Please Help with Shower & Pebble Choices

kendog2December 2, 2011

We could really use some help with a shower floor decision. The 18" tile we chose for our shower and bathroom floor doesn't have any trim pieces available. For the shower floor, we considered using another tile that is very similar but slightly lighter in color. I wasn't sure it would look right so we went with something completely different, a flat Rivera 4 color pebble. Now I'm having second thoughts about it. The small sample looked nice but after laying a few full sheets on the floor, the effect looks very busy and messy to me. On the wall above the first three tiles, we will be putting in a strip of staggered stone and glass liner, framed with a noche pencil rod. I'm afraid that the liner will look as thought it's competing with the multi-colored floor.

I don't like the way the pebble colors are so unevenly mixed. If we keep these, I would probably spend hours repositioning the stones to balance the colors. We're considering exchanging them for more a solid color in the same line called Terra Cotta. The Terra Cotta stones are the closest we could find to brown but some are a bit more reddish. We didn't choose them originally because we were afraid they would look too dark and too red. Now I'm wondering if they would complement the tile and liner better than the 4 color pebbles. We will be using a tan (Tumbleweed) grout that matches the tile. Will the light grout help break up the color of the dark pebbles? Maybe the 4 color pebble would also look okay after it's grouted? I would appreciate any opinions. Sorry the pictures are small. I resized them in Photobucket but it didn't seem to make any difference.

The Terra Cotta is the small piece of brown mosaic pebble.

I also have questions about finishing the edges of the shower. No matching bullnose is available. How would you tile experts manage the outside corners? We can't afford to have custom bullnose made. I read some other posts in which Bill stated that mitered corners can be sharp and chip easily so we probably won't go that route. What about overlapping the corners? Our (porcelain) tile looks almost the same color on the edges as on the face of the tile so I'm wondering if going this route would be acceptable or totally unprofessional looking.

On the sides where the tile ends in the middle of the wall, we need to cover the edges with something. I don't think a metal edge would look right. We're thinking of either covering the edges with the same pencil rod that we're using for the liner or with bullnose from another closely matching tile. Here are some pictures of the two tiles next to each other. (The tile that comes in bullnose is a little lighter and more matte than ours.)

Could we router the edges of the field tile ourselves to make bullnose? If we go with the pencil rod, should we order pieces in a color that matches the tile or use the same darker rod that is in the liner? Sorry for the long post and thank you in advance for any assistance.

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I see what you mean about the uneven color distribution of the pebbles, but I honestly hate the reddish ones. I think you can find something much more complementary to your tile. Is the tile colored body? It really is not that expensive to have bullnose made (at least not here in NJ).. if it is colored body or through-body porcelain any stone fabricator can make you bullnose for just a few dollars a piece, or even bullnose the 18x18 tiles so that you have a much cleaner look.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 10:31PM
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I ended up getting pebble sheets that did not look exactly like the sample. I was very disappointed. In my case, there were not enough red ones and there were a number of pebbles that were pitted. So, I ended up buying a sheet of red pebbles and with a hot glue gun, I replaced the pebbles I didn't like with the new ones. It was time consuming, but I enjoyed doing it. The end result was very nice.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 4:49AM
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Thank you so much for your opinion twn85. The stones don't look quite as red in real life but I do wish they weren't red at all. I've searched many, many tile stores and on line to find brown pebbles with no luck. I think we will tile the whole wall on the right side so the bullnose won't be needed. Then it will be more affordable to have the field tile bullnosed on the other side.

Hello8, I'm glad your pebbles turned out well. I would do the same thing if we keep this tile. Just afraid it's too busy to go well with the stone and glass liner. I'd love a solid soft brown color pebble but it doesn't seem to exist.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 1:04PM
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The tile that almost matches ours comes in 6x6's and 2x2's. Any opinions on whether we should just scrap the pebbles and put in a tile shower floor? Preferring less grout, we would probably do 6x6's. Hopefully it wouldn't be too slippery.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 8:12PM
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If you tile the shower floor can you do 6X6's and still maintain a proper drainage slope? I thought this was considered a size too large for a floor of a shower. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 9:49PM
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The Schluter trims don't just come in metal, they also come in pvc. The sanded pebble color may match your tile. In the jolly profile it would just give you a very narrow edge and the tile sides.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 10:02PM
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Sleevepresto, installers at several tile stores told me that they use 6x6's on shower floors all the time. They said that it looks much better than using 2x2's because there's less grout.

