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Never install a pebble shower floor - how do I fix this?


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All of our showers are wetrooms with tiled/pebble floors.


3 of the 6 pebble floors have had issues.


Despite being regularly sealed the one in our room, which gets by far the most use, constantly sees some of the grout start to come apart after 6+ months. I constantly regrout it which isn't a big job. I suspect the problem is that in some area the new grout is not that thick and if I could get all of the grout out it would fix it, but hey are thick pebbles and this would not be easy.


One shower had a run in the wrong direction at the far end so water would run out into the en suite. When this was noticed the builder came back and fixed it.


A third shower now has an issue. It is rarely used, so we did not know about this until too late to get the builder back.


There is a pronounced bump in the middle of the shower so that most water runs away, but a pool forms around 5mm deep behind the bump. If no one notices this, it starts to fester and smell until it is cleaned away. More recently the base of the shower under the pebbles appears to have moved very slightly, there is a few mm gap in the grout line at the bottom of the tiles. I can easily regrout this, none of the other ones have moved.


Any suggestions on a way to fix this without removing all the pebbles?


If they were bumpier I would try adding more grout to life the level behind the bump, but they are pretty much level with the grout already.


I am considering trying to channel into the grout in a couple of places to create channels for the water to run towards the drain, but I suspect that the area behind the bump is pretty much level with the drain so this may not help, indeed water could run the other way.


If the tiles need to be removed how is it done? I think in the other shower room they maybe cut through them with an angle grinder then chipped them out. The floor is absolutely rock solid and hardly sued at the moment.


I think there is a former at the drain end and they built a ply raft under the rest of the pebbles. The bump I suspect is where they meet. In most showers the former is the whole pebbled area, but they ones for this shower were a different shape I think.


Genuinely these floors are a lot more work to upkeep and clean than a tray and a lot less durable and I would stick with a tray.






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  • 3 months later...

The grout is sealed but it is just standard grout. This is an issue in our bedroom where the grout breaks up over time and has to be replaced. I have decided that it is easier for me just to regrout part of the shower every 6-12 months than try and remove and replace all of the grout with something more substantial. The pebbles are natural stone.


The issue in this shower is simply the run on the pebbles, a former was used, but it was not the whole length of the pebble area. the pebbles have the correct run where the former is in place, up until around 1 metre across the shower. Then there is a small bump. If water gets onto the far side of this bump it causes a small puddle that doesn't drain away and by the time it evaporates it smells. If I was using the shower I could keep all the water to the drain side, but I am not going to explain it to a guest. I would have had the original builders fix it, but it was years in before it became an issue as the room was rarely used.


I have spoken to a tiler re coming and looking at then and taking them up to fix it, but of course it is the kind of small job that he isn't really excited about doing. I will ask him again after New Year.


Re sealing round the edges, the original tilers decided not to silicone the edge. I decided to have it siliconed later, but in truth it doesn't look great due to it being an uneven surface and the silicone does not stick well to the pebbles. The showers are all tanked and there is no issue with water getting into the edge whether or not silicone has been used.


As well as various construction issues, they are just much harder to clean than a smooth shower tray. They are much more prone to water lying in little pockets between the pebbles.


When you put all of this together, lovely as they look I feel that I would recommend against having them as they just require a lot more looking after than a tray. We will replace our shower with a tray when the bathroom is redone. The guest rooms don't get used very much so I don't see them being replaced for a long time.



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