Are you redoing your bathroom and thinking about the shower flooring? A lot of people love the idea of pebble based shower floors, but it’s important to think about the practicality as well as the appearance of your shower, and you might be wondering whether this is really a good idea. A shower floor is often a long-term fixture in a house, so choosing with care is critical.
Pebble shower floors have a lot of advantages, but there are a few drawbacks too. They are reasonably inexpensive and they prevent slipping, and they also look fantastic. A lot of people love the appearance. However, they don’t last as long as other floor types, and they need more grout. Some also retain water, which can be problematic.
In this article, we are going to explore pebble shower floor pros and cons so you know whether installing one of these in your home is a good idea or not. We will look at how slippery they are, how easy they are to clean, and how often they need resealing, as well as other factors to consider.
Pebble Shower Floor Pros and Cons
There are quite a few advantages to pebble shower floors, so we’ll start by looking at those, and then move on to the drawbacks.
The advantages are:
- The aesthetic is amazing, making your shower look and feel like part of the natural world
- They feel good underfoot, provided they are installed correctly
- There are many different styles that you can choose from
- They don’t wear out too quickly and they are resistant to scratches and cracks
- They are reasonably easy to install
- They don’t cost too much, especially if you can install the flooring yourself
However, there are downsides associated with pebble shower floors too, and some of these might really put you off installing one. The disadvantages are:
- If installed badly, they are uncomfortable to walk on
- Unless you are good at DIY, you will need a professional to ensure you get a comfortable and safe surface, and this can cause them to cost more
- The water may pool between the pebbles, and this can cause issues with dampness in the room and the shower, increasing the risk of mold developing
- They provide a lot of surface area for limescale to build up on if you live in an area with hard water
- A lot of grout is needed to install the pebbles, driving up the installation costs and the time needed to create the floor
- They are not as hard wearing as tiles and will need to be replaced sooner than most tile options
- They can be more work to clean because you are cleaning a textured surface
- Some cleaning products may be unsuitable for use on natural stone and this means you are more limited in your choice of cleaning products
As you can see, there are a lot of pros and cons to pebble floors in the shower, which might make it hard to decide whether they are a good idea or not. Let’s find out more!
Is A Pebble Shower Floor A Good Idea?
In terms of their appearance, pebble shower floors are an excellent idea. They look far more attractive than your standard shower floor, and they are stylish and unique. Many people like the aesthetic, because it reminds us of waterfalls and lakes, bringing a natural, outdoor vibe to the bathroom.
Pebble shower floors aren’t new, but a lot of people are keen to have them installed in their homes because of their appearance. Although the most recent trends lean toward minimalistic big tiles and very small amounts of grout, pebble floors still look great and are very attractive.
However, there are many problems associated with pebble shower floors, and you should think about some of the other practicalities before going ahead with installing one.
Are Pebble Shower Floors Hard To Clean?
Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest drawbacks associated with pebble shower floors. Normally, a shower floor is a predominantly flat surface. There may be some texturing to minimize your risk of slipping and falling, but on the whole, showers make use of flat surfaces so that they can be easily sprayed down and scrubbed out.
However, this is not the case for pebble shower floors. By design, they are bumpy and textured. The stones themselves are likely to have some texturing that will make them harder to clean, and the spaces in between the stones will certainly be uneven. You will have many pockets where dirt can end up getting between the rocks.
Scrubbing them out is a lot more difficult because of this. You will have to clean and rinse around every rock, washing the dirt out over it so that it can reach the drain and slip away.
You will also have to be more careful about what kinds of chemicals you can use in your shower. Although a lot of people are moving toward eco-friendly cleaning products where possible, you should still be aware that you will be more limited.
Harsh chemicals could damage the pebbles, making them porous. This will cause mold buildup and result in the floor degrading much more quickly than it otherwise would. You will have to find stone-safe products to use on your shower floor.
How To Care For Pebble Tile
If you are going to install one of these floors, you will need to know how to clean it and care for it. We have already mentioned that you have to avoid harsh chemicals, but you must also know how to use the cleaning products that are safe. Leaving limescale on your pebble tiles could further damage them, so it will be necessary to use diluted vinegar for cleaning.
You can also use a steam cleaner if you want to disinfect the tiles, which may be wise in a damp environment like a shower. This can be done as frequently as you like, but make sure that the steam cleaner is held at least 3 inches away from the pebbles to avoid damaging them. Use the steam cleaner to release dirt and sterilize the stones.