Dekeoboe, Thank you for posting the photo of the Shulter pvc trim. It looks nice. I'll have to check into that option.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 1:17AM
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Our pebble flooring was supposed to be all shades of green. That was the sample at the tile store. What we got was a mix of green and tans. I was unhappy initially but it was already installed. now i have adjusted and i love the feel of the pebbles under my feet.
i guess the pebbles are very variable and you don't get total control over that choice.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 8:30AM
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I vote tile floor, but with smaller tiles than 6x6. I've read too many nightmare stories of the pebble floor not draining well leaving standing water in your grout. I do have a question for you: If you don't want alot of grout, why are you looking at a pebble floor? Pebble floors have more grout than even a 2x2 tile floor. Compare the amount of grout (and the varied grout "lines") in tobler's pic above & the amount of grout in my shower using 2x2 tiles in the pic below. The reason for using smaller tiles in a shower floor is that the grout is what gives the traction under your feet to help prevent slipping and falling. The less grout you have, the greater your chances of slipping & falling--6x6 tiles leave very little grout and hence very little traction. You don't have to have huge grout lines either. They can be as small as 1/16". If you're worried about scrubbing, squeegee the walls and floor after every shower then spray an antibacterial cleaner (like Scrubbing Bubbles) once a week on the floor to kill any bacteria that may be there and rinse. That's all the maintenance you will need to do. Tobler has a beautiful shower and from their posts also squeegees to keep it looking like new.

Note: The shower floor was not completely dry when this photo was taken so you may see some variation in the grout color. When dry, it is all a Pearl or cream color. When wet, it turns more of a light brown color.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:25AM
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Tobler and Mydreamhouse, thank you for sharing the pictures. Both of your shower floors are beautiful!

Mydreamhome, I read about the problems with pebble floors not draining too. That's why we chose flat pebble - we thought it would drain better. I also figured that there would be less grout with flat stones since the stones seem so close together. I haven't seen them grouted so maybe I'm mistaken about that.

I asked the installers who recommended 6x6 floors if they would be too slippery. They thought they were fine but said we shouldn't go any larger than 6x6. The tile has a matte finish so that should help but 2x2's would probably provide better traction. Do you have any trouble keeping your grout clean? Is it sealed? Five kids will be using our bathroom and I don't think I can get them to clean it after every shower. I'm just grateful that they hang up their towels!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:29PM
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we've only been using the shower for two or three weeks and it's only two of us. No problem w water sitting between the stones after you shower, however. the picture was taken about half an hour after a shower. we did put three coats of sealer on it, but we did that to make the stones look wet and darker.
the stones feel like a massage for the feet!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:27PM
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kendog2-We haven't had any problem keeping the grout clean so far. We have 2 boys--a 17 year old & a 6 year old. Both squeegee in this house. They never squeegeed in our old house or in the apartment we lived in temporarily, so it's new to them. The 6 year old actually does a great job. I think that's the terminology you use with the kids: We have a beautiful new shower, let's keep it looking nice & new. All you have to do is squeegee after you shower! Let's see how long we can go before needing to scrub the shower! Make a game of it & see if you can find a cool looking squeegee for them to use to make it fun. Another option on the floor would be to use a basaket weave or mosaic pattern. Their grout lines tend to be 1/16" wide and flush with the tile vs being recessed allowing for excellent drainage, easy squeegeeing & traction. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:50AM
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Mydreamhome, thanks for sharing. That's a very good idea. It might just work, especially if they think they won't have to scrub the shower as often! I'll look at the basketweave and mosaic options as well.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 6:24PM
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