Before diving headlong into the decision of remodeling or renovating your bathroom with a pebble floor, here’s a quick summary of all the pebble shower floor pros and cons to keep in mind.
Without a doubt, shower pebble floors seamlessly elevate your bathroom space, whilst also adding an organic and authentic charm to your shower floor. They are unique, gorgeous, therapeutic, available in wild varieties, easy to install, affordable, and slip-resistant!
What’s there to dislike, right?
Although cheap, pebble flooring is extremely high maintenance. Plus, they are also susceptible to hard water and mildew, if not paid enough attention.
Then again, we can also not deny how gorgeous, alleviating, and therapeutic their presence can be— it’s like taking a shower out in the wilderness. Apart from serving the looks, shower pebbles are also known to be long-lasting and resilient against damage.
It would be unfair to weigh the judgment without taking complete notes of all the “pebble shower floor pros and cons.” In the end, these cons largely depend on whether they would be a dilemma for you or not.
Read along to know if a shower pebble floor is the right choice for you or not!
Pebble Shower Floor Pros and Cons
Remodeling your bathroom floor isn’t an everyday occurrence like painting your wall, it’s probably a one-time investment, so you must be sure of your decision.
Questions such as the availability of hard or soft water in your locality or your willingness to go the extra mile to maintain pebble floors are crucial, especially with a bathroom that’s constantly wet or full of moisture.
Here’s a brief summary of all the pros and cons of river rock shower floors for you!
As a bonus, we have also added five gorgeous shower pebble floor ideas to help you choose the best! Here’s an extensive guide to keep your rock shower floor clean and long-lasting.
Pebble Stone Shower Floor Pros
I would say, the pebble shower floor pros outrun the cons if you are into a naturalistic and soothing interior – they provide a zen ambiance to your bathroom.
Nothing beats a good and hot shower to relax and when you do that standing on pebbles, that feeling is therapeutic!
Natural appeal isn’t the only benefit of having a pebble shower floor, let’s keep going.
Aesthetically Pleasing and Wide Range of Variety
While bathroom tiles can be pretty generic; pebble floor adds character to your bathroom.
It’s basically a spa-like ambiance right in your home! You don’t have to go bold or bright and colorful for your shower floor to stand out. Still available in neutral colors, pebble floors come in a wide variety of colors and sizes.
Pebbles come in various colors and patterns— I’m currently obsessed with the glass pebble tiles! They look so gorgeous and remind you of the beach.
If you want something minimalist, modern, and simple; white stones are the way to go.
For a moody ambiance; there are darker shades of stones available like gray and charcoal.
Although pebble floors speak for themselves, you can even take the flooring all the way to your bathroom walls. You’ll really feel like you’re surrounded by nature!
- It’s also a great idea to choose a pebble floor that has a mix of colors for a true authentic natural stone look.
- I recommend selecting a grout that closely matches the pebble color so it blends in rather than contrasting.
- An all-black pebble shower floor is also a boujie choice for your modern glass-walled bathroom interior. Just in keep in mind hard water marks and soap will easily be visible on such dark floors.
I’ll be suggesting a few do’s and don’t tips to help you create the best pattern later in the article.
Pebble Floor Patterns
The pebble floor variety doesn’t end at colors – you also have various floor patterns to choose from!
- Rectangle/round pebble shower floor
- Artistic pebble mosaic with colorful stones
- Wave pattern
If you are anything like me, nothing beats a good ol’ DIY project! We are lucky because pebble floors are easy and forgiving to install. You have the custom control of the design!
You will need a few skills to install these pebbles and of course you want to make sure you’re properly preparing the floor before you even lay tile to keep water and mold out. Because pebble floors have a lot of nooks, crannies, and grout exposed, it’s easier for water to leak inside. Thinset mortar is what protects the surface beneath your pebble shower floor you lay the tile directly on.
I also recommend you build a slope for the water to exit faster instead of staying put in between the gaps. Laying pebbles is much easier than installing tiles because you don’t have to be extra careful around the measurements constantly since it’s not as precise width the design.
Pebble tiles are right in line with the average price of tile.
Store-bought pebbles can be polished, so always ask for unpolished natural stones. Polished pebbles will increase the risk of slipping.
One of the most important considerations when selecting tile for your bathroom shower floor is the tile finish. To prevent slipping and falling, you want to look for tile that is anti-slip. Polished tiles are generally slippery the moment they get wet.
Luckily, pebble floors are naturally slip-resistant because they have a matte unfinished texture.are essentially a formation of small, big, flat, and bumpy stones. The continuous gaps between pebbles, bumps, and slopes help you avoid slipping without worrying about it much.
That’s also why you should choose unpolished or rough surface pebbles when opting for a pebble shower floor for your bathroom.
Nature has its way of healing us and it goes all the way to simply standing on a pebble shower floor. Pebbles are known to alleviate one’s nerves, induce reflexology, provide natural massage, and reduce stress.
