7 Pebble Shower Floor Pros, Cons [River Rock Problems]

The feeling of pebbles under your feet can be very relaxing. When you add running warm water to the mix it’s a recipe for one of the best showers that you’ve ever had.

For these reasons, among others, pebble shower floors are very desirable. However, despite coming with numerous advantages, they also come with a set of disadvantages that can make them unappealing and unsuitable for your bathroom.

7 Pebble Shower Floor Pros, Cons [River Rock Problems]

The last thing you want is a shower floor that does not do what you need it to do!

So, if you like the idea of a pebble shower floor but are worried it won’t be right for you, then we are here to help!

In this article, we will discuss 7 pros and cons of pebble shower floors so you can decide if you want one in your bathroom or not! If you’re interested, read on for more.

The Pros And Cons Of Pebble Shower Floors

Here is an overview of the pros and cons of pebble shower floors.

The Pros Of Pebble Shower FloorsThe Cons Of Pebble Shower Floors
Aesthetically pleasingOnly suitable for soft water
Wide variety availableWater retention which leads to mold
Can be comfortable to stand onCan be slippery if not textured correctly
Slip-resistantSome pebbles can be uncomfortable on your feet
Easy installationLots of grout needed
Does not scratch easilyUnsustainable

Now, let’s check out some of these pros and cons in more detail!

The Pros Of Pebble Shower Floors

Here are some of the main advantages of pebble shower floors.

1. Pebble Shower Floor Pros: They’re Aesthetically Pleasing

Pebbles are very pretty stones, no matter whether they’re sitting on the banks of the river or on your bathroom floor.

What’s more, you can make pebble shower floors yourself, so you can choose what pebbles you want to use, and how you want them to look. You can even go and collect them yourself!

We can almost guarantee that you will receive many compliments on your beautiful floor. So, if it’s a bathroom with a fun style twist that you’re after, a pebble shower floor is definitely the way to get it.

2. Pebble Shower Floor Pros: There Is A Wide Variety Available

When it comes to pebbles, you have an eclectic mix to choose from! Pebbles can vary in color, size, and as previously mentioned, you can make a variety of patterns.

For example, you can space your pebbles far apart or closer together to create a different effect on the floor.

There are also many different types of existing pebble floors you can invest in. For example:

  • Basic: Pebbles are untouched and sit on the floor as they naturally look
  • Standing: The pebbles used are big and make the floor space more compact
  • Sliced: The pebbles used have a smooth finish

Some popular pebble tile choices are:

  • Yellow jelly
  • Jubilee
  • Forrest
  • Tahiti
  • Redwood
  • Orion

The pebbles that you choose will all cost different amounts, depending on the material and how long it takes to lay the floor.

3. Pebble Shower Floor Pros: They’re Comfortable

Depending on the type of pebble shower floor you choose, they can be extremely comfortable on the feet. This is especially true if you opt for rounded, large pebbles.

4. Pebble Shower Floor Pros: They Are Slip-Resistant

Unfortunately, it is very common for people to slip and fall on bathroom floors. This can cause injury, so having a bathroom floor that you are unlikely to slip on is advantageous. This is the case for pebble shower floors. Pebbles sit firmly in the ground and do not get slippery when wet.

What’s more, both the sealer and the grout on the floor work to make the floor slip-resistant because they increase the traction when you step onto the floor.

If you want to be even safer on pebble shower floors, then you can wear rubber shoes like crocs or flip-flops to reduce the chance of falling.

5. Pebble Shower Floor Pros: They Do Not Scratch Easily

Pebble shower floors are very sustainable in the sense that they do not scratch easily. Even if you drop something heavy onto the floor, there is very little chance of damaging the rocks. And, if you do damage any of the pebbles, then very little is needed to repair them.

6. Pebble Shower Floor Pros: They’re Easy To Install

Pebble shower floors do not require professional installation. In fact, many people take it upon themselves to install their own pebble floors. This is because a big part of the task is placing the pebbles next to one another on the floor.

If you have patience, the necessary equipment, and a strong work ethic, then you can make yourself a beautiful pebble shower floor in no time at all.

7. Pebble Shower Floor Pros: They’re Cost-Effective

Since many people opt to make their own pebble shower floors, you will find that they are in fact very cost-effective.

All you will need to buy is Thinset, a sealer, and grout, plus some tools that you may already own. Then, all you need to do is choose between purchasing pebbles or collecting your own.

That’s really all there is to it!

7 Pebble Shower Floor Pros, Cons [River Rock Problems]

The Cons Of Pebble Shower Floors

Unfortunately, pebble shower floors are not perfect and they do have their downsides. Let’s check them out in more detail below.

1. Pebble Shower Floor Cons: They’re Only Suitable For Soft Water

If you have hard water in your area, then we have some bad news for you. Pebble shower floors are only really suited for areas with soft water. This is because hard water has the tendency to form a thin, chalk-like film on the pebble’s surface.

This means that you will need to up your cleaning and maintenance routine of the pebble shower floor to an excessive extent if you want to preserve it.

2. Pebble Shower Floor Cons: They Can Retain Water

Unfortunately, pebble shower floors can retain water. This is especially true of river rock. Because river rock retains water, this can lead to a mold risk on the pebble shower floor.

Not only that, but because pebble shower floors are often uneven, this means that water seeps into the floor and stays there, which can also lead to mold in between the pebbles.

