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If you are planning to install a new shower or redesign your existing one, you may be considering using pebbles for the floor. Pebble shower floors have grown in popularity in recent years because they offer a natural look that can add beauty and style to any bathroom.
Before making a final decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of pebble shower floors. Here are 20 things to consider - these are my own opinions based on my experience and recommend you reach out to professionals for their advice on installation as well as other owners who have Pebble shower floors too - to see what their subjective pros and cons are as well.
Pebble Shower Floor Pros
1. Pebble shower floors can provide a unique and stylish look that will make your bathroom stand out.
One thing that immediately hits you is the pebble shower floor’s majestic, stylish look. The shower suddenly becomes a natural extension of your bathroom interior. You can design the space to have a spa-like feel or give it a modern twist—the choice is yours.
2. Pebble shower floors are slip-resistant.
Pebbles provide excellent traction, making them ideal for wet areas like showers. This can be a major safety consideration, especially if you have young children or elderly family members who use the shower. They still require care and this is only generally the case if they have been textured correctly.
3. They are generally quite affordable
Pebble shower floors can be a more budget-friendly option than some other types of materials, such as some of the tile options out there.
4. They can help mask imperfections in the underlying surface.
If you have an older home with less-than-perfectly level floors, pebble shower floors can help disguise those imperfections - as the flooring becomes natural imperfect now.
5. Versatile design options
There are many different ways you can lay pebble shower floors, so you can get creative with your design.
6. Pebble shower floors can add value to your home.
If you ever sell your home, potential buyers will likely appreciate the added value that a pebble shower floor can bring.
7. Resistant to Scratching Pebble shower floors
If you have pets, you know that they can sometimes scratch up your floors. But because pebble shower floors are so tough, they’re resistant to scratching—which means your floor will look great for years to come.
8. Non-porous material
Pebbles are non-porous, which means they won’t absorb water or stains the way some other materials can. This can make them especially helpful in preventing mold and mildew growth in wet areas like showers. However, they can get into the cracks and holes between the stones.
That said, you need to be aware that some can retain water which we will get into in just a bit.
Pebble Shower Floor Cons
1. Pebble shower floors can be difficult to clean.
The very thing that makes pebble shower floors slip-resistant—the fact that they are textured—can also make them difficult to clean. Dirt and grime can become trapped in the crevices, making it tough to get the floor really clean. You don't want to remove the grout and sealer when cleaning.
2. They can be tough on your feet.
The textured surface of pebble shower floors can be tough on your feet, especially if you have any foot conditions like plantar fasciitis. If you’re concerned about this, you may want to consider using a different material for your shower floor.
3. Some types of pebbles can retain water.
As we mentioned, pebbles are generally a non-porous material. However, some types of pebbles (like river rocks) can retain water, which can lead to mold and mildew growth if they are not properly sealed.
This is particularly true of River Rock as they retain the water within the tiny spaces of the rock. This can lead to mold or mildew if not properly sealed and/or maintained.
4. They may require more maintenance than other materials.
Because they can be difficult to clean and are susceptible to mold and mildew growth, pebble shower floors may require more maintenance than other materials. If you’re not up for the extra work, you may want to choose a different type of flooring.
It can call on specialised labour to come in and rejuvenate and keep the maintenance as well as well so it ensures a higher maintenance cost.
5. Limited design options
While there are some design options available, pebble shower floors are generally more limited in terms of style than other materials like tile. If you have your heart set on a specific look for your bathroom, you may be better off choosing another material.
6. Installation can be challenging.
Installing pebble shower floors can be challenging, even for experienced DIYers. If you’re not confident in your ability to install the floors yourself, you may want to hire a professional.
7. They can be costly to repair.
If something goes wrong with your pebble shower floor—if the sealant wears off, for example—repairing the floor can be costly. This is something to keep in mind if you’re considering this type of flooring for your bathroom.
8. Not everyone is a fan of the look.
Pebble shower floors are not for everyone. Some people find them unattractive, and they may not fit with the overall aesthetic of your bathroom. If you’re not sure whether you like the look of pebble shower floors, it’s best to see them in person before making a decision.
9. Not great for hard water areas
If you live in an area with hard water, pebble shower floors may not be the best option for you. The hard water can leave mineral deposits on the surface of the pebbles, which can be difficult to remove.
10. Might not last as long as you'd like
While pebble shower floors are durable, they may not last as long as you’d like. The sealant can wear off over time, and the pebbles themselves may eventually start to break down. If you’re looking for a material that will last for years to come, you may want to choose something else.