Many doctors recommend walking on a pebble floor to stimulate your nerves and dissipate stress.
Here are a few health benefits of walking on pebbles:
- It naturally massages your feet and eases the build-up nerve tension.
- Stimulating your nerves increases blood circulation.
- It releases stress and tension.
- It can alleviate your mood and induce energy.
While it’s therapeutic for many, some may find walking on the pebbles uncomfortable.
There are flat pebbles that are more comfortable to walk on but they may not give the same relaxing, therapeutic feel.
It Doesn’t Damage Easily
Tiles can break or chip easily. It’s a nightmare if something heavy falls on the tiled floor causing it to break.. You may even have to replace the whole floor if a few tiles are to break.
The same is not the case with pebble shower floors. Pebbles are essentially rocks and don’t break easily. Even if something heavy falls on the pebbled floor; you probably only have to change one or two pebbles without requiring you to change the whole floor.
Moreover, pebbles don’t scratch or wear out easily. They are as good as new and will continue to serve you year after year if maintained correctly.
Pebble Shower Floor Cons
Pebbles floors can soon become a pain if you are not someone who relishes the idea of constant cleaning or maintaining the floor. In all reality, pebble shower floors do require an extra edge when it comes to cleaning, but it’s nothing all too much if the installation is done correctly.
I highly recommend a tilted slope towards the drain, so the water doesn’t stay put between the stone. With that, a proper grout job is very much necessary to avoid sitting water.
Pebble shower floor maintenance is quite a heated debate amongst individuals. Some say it’s a major paint while others say they have never had an issue cleaning the floor. Here’s every con you must know about pebble shower floors before opting for one.
Speaking from my own experience with flat pebble showers in our master bath shower, I personally have really enjoyed having them and haven’t had any gripes about cleaning at all. It’s not any different than cleaning any other tile floor.
To me, grout color will be your biggest deciding factor in the cleaning difficulty factor. Light grout will show grime most easily and black grout will show soap and hard water marks. A medium gray grout color will camouflage best and look the cleanest the longest.
Pro Tip: This cleaner combined with a bristle brush is my favorite method for cleaning any grout.
Requires More Maintenance Than Tiles
I cannot stress enough how big of a role installation plays when it comes to pebble shower floors. The right installation will cut your cleaning work in half.
This includes a good-quality sealant and epoxy grout. A good-quality sealant will waterproof the stone/pebbles.
Cement grout is susceptible to mildew, and molds, and can absorb water. It also stains easily. On the other hand, epoxy grout is essentially water-proof and stain-free. It doesn’t retain water and will keep your pebble shower good for years without adopting any stains.
On the other hand, a bad installation would be one of your biggest cleaning nightmares. The stones would continue to get stains and the grout will require intense cleaning to avoid mildew, stains, and molds.
- Keep your bathroom door and curtains open to ensure the moisture doesn’t stay put in the bathroom.
- Vacuum or wipe the floor to remove water every time you use the shower.
More cleaning tips are later in this article.
Hard Water Will Stain the Pebbles
Hard water will increase your cleaning duties because it will leave white spots on your pebble floor, especially if you don’t have a water softener. Sealing your pebble floor before grouting is the best way to avoid white stains caused by hard water.
If your pebble floor was sealed properly, it usually helps reduce the maintenance. Resealing your floor every 2-5 years is recommended to keep your pebble floors intact and in good condition.
To avoid the risk of white spots:
- It’s better to treat your hard water with a water softener.
- Wipe your bathroom dry after each use.
- Ensure the moisture doesn’t stay in the bathroom.
- Regular cleaning with a high-quality stone cleaner every once a week. Don’t use strong or uncertified DIY cleaner on your pebble shower floor as it may worsen the situation.
Why Does Hard Water Result in White Spots?
Although completely safe, hard water has a higher amount of calcium and magnesium that leads to the white spots you see on your pebbles.
Pebble Shower Floor Pros and Cons— Final Verdict
Did the pebble floor pros outweigh the cons? They will if you install the pebble floor correctly. If you are not very adept at installing tiles in general, I suggest you hire a professional to do the job.
How To Install A Pebble Shower Floor?
In this case, precaution is the best option if you don’t want to regret your pebble floor every single day.
It’s not difficult to install a pebble shower floor, keep these points in mind!
- A proper thin-set mortar job, to begin with. Thinset mortar protects the surface beneath your pebble floor.
- Next, lay the pebble tiles! Ensure you are not exposing a lot of grout in your design. It’s best to assemble the pebbles close to each other.
- The next step is to apply a sealant and it’s one important aspect to protect your floor. If you don’t apply a sealant, the pebbles will absorb water, and chemicals (from soap, shampoos, etc.). This will result in a white residue that will require extensive cleaning and more maintenance.
- Use a high-grade epoxy grout and 100% silicone caulk.
- Resealing is recommended every 2-5 years. Consult a professional when your pebble floor needs resealing!
