Installing a Pebble Shower Floor

tile shower with pebble floor in harrisburg, pa

Black and White Pebble Floor with Tile Top Drain

Pebble shower floors are often overlooked and probably because you think it may be uncomfortable, hard to clean or slippery.  There are definitely some Pro’s and Con’s but overall it can be much more comfortable and therapeutic than what you think…  I can also depend on the type of pebbles you select for your floor.  A flat shaved pebble is pretty much just like a standard porcelain tile on a mesh mat so you would be getting something like that more for the looks which is not a problem at all in the design area.

Rounded pebble stones can be great.  All different sizes throughout a floor that does make for a bumpy feel but it actually massages your feet.  You can feel the water running underneath your feet through the grout channels on the floor.  After a long day at work (or a stressful one for that matter) it may be what the doctor ordered.  Since a pebble shower floor has generally 60% grout because of all the gaps to fill, there is quite a bit more traction than what you would think.  Obviously with any tiled floor, you want to clean up any excess soap, shampoo, conditioner right away to prevent slips.

Maintenance of a Pebble Shower Floor

This falls under the “Natural Stone” category so your floor would require a sealer at least once per year.  Depending on which type of grout you use on the floor will let you know whether you need a water based or a solvent based sealer.  Cleaning should be frequent because there are more dips and valleys in the floor where dirt can lay.  Usually a few squirts of cleaner, brushing and rinsing does the trick quick and easy, however, any tiled shower needs to be regularly maintained.

Finding the Right Tile Contractor to install Pebbles in a Shower

This is an important step because installing pebbles is almost an art on it’s own.  You’d think it’s pretty simple, right…?  Just slam down some sheet and go but it doesn’t work that way and here’s why:

  1. The shower floor needs to have a heavier slope than a regular tiled shower floor to ensure the water will not get hung up on the way to the drain and pool at random spots.
  2. Pebble sheets either come in more of a square type sheet or an interlocking puzzle looking sheet.  Whichever way it comes… you don’t just “connect the dots” because it will look like garbage.  When sheets are laid together in this manner, you will be able to see the individual sheets as separate after the floor is grouted and it’s unpleasant.  Extra sheets need to be ordered and a few of them will be used to pull the pebbles off the sheet so you have a whole bunch of singles…  The sheets will be set at random with gaps in between and then the loose pebbles will be filled in the gaps.  This part is very tedious but it is worth it because you will have a look of a full floor.  Just take my word or you can do a google search for Pebble shower floors and see for yourself.  There are many floors where you can pick apart each sheet and it looks terrible in my opinion.
  3. Grouting pebbles is a whole other monster in the equation.  You will see many floors where the grout is filled to the top tier of the pebbles which then only shows the top portion and makes it look like an all grout floor.  Generally what I do is fill the grout higher around the edges (so you don’t get any water pooling towards the walls) and as I work towards the drain I apply more grout (like around the edges) but then dig some out while washing it.  This will allow for more of the pebble to be seen and felt by your feet!  It definitely takes time to do this right because you have to dig channels to ensure water drainage while this process is happening.

Make your Pebble Shower Floor look Awesome with a Tile Top Drain!

pebble shower floor with a tile drain insertI think this is the best way to finish off any tile shower floor but it looks great when specifically doing it with pebbles.  A standard square or circle drain plate doesn’t always look great when the pebble butt up to it or have to be cut to fit.  Adding the Tile Top drain plate allows you to size up the edges from the floor pebble to the ones on the drain and get a close match.  It doesn’t have to be perfect because they’re all different sizes and shapes but definitely offers a fluent look throughout the floor like a shore side of a stream.  With black pebbles or any pattern that is darker, you can’t even see where the drain is located in the floor.  Although you’d know where it’s at but it does create that illusion of not even having one in place.  Good trick to play on your friends!

You only live once and it’s only money!  If you’re considering a new tile shower with your bathroom remodeling project, I’m sure that there’s plenty of companies you can find that will install these things for you.  All that said, I spend a lot of time in bathrooms as a specialist and feel that it’s my duty to go the extra mile when it comes to all aspects down to making a pebble floor right for you.  For any type of tile installation, you have the pleasure of dealing with the owner who is the installer and we will put our heads together to make sure your bathroom and shower is a successful installation.

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