Everyone prefers luxurious and welcoming showers. Pebble shower floors will get you there if you want to add an earthy aesthetic to your bathroom and shower scene. Adding pebble flooring is a great and easy way to enhance your space without breaking the bank.
Pebble shower floors give your bathroom a spa-like aesthetic. Despite what many people think, they are comfortable and slip-resistant in addition to their capabilities.
However, because of their uneven surface, pebble shower floors retain water, causing mold and mildew to grow. They also require high maintenance, lots of grout, and consistent resealing. With proper care, pebble shower floors will last very long.
But should you consider decorating your beloved bathroom with this unique flooring style, there are some issues you may run into that you should be aware of. We have curated a list of problems that are reported by users.
8 Common Pebble Tile Shower Floor Problems
As with any home renovating project, pebble shower floors have some downsides. They require much more maintenance than the average floor, which can drive the overall cost. Installing pebble floors is difficult without professional help. Their arrangement encourages the growth of mold and mildew.
1. Difficult DIY Installation
Pebble tiles are often laid in a mosaic pattern and attached to a flexible backing for ease of handling. However, this makes for an uncomfortable installation.
Pebble tiles are not a perfect square, so lining them up is difficult and time-consuming. The installer must remove the pebble and fit it by hand to properly align the toilet. Also, cutting pebbles to work around the edge of the shower base required special tools. If a pebble shower floor is not installed perfectly, it is prone to leak.
2. So Much Grout
On average, installing a pebble tile floor requires 2.5 times more grout than a mosaic floor of the same size. Regular tiles and most mosaic tiles have a smooth surface after installation. The gaps filled with grout are symmetrical, so you can roughly calculate how much grout is needed.
The sought-after unevenness of pebble floors is a disadvantage with grout. Pebble floors need more grout to get even coverage and fill all the nooks and canines. Also, the grout is more exposed on pebble floors than on traditional tiles due to the different shapes and sizes of the pebbles.
3. Water Retention
Pebble floors retain water in a way that ordinary bathroom tiles do not. Because of the naturally uneven surface on pebble floors, water sits in the pebble, unable to go down the drain. Anywhere water sits for long periods, you must worry about mold and mildew.
Many tile manufacturers will choose to cut half pebbles instead. But the flat surface takes away from the natural aesthetics of the pebble shower floor.
To avoid mold growth, it’s essential to keep pebble floors as dry as possible between uses. And this boring task brings us to our next confirmation.
4. Hard to Clean
Because of the exposed grout, pebble tile floors are difficult to clean. You can’t clean your pebble floor the same way you clean a tiled shower floor. Using Harsh chemicals on your pebble floor will damage it.
Additionally, if you live in an area known for hard water, You’ll want to monitor your cleaning and maintenance routines to preserve the pristine appearance of your pebble floor. Exposure to hard water can slowly erode your floor, leaving you with exposed pebbles that need to be replaced more often.
5. High Maintenance
They can create a beautiful aesthetic, but it takes a lot to make a pebble floor look that way. But Compared to tiles, replacing or repairing your pebble floor might be really a difficult task.
Due to the large amount of sealer and grout used in this flooring, you will be repairing and replacing many things in the long run. This can, over time, make the shower floor more expensive than you originally intended.
Typically, sealants last between 6 and 12 months. So, you should expose your pebble floor at least once a year. It is also recommended that you seal before and after grouting the first time you install it and every time you’re-out.
6. Wearing Out Quickly
Another factor to consider when weighing pebble shower floors is the pros and cons of longevity. In the shower, they wear out quickly. Generally, stone surfaces last a very long time, but when exposed to erosion from running water, they become more susceptible to many problems.
Due to water grinding on them, stone floors may change shape slightly over time. Especially if your pebble floor is uneven, the rocks easily crack and retain moisture, wearing down the grout and corroding the edges.
Pebble requires less work in the beginning but more work as it reaches the end of its life. This means that, at first, regular maintenance will be manageable.
However, if you constantly re-establish and seal damaged stones, they will need maintenance more often. Eventually, the cost of getting a new floor will exceed the cost of repairing your old one.
Thus, although pebble floors are initially resilient, they are only durable over a short period. Other materials will easily last ten or fifteen years without needing to be replaced entirely, But while pebbles may need replacement in less than half of the time, the job requires time, money, and access to tile removal tools.
7. Don’t Last For So Long
High exposure to grout and sealer also makes it difficult to last as long as other ceramic tiles. Hard scrubbing and all the stress of cleaning chemicals will wear down the grout and reduce its longevity.
As a solution, you can do a few things to reduce the damage caused by pebbles in your shower floor drain. But in that respect, it will not last. There is nothing you can do but constant maintenance.
8. Not Ideal For Hard Water
Too many minerals in your water can leave white deposits that can slowly build up in your bathroom. Hard water will add to the potential slippage and water retention as it becomes a white deposit in corners. It will require a lot of maintenance and cleaning with materials like vinegar which will take up most of your time.