How To Keep Your Pebble Shower Floor Clean?
Don’t wait until your pebble shower floor has turned white with all the residue and grime buildup.
- Wipe your floor dry every time you use the shower. This may sound like too much work, but it only takes 20-30 seconds.
- Don’t allow the moisture to sit in your bathroom. Keep the doors and curtains open. Keep the exhaust fan on, it will vacate the moist air from your bathroom.
- An extensive cleaning every week or two will keep all the soap scum and grime away and prevent you from having to scrub vigorously to get it clean.
- Use a high-quality cleaner that’s safe for tile and grout.
- I recommend either Branch Basics or this vinegar mixture which I use on my own shower floor and wall tiles. Combined with a brush, you will remove any hard water and gross orange grime!
- You can even use a steam cleaner for those tough jobs.
- You can hire a professional to do the job every six months or year for a deep clean.
Budget Comparison Between Pebble Shower Floors and Tile Shower Floors
Without a doubt, pebble shower floors are more budget-friendly!
- Pebble vs. tiles: The cost largely depends on your preferred tile material and design. Porcelain tiles would be more expensive than ceramic tiles. Pebble tile floors are often glued onto a mesh backing and sold by square foot. Other tile is often sold per piece.
- Installation: If you plan to install the shower floor by yourself, ensure you have prepared the surface properly with a waterproof membrane. Pebble tiles can also use 2-2.5 times the amount of grout as regular tile because of the larger, irregular gaps between the pebbles.
- Professional installation: If you hire someone to install the pebble shower floor, the cost would largely depend on the design and how large the shower.
Five Beautiful Pebble Shower Floor Ideas
As promised, here are five gorgeous pebble shower floor ideas for you! You can get really creative with the design, as shown in the circular pattern below.
1. Brown Pebble Shower Floor With Wood Accents
Instead of going for a random color arrangement, go with brown pebbles as shown in the picture above.
The monochromatic brown color is soothing and natural. Try to choose bigger and round-shaped pebbles to make your shower look exotic and nature-inspired.
Wooden bathroom with brown pebble floor is a zen combination, it exudes a serene and spa-like vibe. It’s important you contrast your pebble shower floor with the rest of your bathroom selections so it all flows cohesively.
It’s crucial the floor is slanted towards the drain to ensure water vacates the pebble floor. Sitting water between the pebbles can lead to mildew.
2. Pastel-Colored Pebble Shower Floor
Pastel-colored pebbles are unique and beautiful. This is usually a combination of white, cream, blue, pink, and beige colors with a matte finish.
The stones’ round and smooth curves add a softness, not to mention they are easier on your feet. The pastel pebble shower floor looks beautiful in a glass-walled shower.
3. Spiral Pebble Shower Floor With Dark Grout
A random assortment of pebbles is beautiful, but spiral pebble arrangement adds appeal, character, and creative thinking to your bathroom design. Use a round drain at the center to ensure you are laying the pebbles correctly in the circular shape.
With this type of arrangement, a combination of different and random colors is beautiful! Instead of choosing white grout, go for black epoxy grout so the pebbles really pop.
4. An All-Black Pebble Shower Floor with Dark Grout
This unique flooring takes your bathroom towards a sleek, modern interior. An all-black pebble shower floor is a classic choice if a modern and minimalist ambiance is your goal! If you will notice, this pebble shower floor has a black epoxy grout finish which gives it the all black effect.
Keep in mind black grout will take on soap and minerals from the water, giving it a lighter grey/white cast after some time. While it may be cleaned, I’ve heard from several homeowners that say black grout is high maintenance in a shower. Properly sealing every couple years may help with the upkeep.
Of course, using a high-quality grout like this one is also key to prevent cracking or shrinking.
5. Black And White Pebble Shower Floor
A black and white pebble shower floor is another great idea to add a modern ambiance to your bathroom. This works great with a modern bathroom. The overall feel should be sleek and clean, so a black-and-white tile and wall combination is a must.
To make this pebble floor look flawless, I highly suggest adding more white pebbles and fewer black pebbles. Moreover, to bring it all together, use black epoxy grout instead of white. It would balance the black-and-white ratio!
Pebble Shower Floor Design Tips
If you think randomly arranging pebbles would give you a spa-like and naturalistic ambiance, think again! A well-planned style and design concept is a must before you opt for a pebble shower floor, otherwise, it would look completely out-of-place and ridiculous.
- Your pebble colors should contrast with the overall vibe of your bathroom. Is it modern, eclectic, bold?
- A wooden bathroom would look exotic with brown pebble stones. A black-and-white modern bathroom would absolutely rock a black-and-white pebble arrangement. A minimalist or simple bathroom would look great with a beige or all-white pebble shower floor. So, the right color combination is a must!
- The color of your grout plays a crucial role, too! Blindly choosing white grout would do you no good! My go-to grout color is Mapei Warm Gray.
- Try to arrange the pebbles closely so as to not expose too much grout on the floor.