Expert Insight On Pebble Shower Flooring (Pros, Cons & Cost)

Kenneth Wilson

Have you ever thought about adding pebble floors to your shower?

It is a relaxing addition that will give you a well-deserved foot massage feel at the end of a long day. Not to mention, it offers a natural-looking finish that mimics the look of a river.

Many homeowners choose to add pebble shower floors given its many advantages, including its cost-effectiveness and beautiful finish.

If you’re considering installing pebble floors on your shower– let’s discuss the good, the bad, and the expected costs so you can prepare your budget accordingly.

Pebble Flooring Cost

The average cost of a pebble tile is influenced by its durability and size. Simply put, opting for larger-sized pebble tiles will cost you more.

When it comes to professional installation, it will cost you somewhere between $5 and $9 per square foot.

Pebble tile flooring is cheaper than other stone flooring options– such as natural stone ($6 to $11 per sq ft) and stone flooring ($8 per sq ft).

The Good: Pebble Shower Floor Pros

Why should you opt for pebble shower flooring, you ask? Let’s outline a few advantages below for your consideration.

  • Affordable - One of the most significant advantages of installing pebble shower floors is that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Even if you need to buy the pebble tiles and the necessary tools (grout, sealer, and Thinset) – it won’t require breaking the bank. As previously mentioned, the cost of pebble floors ranges between $5 and $9 per sq ft. Natural stone flooring will comparably cost you more. Other options, such as a tiled shower floor, will need you to utilize special tools (tile cutters). This only increases the total project costs.
  • Easy Installation - Another advantage to pebble shower flooring is its ease of installation. It doesn’t require a specialized installation procedure, such as teak shower floors (tropical hardwood).You may simply put the pebbles in place, in a neat arrangement besides each other, to get new beautiful bathroom floors.
  • Don’t wear or scratch easily - Pebble shower floors can last wear and tear. Homeowners can think of their new pebble flooring as solid rocks– so there’s no need to worry about scratches or visible wear signs on its surface. Suppose you drop a heavy load on the flooring. In that case, you'll likely need to do the minimal repair.
  • Slip-resistant - Bathroom falls on slippery floors are a common occurrence in our daily lives. If you want to prevent these falls and avoid getting severe injuries, a pebble shower floor will ensure your safety. These are mostly composed of stones in different sizes and shapes– placed firmly on the floor. The grout combination and a sealer between the stones increase the traction under the foot. That said, it’s hard to slip on pebble floors. For your safety, consider wearing rubber flip-flops and other footwear in your bathroom as well.
  • Comfortable underfoot - Naturally, pebble flooring takes on an uneven surface. Larger, more rounded pebbles give you the feeling of a free foot massage whenever you step into your bathroom. Even when you’re wearing thin footwear– you can still enjoy this soothing effect.
  • Wide variety of options - You have plenty of options for the pebbles' color, size, and pattern. Commonly, homeowners stick with a single color or opt to have several of them blend in together. There are endless possibilities in mixing and matching these pebbles as you deem fit. The good thing is, there’s no significant difference in the material costs either.
  • Simply stunning - Pebble shower flooring is simply stunning. If you couple it with a grout color that complements its hue– you can get a beautiful bathroom floor that will amaze any guests who visit you.

The Bad: Pebble Shower Floor Cons

Pebble shower floors also have their fair share of downsides. Here are some issues you may need to keep in mind:

  • Specialized skills needed for installation and maintenance - First, you will need the services of a plumber to assess the floor underneath your bathroom before you install a pebble shower floor. This is a crucial step to avoid potential leakage– given this flooring type is rarely waterproofed. If overlooked, the floor and the structural integrity of your home may rot over time.
  • Not very long-lasting - If you compare pebble shower floors to other floor types, you’ll discover this material is not known for its longevity. Even if you clean the floors frequently, as thoroughly as possible, expect to pay for repairs now and then. It’s best to prepare your budget for the increased costs in the long run.
  • It uses a lot of grout - You will need to use massive amounts of grout in installing pebble floors– than what you would typically need for tiles and other bathroom flooring options. Remember that the grout will fill the space between hundreds of pebbles in different sizes. You may avoid this issue by using larger-sized pebbles for your bathroom floors.
  • Requires high maintenance - When it comes to cleaning your pebble shower floor– it’s best to be cautious. You will need to wipe the floors carefully so as not to wear out the grout and sealer. If you want your pebble flooring to stay in good shape, ensure to do routine maintenance activities (regrouting and resealing) and other repairs. Note that this will add up to your regular maintenance costs for the floor.
  • Potential slippage problems if poorly textured - Homeowners who end up placing the pebbles too close to each other or adding very thick grout/sealer layers can lose the unevenness of pebble shower floors. It only makes the floor slippery– as you’ll be practically walking on sealer layers (which are naturally slippery when wet).
  • Uncomfortable on barefoot - Pebble floors take on a naturally corrugated texture. While this can be enjoyable if you have footwear on, it may hurt some people’s feet. Additionally, these tiles also have sharp edges, making them more uncomfortable to walk barefoot.
  • May retain water (river rock) - Homeowners who use pebbles sources from a river may put their bathroom at risk of mold and mildew. If you begin a constant musty smell in the area– chances are you’re already likely dealing with it. Since these pebbles take on varying shapes and sizes, each pebble may retain water in between. That said, a way to solve this issue is by frequently cleaning and drying your floors after each use. It’s also a great idea to use flat or sliced pebbles and give proper ventilation to your bathroom.
  • Not suitable for hard water - If you're dealing with hard water problems, you will need to pay extra attention to cleaning your pebble shower floor every once in a while. Hard water leaves a thin, chalky film on the pebble surface if not adequately cleaned. It includes the maintenance routines to preserve the floor’s look, too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I properly clean my pebble shower floors?

Mix a single part of vinegar with 16 parts of water. Then, after mixing, spray it onto the pebble tile floor. Use a nylon-bristle scrub to brush the bottom in a circular motion, then use warm water to rinse it. When installed correctly with the grout and proper sealer application, you will find pebble shower floors easy to clean.

How often should I reseal my pebble shower floor?

Resealing of pebble shower floors must be done between 6 months to one year. Old tile work must be resealed yearly, while new tile work needs resealing every six months. If you see loose pieces of grout on your shower floor, it often indicates that it is time to reseal the tiles again.


Now that you weighed the pros and cons of pebble shower tiles– do you think you can manage its tricky maintenance? If yes, get started on your bathroom flooring project as soon as possible!

Don’t worry. If you think pebble floors aren't what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other shower flooring options you may also consider. (Related: 11 Different Styles You Can Use For Your Bathroom Remodel)

Kenneth Wilson
December 20, 2021
Contractor Tips, Flooring

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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