Originally posted on April 4, 2022 @ 7:00 am
Last Updated on March 18, 2023 by homedolce
Pebble shower floors are wonderfully aesthetically pleasing, but are they the best option for your shower?
You are wise to come here and do some research before deciding the type of flooring you will put in your bathroom. It is a big decision to choose reliable materials, especially when large amounts of money are involved.
We will help you gain the knowledge to make the right choice as we explore pebble shower pros and cons. Lucky for you, we spoke to Alex, a professional contractor at Alex Massa LLC., to bring you accurate, from the source, information.
– Pros of Pebble Shower Floors
Easy to Install
One of the big reasons pebble shower floors are easy to install is that they often come on a sheet with stones called netting. It will be as simple as measuring the floor and the drain hole. Then you or your contractor can easily lay the sheet of pebbles into the shower pan with a thin-set mortar.
Note: pre-mixed adhesives are not the best option as they do not grip the rocks, as well as thin-set mortar, does.
Another thing that makes the installation of pebble netting a sinch is that it is very easy to remove sections of the sheets/nets. They can then be filled in like a puzzle, and the pebbles themselves won’t need cutting which can become costly and time-consuming.
Provides Minimal Slippage
A pebble shower floor will allow for more grip. You will be able to feel secure in the shower without the worry of slipping, which often happens with, say, ceramic shower floors.
Think about it. Stones are often used in building materials of all kinds, primarily due to their ability to grip and hold onto each other. You experience the same benefit when walking on them.
Make a Great DIY Project
As we stated, these floors are easy to install, as long as your shower pan is installed correctly. Installation of your shower pan is crucial and a skill that requires finesse, so you may want to hire a professional for that part.
Beyond that, installing pebble netting is wonderfully easy. One thing you can also do is go out and harvest the stones yourself. If that sounds like too much, you can also buy stones in bulk. I love connecting with nature, so this is a wonderful way to bring even more good vibes to your space. You will experience seeing something from its true beginning to end.
When acquiring your river rocks, you need patience because they all have to be relatively the same size. My contractor friend says 1/4-3/4 inch thickness is recommended.
Please note: pebble stone floors must be sealed first because grout will change the color of your stones.
Comfortable to Stand On
Some people describe standing on a pebble floor as a massage for your feet, especially with smooth river rocks. I can say this speaking from experience.
I love standing on the river rock floor. I will rub the balls of my feet, my arches, and my heels on the rocks for a lovely spa-like experience when showering. They are great! Some may say they are uncomfortable, but I disagree.
Speaking of a spa-like experience, pebble shower floors are gorgeous to look at. You can find a myriad of pebble sizes and colors to fit your aesthetic.
The beauty of nature can never be denied. They make one feel as if they have entered a serene outdoor shower. You will be able to take a deep breath and relax in your beautiful space and luxurious floors. Think Zen garden. It’s pretty awesome.
Affordability varies, but there are definitely some very affordable options out there for your floors. The actual cost comes from proper shower pan installation. So, you really can find some great, good-looking choices.
They typically cost between $5 to $10 per square foot. You can save even more money with a DIY installation of the floors.
Water seeps through the grout and into the shower pan, which allows for excellent drainage. It leads to fewer issues with degradation and mold. If they are not properly sealed, you will have problems with drainage because grout is so porous. Yet, you will actually have a lovely, well-draining floor with proper installation.
– Cons of Pebble Shower Floors
To get the most out of your pebble shower floors, they need to be resealed once a year. You have to make sure the shower is completely dry before this is done, so you can’t shower for about three days before resealing.
Not showering for three days is difficult for most. So, the maintenance aspect is surely a con towards this flooring option. They won’t last as long without it.
Because you need proper maintenance to make your floors last, longevity is not expected. Water is going to soak into the sub-pan without adequate sealing and never actually get dry between showers which can cause the grout to deteriorate and cause the rocks to move. If you never reseal the floors, you will have this problem, and they will last for only about 15 years.
Difficult to Clean/Mold Problems
You can imagine that cleaning the cracks between the individual stones could prove to be difficult. Cleaning grout is also not so easy.
It helps to have a brush to clean the open spaces. However, they still aren’t too friendly. When you have a shower that is difficult to clean, issues like mold and soap scum are going to arise. I recommend regular cleaning and the use of bleach to keep mold problems at bay.
I am biased in my opinion that pebble shower floors are insanely comfortable, but not everyone agrees. Some say they hurt their feet and detract from the stress relief shower time can bring. Everyone is different so consider this in making your decision, especially if you have issues with your foot health.
It is not surprising that pebble shower floors have pros and cons. Most things in life have pros and cons. What is important here is that you consider them and decide using your best judgment.
Yes, they require upkeep, but the Zen-like aesthetic is hard to pass up. If that is what you’re going for then, these are the floors for you.
Not to mention, affordability and good drainage will be favorable for your wallet. The cons are there, but you’ll have many years of enjoyment of comfort and beauty if you take care of your floors.