There are more than a half-dozen types of shower flooring options depending on the kind of shower installed in a bathroom. While textured tiles and natural stone are popular choices, pebbles offer a distinct look.
Choosing a pebble shower floor for your bathroom is not something to take lightly. This unusual floor covering will certainly stand out, but it’s not without a few drawbacks.
When you consider the cost of remodeling a shower, it’s good to weigh the positives against the negatives beforehand. That means digging deep into areas like cleaning, durability, installation, and the price.
What Are the Pros of Pebble Shower Floors?
Before addressing any concerns you may have with a pebble shower floor, we will talk about the advantages of using this type of flooring in a shower.
Have you longed for flooring that’s slip-resistant in a shower stall? Slips and falls in showers send millions of homeowners to the hospital each year. Out of all the places you could fall in your home, the shower is the worst.
Pebble flooring provides plenty of grip and traction, even if the pebbles themselves seem like they might be slippery. That’s partly because of the installation process, which leaves the grout bed lower than the pebbles.
This provides more traction, especially when you consider the rough texture of grout. A pebble shower floor will make shower mats a thing of the past and the fear of falling a distant memory.
Shower flooring is durable, but some are more resilient than others. Fiberglass and other composite materials are popular materials in the production of traditional shower pans.
That’s unless stone or tile are preferred, although each has its drawbacks, including scratches.
Have you ever tried to crush, break or even scratch a pebble? It’s not easy unless you have a tool which is something people don’t take to the shower. In other words, nothing you can drop on a pebble shower floor should harm it.
If a pebble does happen to crack, they are easy to replace given the uneven nature of the flooring and the price of a pebble.
Synthetic shower pans are produced in a handful of colors like white, beige, silver, or almond. Natural stone and tile provide more options, although still limited when compared to pebble flooring in a shower.
Whether you prefer cool grays to match the tiled wall in your shower or earthen tones, there are plenty of pebbles to choose from.
It’s even possible to design mosaics or use tile inserts with this type of flooring for striking visuals in a bathroom.
Just remember to keep the texture of the pebbles in mind along with the shape, or you won’t experience the next perk of pebble flooring.
This area may seem odd at first, and could be considered a toss-up with pebble shower floor pros and cons. If you’re wondering if pebble shower floors are comfortable, you might be surprised by the answer.
Uneven surfaces with smooth, round pebbles of different sizes can massage and invigorate your feet after a long day.
It’s a different sensation than walking across a riverbed full of pebbles barefoot, and one most homeowners find incredibly soothing.
It’s Budget Friendly
If you’ve considered using natural stone flooring in a shower or for any room in your home, you know it’s not exactly cheap. The type of material used does significantly impact price, but pebbles may not cost you a dime.
You’ll find these natural rocks around beaches, lakes, or rivers. You can handpick any stones you like and work them into the project.
This cuts back on installation supplies, but you can also purchase pebbles. A large bag of mixed river rock is affordable online if you don’t live near an area where you can get them for free.
Cons of Pebble Shower Floors
While there are a variety of pebble shower floor pros, no building material or product is perfect. With that in mind, here are a few things you need to be aware of before installing a pebble shower floor.
How often people clean their showers varies greatly, but it’s something we all have to do at some point. It’s usually quick and easy, requiring only a minimal amount of effort and supplies.
Things can become challenging relatively quickly when it’s time to clean or maintain these bathroom floors.
You can’t just scrub away at this type of shower floor. Doing so could damage the grout or sealant – something you will become very familiar with over time.
Grout and rocks are also porous, so you’ll need to seal them to keep moisture at bay.
Difficult To Install
You may have been wondering if pebble shower floors are easy to install. Well, the answer is no when compared to tile.
There are pebble stone tiles installed on mesh mats that can speed things up, but this type of flooring still requires a large amount of grout.
While grout is inexpensive, it takes time to build up the bed, place the stones, and seal everything to be watertight.
It’s not a project for the weekend handyman and one that can take a skilled remodeler several days. A pebble shower floor is more labor-intensive than tile or natural stone, so labor will cost more even if the supplies are cheap.
The video below gives you an idea of what to expect if you attempt to install pebble shower floors yourself.
Mold and Mildew
We told you that a pebble stone floor is difficult to maintain, but we didn’t tell you about the main issue. That would be mold and mildew, something that can grow quickly on a shower floor for a variety of reasons.
Mold loves shower floors and walls, especially ones in areas with poor ventilation. It also loves pebble flooring. That’s because of water retention, something most homeowners overlook.
Pebble shower flooring is uneven, which gives water more places to hide. Water won’t run straight to the drain, no matter how well placed. Each pebble acts like a small roadblock, which can lead to more maintenance and cleaning.
Do You Have to Seal Pebble Shower Flooring?
If you want a pebble shower floor to last, it must be sealed. Adding a few layers of a high-quality sealer will prolong the life of the grout while keeping moisture at bay.
You have to use sealer on pebble tile flooring regularly, even if it isn’t very expensive or challenging to apply.
Wondering how long pebble floor sealant will last? Well, that varies by product, although you can expect to reseal this type of shower floor at least once every 6 to 12 months.
Pebble Shower Floor Pros And Cons
Pebble Shower Floors will provide unique style in a shower, but are also considered budget-friendly when compared to other types of natural stone. They are tough, so damage won’t be an issue, and you certainly won’t have to worry about slipping in the shower on these comfy round pebbles.
Mold and maintenance can be problems with this type of flooring, however. That makes them harder to clean or maintain. You’ll also need to consider the cost of a professional installation along with frequent sealings
We summarized the pros and cons of pebble shower flooring below.
- Incredible slip-resistant
- Affordable compared to stone or tile
- Resilient and hard to damage
- Comfortable underfoot
- Provides unique visuals
- Harder to clean
- Requires sealing
- Risk of mold or mildew
The Bottom Line
Now that you understand pebble shower floor pros and cons, you can make an informed decision before choosing a shower floor for your bathroom.
Whether you decide to go with natural river pebbles or travertine mosaic tiles – make sure the shower floor provides plenty of traction for solid footing.
Pebble Shower Floor FAQ
Are pebble shower mats a good alternative to pebble flooring?
A pebble shower mat adds texture and grip to the bottom of a tub or shower stall. While stylish and affordable, they can’t measure up to the feeling of natural pebbles beneath your feet.
How long do pebble shower floors last?
When well-maintained, these floors could last up to 20 years before serious maintenance is required. Pebbles are natural materials that outlast grout and is something to remember when planning the design.
Are porcelain pebble tiles safe to use in a shower?
While we have seen them used in several types of showers, we do not recommend them. Porcelain is resilient but slick and doesn’t compare to the coarseness of even the smoothest pebble.
Does pebble stone flooring use a lot of grout?
Pebble shower floors will use more grout than a standard tile installation or mosaic mat. The cost increase is minimal with the material but not with labor due to the time spent with that extra grout.
Do pebble shower floors hurt your feet?
We found that most homeowners enjoy the feeling of small, smooth stones beneath their feet combined with the uneven surface of the grout. That said, having the floor too unlevel or using the wrong types of pebbles could cause an unpleasant experience.