34++ River rock shower floor info
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Here we share our river rock shower floor design guide including what it is, different types, sealing and grout.A river rock shower floor can be an alluring design element that gives a bathroom a spa-like feel. Rather than using individual river rocks for the shower they often come in tile sheets. This makes them easier to clean and maintain and provides a cohesive floor pattern for your bathroom shower.
What Is River Rock Flooring?
River rock flooring is also nicknamed epoxy stone flooring. By simple definition, it basically refers to a high quality blend of epoxy and other types of decorative stones or pebbles.
What’s really great about this particular type of flooring option is that it can cover basically any type of concrete surface out there. It is something that can work either indoors or outdoors. It’s also a great way to update existing flooring options that might be cracked, damaged, or chipped in some areas.
One appeal that river rock flooring can provide is that it’s versatile. It can be used for the basement floors, for the outdoor patio, for the laundry room; and yes, even for the bathroom. It provides a very unique and uniform feel to it that other flooring options are challenged to provide.
This type of flooring can update and beautify even the most uneven and undecorated concrete surfaces and should always turn out to be something that an enterprising homeowner should always keep in mind by way of flooring options.
River rock flooring allows the water to run through without jeopardizing the overall flooring structure. This makes it perfect as an option for the bathroom shower floor. It’s great for eliminating puddles of water or dealing with standing water which is usually the challenge that is oftentimes seen in shower flooring options.
River Rock Tile Shower Floor
One major challenge that can be seen in walk-in shower floors in general is that they can turn out to be quite slippery and can eventually cause a lot of accidents and by the long stretch, certain injuries.
River rock tiles used on the shower floor can help prevent that. The embossed surface provides traction, effectively avoiding any slips or accidents for people stepping in or out of the shower in the long run.
There are a few things to keep in mind though if river rock is ever considered as a tiling option for the shower floor.
For starters, it’s that the pebbles are irregularly shaped. They need to be laid out in mosaics and the edges are not exact. This makes its installation very tricky to accomplish. Grout needs to be used generously. It is absolutely for proper river rock tile installation.
It’s also important to note that the shower floor needs to be sloped down towards the drain. This is so that water retention will not be an issue and the tiles will last longer and will attain minimal damage and degradation over time.
River Rock Shower Floor Sealer
Previously, it’s been mentioned that grout (lots and lots of it), is critical to successfully getting river rock flooring installed for the shower floors. This is mainly due to its irregular shape and ability to trap water in because of its uneven surface.
The next obvious step would have to be applying sealer so that the shower floor is basically waterproof.
Using a sealer to finish off the river rock shower floor look is critical for the future of the said flooring. There are a lot of benefits to ensuring that this step isn’t skipped. To begin with, it helps to better retain the color of the original stones.
Water that flows through bathrooms is technically considered as processed water and there might be minerals and other substances in it that might turn out to damage the overall quality of the tiles over time. Applying a sealer helps prevent that as the rocks have an extra layer of protection.
The recommendation is to seal the river rock shower floors twice. The first application is before the grout is applied and the second one is after that layer of grout is applied.
This extra coat further protects the stones or pebbles and it also makes sure that the grout stays in longer under its protective layer. Once this last step has been applied, the shower floors are now ready to be stepped into and be exposed to running water.
Best Grout For River Rock Shower Floor
Truth be told, choosing the type of river rock tiles for the shower floor is the easy part. Picking the grout is the real challenge. And this is something that even professional developers and contractors constantly struggle with.
When opting for a river rock shower floor; it is important to remember that the grout is everything. There will be a lot of it needed.
There are 2 main categories for grouts that can be paired with river rock shower floors: sanded and unsanded.
Sanded grout, to start off, gets its name from its basic composition. It is basically held together by particles of sand. The sand works as a strengthener as it stays suspended as the grout cures; lending it ore strength and structural stability. It is cheap and has a gritty texture. It also makes for very inexpensive grouting options.
Unsanded grout, on the other hand, provides greater stability. This variety of grout is something that is much smoother in texture mainly because of the absence of sand in its composition.
Despite its obvious advantages compared to the sanded grout variety though, it’s worth noting that this type of grout is far more expensive. This is because the polymers used are pricier and a lot of bonding agent is required to cover the surface area of the shower floor if river rock pebbles are used.
River Rock Shower Floor Problems
Despite its beauty and practicality, river rock shower floors can come with problems. Its main one being the water draining issues it comes along with.
These types of pebbles cannot drain water properly and water is a constant on the shower floors. It has the tendency to get the water to stay lodged in between the pebbles instead of going down the drain, as it should.
Water retention leads to wet grout or grout decay which may lead to mildew and mold. This is why there are flat or sliced pebbles that limit the indentations a little bit while still providing some texture.
Installation can also be very tricky and expensive as the sizes need to be customized and laid out with immense care. And then of course, there’s the sealing requirement.
Upon installation, there are 2 layers of sealant required. Installers would usually advise that when maintaining river rock for the shower floors, an annual reapplication of the sealant would be best to retain its quality.
For more content like this visit our gallery of pebble tile shower floors here.
