Adding a river rock tile floor to your shower will give the look and feel of a natural stone floor. River rock tile shower floors can also compliment other aspects of the bathroom. River rock tiles come in different color schemes, most of them being neutral. Before tackling this project, it is best to practice tiling and grouting on a different surface. The tools and instructions to take on this job are listed below.
Step 1 – Setting the Thinset
Spread the thinset adhesive all across the concrete base. The thinset will set the tiles in a thin layer of mortar. It is best to have a good quality thinset. The right thinset adhesive will assist with avoiding mishaps in the future. Spread the thinset starting in the back corner of the shower and working in small increments. Increments of 3 square feet should do the trick. This will keep you from spreading more thinset than is needed before it dries. The thinset will usually dry in about 10 or 15 minutes. Scoop the thinset from the bucket onto the floor of the shower. Spread it with a 1/4 inch notched trowel. The trowel should be held at a 45 degree angle with the notched side down. Drag the trowel across the thinset in order to corm rows of ridges that will be neat.
Step 2 – Adding the River Rock Tiles
The river rock tiles need to now be placed on the thinset. You can usually purchase the tiles mounted on sheets of interlocking mesh. They are 12 inch by 12 inch sheets. These are a plus because the stones are already spaced the way the need to be. This makes it faster to set the tiles and you can easily see the patterns across all of the tiles. You can get these tiles in a wide array of colors. Some of the tiles even mimic the look of a river bed. Others come in gray monotones, brown, black or white. You can cut the backing on the tiles to make shapes or patterns by mixing them. Another option when adding the river rock tiles is to use individual stones. This is more time consuming but gives you more creative options.
Step 3 – Sealing, Grouting and Sealing Again
Use a penetrating sealer to seal the natural stones. The stones need to be covered in grout. Press the grout down in between the stones. Give it about 30 minutes to dry. You can use a brush with stiff bristles to remove the excess grout. Using a clean damp sponge, remove all of the grout that remains on the surface of the tiles. Lastly, apply the second and last coat of the penetrating sealant.