You may want to use mild detergents on the stones, along with a reasonably soft scrubbing brush. Very harsh scrubbing tools may scratch the stone and damage it. Add the detergent and scrub round and round gently, working into all the crevices and loosening any stuck dirt. Make sure you get in all the dips and crevices.
When you have finished soaping and scrubbing the stones, make sure you rinse them down with warm water, and then leave the shower to dry as normal.
Does Pebble Tile Need Sealing?
Most people recommend sealing pebbles once they have been grouted into place. This will protect them and help them to last longer. It is particularly important if you want to use harsh chemicals to clean the stones, because otherwise they will quickly degrade.
You will need a suitable stone sealant if you want to seal the pebbles. You can choose one with a tint to enhance the color of the pebbles, or a clear one. Either will protect the pebbles and should prevent any water from getting into them once the shower is in use.
It is best to get advice from a professional on how to seal your pebble tile floor, as methods may vary and there are a few different options.
Pebble Tile Floor Problems
We have already discussed some of the issues with pebble tile floors, but let’s go into a little more detail here so you know how prohibitive these issues are likely to be. This will make it easier to decide whether a pebble tile floor is for you or not.
The biggest problem with pebble tile flooring tends to be the drainage issue. If your pebble tiles are not angled correctly or if any protrude too far, there is a high risk that water will pool in between the pebbles. This will quickly result in the growth of mold and mildew, and will make the shower smell unpleasant. It should be avoided.
Another major problem is that pebbles are often not as hard-wearing as standard tiles, so you will need to replace the floor more frequently. This, coupled with the need for a lot of grout, makes them quite intensive in terms of the materials they need. If you are doing the floor yourself, be aware of the time investment you will need to make.
Furthermore, a pebble floor can be uncomfortable if it is badly installed. Done well, these floors feel very nice on your bare feet, but a sloppy installation can result in uncomfortable protruding stones that will make your shower unpleasant to use.
Are Pebble Tiles Slippery?
On the whole, pebble tiles are not slippery, and this is one of the biggest advantages that they have over every other kind of shower floor. If you are prone to slipping or you are afraid of falling in the shower, you might really benefit from using a pebble tile floor. Even when they are wet, these floors can be firm underfoot.
This does depend on the kind of pebbles used, of course. The flatter and smoother the pebbles are, the less friction they will offer and the more slippery they will be. You may find that you need more textured pebbles in order to get the full advantage of this flooring, but it probably is one of the best options for minimizing accidents in the shower.
Given how frequently people slip in the shower and how dangerous this can be, this is a major advantage that pebble tiles have over your other options. It’s well worth considering this when you weigh up whether pebble tiles are for you or not.
What Kinds Of Pebble Tiles Are Available?
There are quite a few different kinds of pebble tiles available, and understanding what the options are may help you to choose a kind of flooring. They differ significantly in terms of appearance, comfort, cleanliness, and more, so let’s explore the options below.
- Slice pebble tiles: as the name suggests, these are made up of slices of pebbles, laid to create a flat and relatively smooth surface at the bottom of the shower. This can look neat and very attractive, and they are much more uniform than some other kinds of pebble tile floors. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and are well worth considering.
- Flat pebble tiles: these are similar to the slice pebble tiles, but they have slightly rounded surfaces, and the flat side is faced against the bottom of the shower. They will still provide you with a flat and even surface, but they have more curvature and may offer a more organic look. Again, they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
- River rock tiles: these are very smooth stones, but they have not been cut to form a flat surface. If you are looking for an organic and textured appearance, they may be the best choice. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of quick drying and ease of cleaning, because of the texture. They will require more maintenance to keep them looking good.
- Pebble glass tiles: these are pebble-shaped globes of glass that can be used to decorate your shower like rock, but with a gem-like appearance. They can be translucent or opaque, and may be colored. They look amazing and you can choose how textured you want them to be. However, they might prove more slippery than actual rock tiles.
Hopefully, the above has given you some idea of your choices when it comes to a pebble shower floor.
Pebble shower floors certainly look impressive, and a lot of people love them. They do have drawbacks when it comes to cleaning, but their anti-slip properties are a significant advantage, so don’t dismiss them if you are trying to choose a new material for the base of your shower.