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How to Lay a Pebble-Tile Floor

Natural stone tile gives a walk-in shower a relaxing, spa-like feel.

More in Floors

  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Dry Set the Pattern

Each sheet of the 12" x 12" interlocking pebble tile has approximately 60 handpicked stones bonded to a sturdy mesh backing. The interlocking edges create a totally seamless appearance when installed. In this project Glazed Flores green pebble tiles were used and filled with "misty grey" sanded grout.

Make sure you have a proper subfloor in place before you begin.

Lay out the pattern of the pebble sheets before you adhere them into place.

Step 2: Set Tile

Using a trowel, evenly apply Thinset no thicker than 1/8" (Image 1). Lay the pebble tiles down, interlocking each tile on all sides starting at the edge (Image 2).

Step 3: Fill in the Gaps

Take some loose pebbles pulled off other sheets and place them into the gaps along the edges. You don't want to cut the sheets because they'll lose their smooth appearance.
Allow at least 24 hours for Thinset to dry before grouting.

Step 4: Apply Sealer

Apply a coat of sealer to prevent the stones from absorbing color from the grout. Follow manufacturer's instructions for drying time.

Step 5: Grout

Mix grout to proper consistency then cover the pebbles with grout. Work in sections -- start from a corner and work out. Apply the grout liberally with a grout float, making sure to pack the grout in between the pebbles.

Step 6: Clear Excess Grout

Allow the grout to set for up to 20 minutes, then use a clean, wet sponge to wipe away the excess grout. Rinse the sponge often in clean water. Repeat this process several times until the pebbles are clean. Allow 24 hours for the grout to dry completely then apply a coat of sealer over the grout and pebbles.

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