How to Achieve a River Rock Shower Floor with Pebble Tile
Stone tile is a popular material for the bathroom. This includes river rocks, which bring to mind a babbling brook paved in colored stones beneath a canopy of trees: beautiful, fresh, natural, and wild. What could be more appropriate than river rock for the shower floor, where you go to refresh, relax, and rejuvenate? According to this years design trends, pebble tiles are one of the most popular shower flooring options.
Here, we discuss how to install a river rock shower floor and look at some of the tile options and beautiful design possibilities available with pebble tiles.
What Are Pebble Tiles?
Pebble tiles are inch by inch mesh sheets with lots of river pebbles glued to it. The idea is that rather than individually placing hundreds of pebbles in a mosaic on the shower floor, youre laying down a whole bunch of pebbles at once.
While pebble tiles definitely save time and effort, they come with one major down-side. If youre not very, very careful, and sometimes even if you are, youll be able to see the seams where the tiles abut. Seams in pebble tiles distract from the overall effect of river rock, essentially ruining the installation. Happily, theres a simple fix for this problem, although it comes with a heftier time commitment.
How to Install a River Rock Shower Floor
Only begin your tiling job once the plumbing is complete and youre facing clean, dry concrete or a pre-fab shower pan. The floor should slope at least two inches toward the drain for proper drainage.
In order to prevent seams, but to preclude having to lay all the pebbles by hand, experts recommend a compromise: Lay the pebble tiles so that there are two inches between them on all sides. Fill in the gaps with individual pebbles that youve pulled off the backings of other tiles.
Step One: Apply Thinset
Work in areas no larger than three square feet. First, plop a scoop of thin-set in a back corner of the shower. Use a 1/4-inch notched trowel held at a degree angle to spread the thin-set and create ridges that will help the tiles adhere. Use a high-quality, white thin-set from a tile store for the best possible results, or ask a tiling expert in your geographical area what they recommend. White thin-set is better to use than gray, which can discolor the pebbles.
Step Two: Lay the Pebble Tiles
Next, press the pebble tiles gently into the thin-set. Every pebble must make contact with the thin-set, but you dont want to press down so hard that the pebbles touch the concrete beneath. Use loose pebbles to fill in the gaps between sheets, pressing them gently but firmly into the thin-set.
Continue this way until the river rock shower floor is completed.
Step Three: Seal the Pebbles
Use a sealer recommended by the tile manufacturer to seal the pebble tiles. This will preserve their color and help prevent damage due to minerals in the water. Allow the sealer to dry thoroughly before proceeding.
Step Four: Grout
Once the thin-set has set and the tiles are glued fast to the shower floor, its time to grout. Try not to walk on the shower floor until its been grouted.
For the grout, choose a standard cement grout or a high-performance cement grout. Be very careful with the high-performance variety, as it can set very quickly. Working in small areas and using a grout float, apply the grout to a section of tiles, taking care to get the grout in all of the joints. Let the grout set for a few minutes according to the instructions, then use a damp sponge to wipe the excess away, revealing the pebbles. Rinse the sponge often. Once the grout is completely dry, use a damp sponge, rinsing often, to remove the fine film left behind.
Step Five: Seal Again
When the grout is dry and the river rocks are free of film and gleaming like theyre wet, its time to seal again. Another coat of sealant further protects the pebbles, and it seals the grout. Once the sealant is dry, you can step on your river rock shower floor and start up the water.
River Rock Options
Not all river rock shower floors look like they came straight out of a fresh stream. River pebbles have many different looks, and pebble tiles are available in a range of colors, shapes, styles, and textures. Here are three examples of the diversity of pebble tiles.
Sliced Sea Green and White Flat Pebbles
These flat pebbles are slices of river rocks. The flat profile makes them easier than rounded pebbles to install, grout, and clean. These sliced pebble tiles are also available in shades of tan and white.
Speckled Pebble Tile
If youre looking for a more monochromatic look, these speckled pebble tiles are various shades of gray with dark gray and black speckles. Theyre also available in darker and lighter shades of gray and white.
Sliced Cobblestone Pebble Tile
These natural stone tiles are sliced to reveal layers and veins, creating a luxurious look for a river rock shower floor. The individual slices range dramatically in color and include hues of orange, red, white, black, gray, and brown.
You can also find pebble tiles that are all one color, and you can find any number of combinations of colors to fit your decor.
Design Ideas for River Rock Shower Floors
If youre creative and ambitious, you can create a pebble shower floor using individual pebbles. While this process will take some time, it can yield some stunning results, since you can manifest any design you have in mind. For example, use black pebbles for a border and white pebbles inside. Feature an all-white pebble floor with green, blue, or black pebble circles or spiral arms. Create swirling lines, depict the branches of a tree, or lay a floral mosaic. Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do with river rock.
A river rock shower floor can be as simple or as detailed as you wish. Bring a little nature into your bathroom, and itll be your favorite oasis in the house.
The BuildDirect Product Expert Team is here to support any questions you may have regarding your home improvement project.
