How to install River rock tiles for your shower floor

River rock tiles give your bathroom a natural and stunning outlook. The material perfectly matches with most decors. If you are a DIY enthusiast, it is advisable to hone your skills with other flooring types before trying pebble tiles for the shower floor. River rock tiles are waterproof, which is a prerequisite feature for any shower flooring. Apart from that, the material is also ideal for the walls.  The shower pan requires flood testing to ensure the floor can withstand consistent exposure to water.

The essential tools in the installation of shower floors include:

  • Tile cutter
  • Drill bits
  • Tile pincer (nippers)
  • Tile level installation kit
  • Rubber buckets
  • Tile mortar mixer
  • Trowel
  • Grout floats
  • Spacers

When you have the above tools ready, you should proceed to the following steps.

How to Install Pebble Tiles on Shower Floor

Step #1: Preparation of the bathroom space

You should ensure that the sub-floor is clean and free from any moisture which may affect the mortar. The floor should be slanting at least 2 inches to enhance the shower drainage. Seal the sub-floor and walls with a water-tight membrane to ensure water is not seeping through the floor. If there are cracks on the wall or sub-floor, you should fix them before setting the tiles. Silicon sealers are used to ensure that water does not seep through the shower pan.

step #2: Mix and spread the mortar on the sub-floor

Place the mixer of water and cement in the ratio of around 0.5 in the rubber bucket. You can use other buckets, but rubber buckets are the easiest to clean and remove the sediments. Use the tile mortar mixer to mix the ingredients into a smooth paste.

After preparing the mortar, you should use a trowel to spread it over the sub-floor. Spread the adhesive evenly over an area of not more than  3 square feet to avoid hardening, unless you have assistance.

step #3: Apply the thin-set mortar

Thinset refers to a special adhesive that is used in the installation of river rock tiles. You should buy a quality thin-set to hold the tiles firmly. It is advisable to seek the advice of a tile installer because not all strains may fit in your locality. Spread the paste thinly across the sub-floor (1/8 inches). Because bathrooms are always limited in size, you should spread the material from the far corner towards the door to avoid interfering with the process.

step #4: Place the river rock tiles on the thin-set

After applying the adhesive, you should gently place the pebble tiles on the mortar. The stones are usually in a 12 by 12-inch interlocking mesh. Using the tile nippers, cut the tile backing and place the stones in your preferred pattern. The stones come in a variety of colors and, at times, sizes. You should avoid pressing the stones too hard to create a level floor.

Step #5: Apply stone tile enhancer

Tile enhancer/sealer gives the stones a natural shine and color of the floor. You should give the sealer enough time to dry before proceeding to the next step.

step #6: Grout application

Press the grout in between the river rocks. Then, allow the grout to dry for about half an hour before removing the excess material. You should maintain a uniform level of grout. Use a hard brush to scrub the grout from uneven parts of the floor.

step #7: Apply a second sealer

To ensure that the grout and pebble tiles are intact, you should apply another sealant layer. You should stick to the manufacturer’s instructions. Lastly, allow the stone enhancer to dry before using your bathroom.

River rock tiles are one of the best if not the best flooring material for your shower room. The durability, waterproof, natural outlook, and elegance make pebble tiles a favorite for many homeowners. Apart from that, the flooring can blend with several flooring types. The above process will help you to install river rock tiles flawlessly if you are a DIY enthusiast. However, you can always use professional floor installers.