sourced in large quantities and will last forever.
Aside from being environmentally friendly by using what Mother Nature provides, there are many other advantages of this construction material:
- Beautiful finish
Pebble stone ensures a naturalistic finish of your bathroom, with a look resembling that of a natural river. If you are keen on a natural feel of your home and like simplicity, pebble could be a good option.
- Easy to do
Are you the DIY kind of person? This means that the pebble shower floor problem will not be difficult for you. If you collect the pebble yourself from a riverbank, you will need some time to gather all of them. The next stage, fixing the pebbles on the floor, also requires patience but is not difficult.
Other necessary supplies except for the pebbles are grout, sealer, and some working tools. No need to purchase heavy and expensive tools such as tile cutters. As a result, the cost of fixing the floor will be low.
Floors and water are not a good combination. However, some types of floors are safer than others. A pebble floor will ensure a solid footing and prevent injuries. This is particularly important for children and elder people.
- Therapeutic effect
Walking barefoot on pebbles is a very healthy practice. It’s like a massage that stimulate various reflexogenic points on the soles of your feet. You don’t have to go on a trip to do that – you can enjoy a foot massage every time you take a shower.
Are pebble shower floors comfortable? It depends on the sensitivity level of your feet. If you enjoy walking barefoot on pebbles outdoors, you will appreciate this type of floor.
Pebble floors don’t wear out or scratch easily. This type of floor will probably never have to be replaced. Just a few minor repairs like reapplying sealant may be needed every few years.
Pebble shower floor disadvantages
Already hurrying to collect pebbles from the riverbank?
Don’t be overly enthusiastic. Before starting the pebble shower floor installation, you need to be aware of the drawbacks associated with this type of floor:
- High maintenance
Pebble shower floor cleaning is not as easy and fast as cleaning a tiled floor. You will need to clean the floor dry after every shower to ensure its durability. Scrubbing too hard on the floor can cause the grout to come off and require frequent repairs.
- Needs expertise for a perfect finish
If you don’t finish your pebble floor to perfection, you may deal with water seeping through it. In time, the floor underneath will rot or erode. At the same time, standing water could become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
- May hurt your feet
If you are not careful to avoid sharp pebbles on your floor, your feet will hurt. You may need wearing footwear while showering to avoid discomfort. If your feet are sensitive, better opt for a flat pebble shower floor.
- Water retention issues
Because the floor will be uneven, water might stick between individual pebbles. Dirt can accumulate there and mold can also develop. If you create your own pebble floor, you have to be very careful about the inclination of the floor and the arrangement of stones.
- Not suitable with hard water
Does it matter if I live in an area with hard water? Is a pebble shower floor hard to clear?
The answers are yes and yes. Hard water forms a chalky film on your pebble floor if you don’t clean it regularly. Which takes us back to the necessity to dry the floor after each shower – not really a pleasure.
How to perform pebble shower floor installation?
Considering the pros and cons, a pebble shower floor is not difficult to install, but requires a bit of attention. The job will last a little longer compared to installing a tile floor and includes the following steps:
- Assessing the underlying floor
The floor where you will install the pebbles should be thick, waterproof, and have a slightly steeper gradient than other floors. These aspects are important if you want to avoid water infiltrating under the pebbles.
- Preparing the floor
Clean the floor and dry it completely. It is recommended to make small dents on it so the new floor adheres to the foundation.
- Applying Thinset
Thinset is an adhesive made from cement, water, and fine sand. This mixture will hold your pebbles attached to the foundation.
- Applying the pebbles
Start from the edge furthest from the shower door or entrance. The pebbles should interlock with each other in a way that makes them look natural. You can practice the arrangement of pebbles before actually fixing them.
- Filling in the spaces between the pebbles
Use smaller pebbles (optional) and Thinset and let the floor to dry for 24 hours.
- Applying a coat of sealer
The sealer should cover the entire floor area, both the pebbles and the Thinset. This sealer layer prevents the pebbles from absorbing the color of the grout.
- Applying grout
Mix grout with water until you obtain a slightly thick mixture. Apply the grout evenly on the floor. After 20 minutes, clean off excess grout with a wet piece of cloth. Clean the cloth multiple times to avoid reapplying cleaned grout to the floor. Let it rest for 24 hours
- Applying sealer
Apply the final coat of sealer to the pebble floor and let it dry for 24 hours.
You will also need to reseal the floor every 6 months.
The idea of building a pebble shower floor can be very attractive. Many people are getting enthusiastic about doing it themselves. You already imagine the satisfaction of creating a unique floor with your own hands and having friends admiring it.
However, we fell like this type of floor has a more cons than pros. It may be cheap and easy to build, but the disadvantages are a bit overwhelming. Cons include high maintenance, frequent repairs, and needing to dry it after every use. Also, pebbles may not be such as tasteful choice when the rest of the bathroom is in a different style.
There are certain situations when a pebble floor is a good idea. For instance, at your holiday home. Or at your guest house. This type of floor is best suited when the shower is not used very frequently. Install one if you live in a dry climate, where water evaporates easily from your bathroom surfaces. A pebble floor is not really practical in most home environments.
You really like the idea of a pebble floor?
Yet, the pebble shower floor pros and cons determined you to look for a different solution. A good alternative is represented by pebble tiles. They imitate pebbles without having their drawbacks. These tiles are installed just like any other type of tile and provide the advantages and practicality of classic tiles.