11. Might be slippery
Pebble shower floors can be slippery when they’re wet, which can be dangerous. If you’re worried about this, you may want to choose a different material for your shower floor.
12. Might not be eco-friendly
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option for your bathroom, pebble shower floors are not the best choice. The manufacturing process is energy-intensive, and the pebbles themselves are often extracted from riverbeds, which can damage the local ecosystem.
Pebble shower floors can be a great option for some bathrooms, but they’re not right for everyone. Before making a decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Consider your needs and preferences, and make sure you know what you’re getting into before you install pebble shower floors in your bathroom.
How to Install a Pebble Shower Floor
When it comes to installing a pebble shower floor I'd recommend getting a professional in as it can be tricky to do yourself. If you're insistent on doing it yourself then follow these steps:
1. Choose the right pebbles:river rocks, polished stones, or a mix of both. You'll also want to make sure that the pebbles are all roughly the same size.
2. Decide on a layout: random, mosaic, or inlaid.
3. Calculate the amount of pebbles you'll need using this formula: (length x width x depth) x 0.0031 = cubic yards needed.
4. Prepare the area where you'll be working by clearing out any debris and making sure the surface is level.
5. Install a vapor barrier and a wire mesh over the surface.
6. Mix the mortar according to the instructions on the package.
7. Apply the mortar to the surface using a trowel.
8. Place the pebbles into the mortar, being careful not to overload it.
9. Use a grout float to press the pebbles into the mortar and ensure there are no air pockets.
10. Allow the mortar to cure for 24 hours before sealing the floor.
11. Once the sealant has dried, you can use your shower as normal!
How Often Should You Reseal Pebble Shower Floors?
Pebble shower floors should be resealed every 12 months to keep them looking their best. Resealing will also help to protect the floor from water damage and staining.
When you do reseal, be sure to use a high-quality sealant that is specifically designed for use on pebble shower floors. Applying a sealant is easy: simply apply it to the surface of the floor with a brush or roller, being careful not to miss any spots. Allow the sealant to dry for 24 hours before using the shower (usually there is some sort of instructions to follow from the sealant however).
How to Clean Natural Stone Pebble Shower Floor?
Pebble shower floors are easy to clean, but they do require some special care. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers, as these can damage the surface of the pebbles. Instead, stick to mild soap and water.
To remove stubborn dirt or stains, you can make a paste out of baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing it away with a soft brush.
You should also avoid cleaning your pebble shower floor with bleach, as this can cause the pebbles to lose their color over time.
On a separate clean you can use light mix of white vinegar with water and spray onto the pebble tile floor and rinse off with warm water while using a nylon brush in a brushed circle motion to clean well.
When sweeping or vacuuming your pebble shower floor, be sure to use a soft-bristled brush or attachment to avoid scratching the surface.
For an extra-deep clean, you can hire a professional stone cleaner to come and clean your shower floor for you. This is a good option if you have hard-to-reach areas or if you want to be sure the job is done correctly.
How to Seal Pebble Shower Floor
To protect your pebble shower floor and keep it looking its best, you'll need to seal it every 12 months. Sealing is easy: simply apply a high-quality sealant to the surface of the floor with a brush or roller, being careful not to miss any spots. Allow the sealant to dry for 24 hours before using the shower.
When selecting a sealant, be sure to choose one that is specifically designed for use on pebble shower floors. Applying a sealant will help to protect the floor from water damage and staining.
How to Fix Pebble Shower Floors?
If you notice any cracks or chips in your pebble shower floor, don't panic! These can easily be fixed with a little bit of epoxy. Simply mix the epoxy according to the instructions on the package, then apply it to the affected area with a putty knife. Allow the epoxy to dry for 24 hours before using the shower.
Pebble shower floors are a unique and beautiful addition to any bathroom. But like any surface, they require some care and maintenance to keep them looking their best.
Pebble Shower Floor Maintenance
Pebble shower floors are relatively low-maintenance, but there are a few things you can do to keep them looking their best:
- Sweep the floor regularly with a soft-bristled broom to remove dirt and debris.
- Mop the floor with a mild soap and water solution when it starts to look dirty.
- Use a grout brush or toothbrush to clean the grout lines.
- Reapply the sealant every 12 months.
Pebble shower floors can add beauty and function to your bathroom, but they’re not right for everyone. Before you decide to install pebble shower floors in your home, be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Consider your needs and preferences, and make sure you know what you’re getting into before you make a final decision.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Ritchie Hughie