How to Use River Rock Tile in Bathroom Designs
By Lee Carroll
Small river rocks mounted on flexible, webbed sheets make it easier to install the rocks as tile with uniform grout lines and a reasonably level surface. You can also install individual river rocks as tile, which is often necessary if you prefer larger stones. River rock uses the same installation materials as manufactured tile. Thin-set mortar is the adhesive, and tile grout or mortar is used in the grout joints. Sealing the stones before grouting makes clean up easier. Concrete backer board is an appropriate underlayment, but small areas like back splashes usually don’t require it.
River rock accents work well in smaller bathrooms, or in spaces where you don’t want a comprehensive rustic look. Using less river rock and more of another material, such as wood or plain ceramic or porcelain tiles, can also save money. A rectangular tiled area of river rock can resemble a rug in front of the bath or vanity, especially if most of the floor is finished in wood or plain white, gray or tan tiles. Line a small alcove in the shower with river rock, and add more across the windowsills for a light touch of the outdoors. Tiling the vanity top with river rock makes a bolder statement, but the tiles should be reasonably even. An uneven tiled surface will cause cups and other containers to wobble when placed on the vanity. Other accents worth considering are trimming around a mirror, doorway or other fixed items in the room.
River rock on bathroom walls can appear dramatic or subtle, depending on how you use it. Tile one whole wall, leaving the other walls plain, and you’ll have an impressive cottage look with a price tag that is more affordable than tiling the whole room. River rock is quite hard, so hanging decorative items will be challenging afterward. You can drill though the material with a special diamond bit attachment on a power drill or rotary tool, but drilling can sometimes dislodge the stones. Tiling half walls, from the floor up to approximately 3 feet, gives a wainscoting appearance, and you can finish the top edge with traditional wood chair rail molding, rectangular bar tiles or a row of smaller pebbles. If a bold look is what you prefer, tile every wall in the room. This look works nicely in cabins and cottages with lots of wood accents.
Tiling a shower with river rock is akin to placing the stones back into their natural environment. Stones that are very smooth, almost shiny, are a better choice, as coarse stones are more difficult to clean. Showers present a special problem with river rock tiles. Each indentation, such as irregularities in the stones or in the recessed grout lines, dries slower and can encourage mildew and mold growth. Clean the walls regularly, and pat them dry with a towel after showering to keep the river rock looking clean and tidy. Stone sealer products that inhibit moisture absorption are available at home improvement centers, but use one that is made for wet conditions. Some sealers turn cloudy in damp, humid areas.
Tiling the whole floor with river rock makes the room feel cooler, but it can also hurt bare feet. Even flat river rocks have rounded or irregular edges, which leave numerous small dips and humps across the floor. Thick scatter rugs add warmth and cushion. The size of the bathroom can help you determine which size of stones to use. Large floors accept both large and small river rock tiles, but small bathrooms look more proportionate with smaller tiles. Be creative when plotting the layout. Mix different sizes, shapes and colors of stones, or cover most of the floor with one type of river rock, and use a different style for accents. If you’re tiling the bathroom floor and the floor of a step-in or curbless shower, consider large stones on the primary floor and smaller ones on the shower floor.
Carole Oldroyd, a writer based in East Tennessee, has authored numerous DIY home improvement, Human Resources, HR and Law articles. In addition to holding a degree in paralegal studies, she has more than 10 years of experience renovating newer homes and restoring historic property.
Ideas river rock shower
Using stones of various kinds for home decor is a hot new trend, which gives a soft natural touch to your home, and river pebbles are no exception. Interested how to rock them in your interiors? Let’s have a look.
Pebbles are widely used in bathrooms, and there are many ways to do that. Cover the walls or floors, or everything with pebbles. If you aren’t ready for hard crafting with pebbles, opt for pebble tiles – this is a great idea that won’t require much fuss and there are many shades to choose from. You can also highlight just one zone, for example, the bathtub or the shower with pebble tiles to make it more eye-catching. One more idea is for those who have a bathtub – place it into pebbles to give your bathroom a spa feel.
earthy-colored pebble tiles cover the walls and floor and look natural and beautiful
a pebble tile bathroom floor and a wooden bench instead of a vanity add a rustic feel
a stone clad shower with a pebble tile floor looks rustic and cool
accentuate the shower space with a pebble line and a pebble floor
the bathroom completely covered with pebble tiles looks unusual and creative
the bathroom floor and bathtub covered with pebble tiles and concrete walls for a chic look
cover the shower zone with neutral colored pebble tiles to make it stand out
use green pebble tiles on the bathroom floor, so you'll get no fuss and a cool floor
place your bathtub into large pebbles and you'll immediately get a spa feel
You can make different accessories of pebbles for your home. Trivets, placemats, coasters will give your kitchen a natural and chic feel. You can also make bath mats to make a foot massage and place your shoes in the entryway into a tray with pebbles to let the dirt or rain come down from them. such a solution will look creative and chic.
a river pebble placemat can be DIYed and looks awesome
a tray filled with pebbles will let the dirt and water from your shoes come down
make some pebble bath ats yourself and feel like taking shower or bath outside
pebble placemats will add a chic natural touch to your tablescape
river pebble trivets are another simple and cute craft for your kitchen
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