How to install River rock tiles for your shower floor

river rock tiles

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. 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.  Shower pan requires flood testing to ensure the flooring can withstand the consistent exposure to water.

The essential tools in 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:

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 slating at least 2 inches to enhance the shower drainage. Seal the sub-floor and walls with water-tight membrane to make sure water is not seeping through the floor. In case there are cracks on the wall or sub-floor, they should be fixed 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 types of 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 the trowel to spread it over the sub-floor. You should 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 thinset mortar

Thinset refers to a special adhesive that is used in installation of river rock tiles. You should buy quality thinset 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 thinset

After applying the adhesive, you should gently place the river rocks 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 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 giver the sealer enough time to dry before proceeding to the next step.

step 6: grout application

Press the grout in between the river rocks. Ten, allow the grout to dry for about half an hour before removing the excess material. You should maintain a uniform level of the grout. Therefore, 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 river rock tiles are intact, you should apply another layer of the sealant. You should stick to the manufacturers 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 the tiles a favorite for many home owners. 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.

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