Mold will lead to your shower smelling musty, and it won’t be safe to use.

So, if you do still want a pebble shower floor, and you want to use river rock as your form of pebbles, then they need to be sealed better to be better protected overall.

Not only that, but you will need to allow it more time to dry. It will be best to dry the pebble shower floor after every use. It is also a good idea to ensure the bathroom is always aired.

3. Pebble Shower Floor Cons: They Can Be Uncomfortable To Walk On

Pebble shower floors can be very uncomfortable to walk on. Of course, this depends on the types of pebbles you use.

However, typically pebbles are corrugated and can dig into your feet with their sharp edges. This will make your time in the shower very unpleasant.

So, if you do want a pebble shower floor, then you will need to carefully consider the type of pebbles you are going to use.

Not only that, but it may be best to consider wearing rubber footwear in the bathroom so you do not feel the pebbles under your feet.

4. Pebble Shower Floor Cons: They Can Be Slippery

On average, pebble shower floors are very slip resistant. However, they have been known to be slippery when they have not been textured correctly.

When the pebbles are rough and have space between them, then you are unlikely to slip and fall.

However, when they are too compact, or the grout has been layered on too thick, then they begin to lose that unevenness necessary for slip-resistance and the chance of falling is increased as a result.

On top of that, adding too much sealer can make the floor slippery since you are walking on a layer of sealer instead of pebbles.

This is one of the risks of laying down the pebble shower floor yourself. If you do it incorrectly then you risk injuring yourself.

5. Pebble Shower Floor Cons: They Require A Lot Of Grout

Another downside of pebble shower floors is that they use a lot of grout. Other types of shower floors do not use nearly as much. This is because fewer tiles are used for tiled flooring compared to pebbles for pebble shower flooring.

So, if you need to use grout between every tile, then a lot more grout will be needed to go between every single pebble.

On average, 2.5 x more grout is used for pebble shower floors compared to mosaic floors of the same size.

However, if you do still want a shower pebble floor, then you can resolve this issue by using bigger pebbles.

6. Pebble Shower Floor Cons: They Need Frequent Maintenance

As previously mentioned, pebble shower floors need to be dried frequently to avoid the build-up of mold. However, the grout and sealer need to be reapplied often, too.

This is because they are more exposed than other floor types (such as mosaic) and so need frequent repairs if they are to stay in good shape.

These repairs can add up to a lot, and drastically increase the cost of the floor. So, what seemed cost-effective initially has ended up being more expensive than other types of floors in the long run.

So, all you can do is try to minimize the maintenance needed for your pebble shower floor by carefully cleaning it to avoid wearing out the sealer and grout.

Even still, the grout and sealer need to be reapplied every few weeks regardless, so if this is going to cost too much, or you are too busy to put the work in, then you may be better off choosing a different type of floor altogether.

7. Pebble Shower Floor Cons: They Are Not Sustainable

The unfortunate truth is, as pretty as they are, pebble shower floors do not last for very long. Despite all of the maintenance required to keep them in good condition, eventually, you will need to invest in a new type of floor.

This is because the floor is so uneven that there will come a time when you can no longer apply more sealer and grout.

Therefore, you will have spent a lot of time and money on a floor that was not meant to last forever. So, you may be better off considering something more sustainable, durable, and easier to maintain.

If you would still like a pebble shower floor, then be aware you will need to replace it eventually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are pebbles good for shower floors?

Yes and no. Pebble shower floors have both advantages and disadvantages. For example, they are very aesthetically pleasing, can feel very comfortable on your feet, and you can install them yourself which means they are very cost-effective!
However, they are also very difficult to maintain which makes them more expensive in the long run, they can be slippery, and certain pebble types are actually very uncomfortable to walk on.

Is cleaning a pebble shower floor difficult?

Cleaning a pebble shower floor should not be too difficult, especially if the sealer and grout have been applied correctly. However, it is important to note that these shower floors will need frequent cleaning to stay in good condition.
To clean a pebble shower floor, it is best to mix sixteen-part water with one-part vinegar. Then, you need to spray this mixture onto the tile floor.
Once you have done so, it is best to use a brush with nylon bristles to scrub the floor. It is best to use circular motions for this. Once this is done, rinse the floor with warm water and dry off.

Is it necessary to seal pebble shower floors?

Yes, it is necessary to seal your pebble shower floor. A sealer will hold the pebbles together and prevent the floor from leaking. You need to apply a sealer before you apply the grout and then wait at least 24 hours before you shower.

How often do you need to reseal a pebble shower floor?

Pebble shower floors need to be resealed every 6 months. However, in some cases, you can wait up to one year before reapplying the sealer and grout.
It is best to inspect the tiles for loose pieces of grout. If you spot any, it is time to reseal the floor!

Final Thoughts

Pebble shower floors have become more and more popular in recent years. This is for a very good reason. They are aesthetically pleasing, can be installed with ease, are comfortable, slip-resistant, and do not scratch easily.

However, pebble shower floors do have a downside. They require frequent maintenance to avoid mold and injury from falling.

They are also not a very sustainable option compared to other types of shower floors because they do not last forever. River rock in particular comes with a big downside: these pebbles retain water and are far more susceptible to mold.

So, before you invest in a pebble shower floor, it is important to understand its pros and cons and assess how having this floor will work in your bathroom and lifestyle.

Adrienne Carrie Hubbard
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