As a solution for not considering installing pebbles if you notice you are in an area with hard water. Another solution is if you install it anyway, always clean and maintain it to avoid any potential risk or injury.
What Are the Pros of Pebble Tile Showers Floor?
Now Let’s talk about some good points of pebble shower floors; the ease of installation, the look and variety, and the comfort. The visual appeal of multi-colored pebble floors cannot be denied. It can be a great alternative to regular tile when used as a shower floor.
Pebble floors have many potential benefits along with some cons. In addition to its unique, natural look, pebble flooring is affordable, slip-resistant, comfortable, and durable.
One of the great benefits of pebble flooring is its affordability. When it comes to home renovations, an inexpensive installation process is a pro.
To keep your pebble flooring costs low, you can collect pebbles from beaches, lakes, and rivers. It adds flair to your shower floor, and the collected stone is accessible. Of Course, you can always buy pebble tiles if you need more time or inclination to manage your pebbles.
Pebble tile installation costs $4 to $8 per square foot. Compared to natural stone flooring, which costs $5 to $10 to install. Regarding materials, pebble flooring prices vary depending on where you buy them. The final cost comes down to the size of your shower base and the pebble tile.
2. Variety and Aesthetic
Not every pebble floor shower uses the ideal rock shape. The type of pebble you choose determines how the floor feels against your feet and how water flows around them. Rounded rocks are perfect for people who like stepping on stones, while flat ones feel like regular tiles.
Some sets include different types, but you can choose from uniform colors like slate, sea green, and brown. Finding a tone color that matches your shower walls, curtains, and other fixtures in the bathroom takes work.
Of course, a pebble shower floor is aesthetically natural and attractive. It depicts the rustic and beautiful image of stone floating in a clear river, perfect for homes with natural motifs.
Standing on pebble floors can sound like torture. But one key to a pebble floor is pebble and stone. Pebble differs from rocks because they are rounded from continuous contact with flowing water. The common misconception that pebbles are sharp is the main reason people question the comfort of a pebble floor.
The roundness of the pebble makes for a comfortable floor surface. The more natural the stone, the more comfortable it will be. The uneven surface and different-sized rocks add additional massaging properties to the shower floor. Imagine getting a mini foot massage every time you step into the shower. Who doesn’t want that?
4. Ease of installation
Pebble floors in the shower are a simple solution for many reasons. The first is that bags of material for these surfaces are very cheap and easy to acquire.
Almost any home goods or hardware store carries pebbles suitable for flooring, and they can be used for many other purposes if you reuse them. Note that some materials may be in the store’s outdoor sections.
Sometimes pebbles for shower floor material cost nothing at all. Yes, they can be free if you collect each stone yourself. However, this significantly increases the labor and cost( if paying a professional) when installing a floor using pebble tile.
Wealthy homeowners choose to hand-pick stones from riverbeds and significant areas or implement meaningful rocks they have acquired over time. This usually results in a more varied flow, but it also comes with a heightened sense of purpose.
Pebble floors don’t stop there. Rocks are costly to acquire, but they are also easy to set. Putting Stones down and grouting between them can be done by anyone without the need to hire someone. This means that with patience and DIY insight, you can avoid the high labor costs of professional help.
5. Visually Stunning
There is no denying the inherent beauty of a pebble shower floor, especially if you choose a collection of pebble or pebble tiles that use different colored stones.
Pebble tiles come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, enabling them to go with any aesthetic. You can mix and match to go with the rest of your bathroom and home decor.
The way you install pebble flooring makes it customizable. You can create different patterns or gaps for a unique-looking bathroom floor.
Do You Need to Seal the Pebble Shower Floor First?
Yes, it is essential to seal your pebble shower floor to keep it looking good for decades. Before you grout it, we recommend you seal them first. And after grouting it, expose it again and leave it to dry before using your bathroom.
How Do You Clean a Pebble Shower Floor?
Use the vinegar on your pebble shower floor and allow it to sit for about 7 to 12 minutes. Then, scrub and rinse. At first, your pebble floor may look terrible, but with constant maintenance and cleaning, you can keep it looking fantastic for years.
How Often Should You Seal Pebble Shower Floors?
Depending on the number of users and issues with the pebble floor, some reseal their pebble floors after 4 to 18 months. Some people release their toilet every 2 to 5 years. But during those years, there was a lot of maintenance and cleaning.
As you can see, the pros and cons of a pebble shower floor are evenly split. It comes down to what you are willing to sacrifice for a pebble floor in your shower. Although pebble shower floors require more high maintenance, the visual appeal is undeniable.
After accepting all the common problems you will have to deal with if you decide to finish your shower floor with pebbles, it is for a specific type of user.
If you’re looking for a more ‘set and get’ type of flooring, we encourage you to avoid pebble-tile flooring and instead opt for tried-and-true ceramic tile or floor tile.
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