advise on floor for the 'zen' shower [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : advise on floor for the 'zen' shower

10-26-2005, 05:47 AM
Ok, so I've been lurking and reading here for a while. Finally got over the hesitation to build our 7x4 walk in shower and took the plunge. Then, my artistic side came out. So, here goes my question:

Over the weekend, my solid 12x12" slate tile floor for the shower evolved into a slate/marble mosaic instead. The overall effect of the floor is a riverbed with large/small stones. Some of the floor is 12x12 slate, some broken pieces of slate, and some broken pieces of marble. And, another touch: a river of pebbles imbedded into the mortar resembling a little river to the drain.

So, onto the question. My plan is to grout all of the tile except the little pebble bed. There, I plan to grout up to the edge of it and then use a self-leveling acrylic to cover the stones (because obviously, only the bottom layer of the pebbles is imbedded into the mortar which then leaves sharp edged of broken marble to walk on in that area). Has anyone done anything like this? I would post a picture of the shower floor, but I am at work. I will try to post a picture this afternoon after I get home.

So far, everyone who has seen the floor loves the concept. My daughter wants me to use pebbles as 'grout' throughout the rest of the floor and then acrylic them (leaving the rough slate as traction areas). What does everyone think?

PS: there is also a shower bench with 3 pieces of marble to rest the tush on with a mosic around it. Pictures will explain it much better.

Not sure what I'm gonna do to the walls (12" slate with a chair rail of mosaic marble/slate??)....however, I DO plan on defying gravity by using 12x12 slate on the ceiling with Ultraflex2 RS and jacks to hold it in place until set.....

Thanks everyone!
Corrine....recent tile addict...

Sponsored Links

10-26-2005, 06:08 AM
Hi Corrine, thanks for de-lurking and welcome. :) I don't know how well self leveling anything will work in a shower. All surfaces must slope towards the drain. I love your creative ideas though. :)

10-26-2005, 06:12 AM
My only concerns with the "acrylic river" are 1) traction, 2) expansion/contraction, 3) wear, and 4) chemical compatibility with cleaners, etc.

And what DaveM said about your sloping shower floor. :D

10-26-2005, 07:28 AM
Welcome, Corrine. :)

I think it very insensitive of you to tell us about this project without posting no pichers. I suppose we can allow you until later in the day to do so, but I caution against teasing like that in future.

Somewhere on this great gaggle we call a forum there is a photo of a similar "river runs to it" shower floor mosaic, but I have no eye-dee how to find it. We'll wait with bated breath for yours.

What DaveM said was my first thought - if a self-leveling compound will work on your shower floor, you have this other problem.

And, of course, that other Injineer has a couple valid points, too. They're just sooo picky, eh? :D

You gotta grout it all with something, but there might be some more suitable materials available. First show us some pichers, then we can all argue about it. :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

10-26-2005, 07:50 AM
goodness everyone! How quickly you all reply!

Ok, as to the self-leveling acrylic: yes, there is a definate slope (overkill, really) so I was going to do it in a bit of a inch-by-inch fashion lest it run down into a single puddle.

Second, the pic: gotta work on finding the right place to post it (most of these forums have galleries, right?). I'll post when I figure that out.

Third: sliperiness, once you see the pics, you'll see why this will not be an issue (acrylic only planned for the grout line areas leaving the rough stone surface as is--with the sealer that I've used in the rest of the house for protection).


10-26-2005, 07:55 AM
You can post your pictures here in this thread. Observe the size limits, and attach them using the "manage attachements" button just below the "reply to thread box."

10-26-2005, 08:06 AM
here we go:

now, this was taken with a camera phone (digital cam got broken..) so the quality sucks...then it was reduced to fit the constraints of file size here. So, this will give you a general Idea of what I'm doing. To the right in the pic is a glass block wall that seperates the shower from the jacuzzi. The pic is taken from the doorway.

BTW, this construction is in a new house....short story, ours burned...this is my 'vision' that has come together over 10 months since the fire. Don't have all of the time in the world because completion of the project=money from escrow to pay contractors (who are being very patient while we complete the finish ourselves...)


10-26-2005, 08:15 AM
more pics..

10-26-2005, 10:11 AM
Hi Corrine - I like your design!
I really just wanted to say hi from another house fire "been there done that" person. (notice the user name)
Our house burned down in 03, and we rebuilt the majority of it ourselves. This forum has been the reason that I had the guts to do all of the tile work in our house myself.
I'll be anxious to see how your project works out!

10-27-2005, 12:45 AM
Hey thanks! I can't wait either. We're down to getting this shower done and getting the staircase railing up (keep getting the wrong parts so we have to reorder them!! Durn supply house!).

Anyway, I've put down 500 sq ft of slate flooring, one tile counter top, 1 ceramic tile floor in the upstairs baths, and two tile wall surrounds above the two one piece tub/shower units in two of the three bathrooms...oh, and the marble on the deck for the jacuzzi (still have to grout that one). This is my first time tiling EVER...and I have to say, I'm pretty addicted!


10-27-2005, 08:25 PM
Gosh...this thread fizzled pretty quickly! Either everyone is preparing a disertation, or the 'we can't fix that' silence has taken hold. Anyone have any suggestions at all?


10-27-2005, 08:37 PM
Well, since it appears you're gonna have some humongus grout joints in there, resulting in a cleaning nightmare with Portland-based grout, I'm gonna vote for an epoxy grout. Gonna be spendy, but at least it would be somewhat cleanable.

You could use your daughter's suggestion and toss some gravel in there to help fill the gaps. That'd add to the cleaning problem, maybe, but might add to the look you're after.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Gets pretty slow hereabouts sometimes on weekends so don't despair. Maybe some of our favorite design people will drop by, though. :)

10-28-2005, 10:21 AM
Ok, well, I'll ask this:

Can I embed the gravel into the grout? I mean, essentially, grout is colored cement. Since you can imbed things into concrete, will it work with grout as well?

If it will, then I can do the gravel idea in the grout by imbedding it (and then can still use the mapei (spelling??) grout that I have around from the other floors. And, that would eliminate the need for the acrylic to cover the gravel 'river' wouldn't it?

Yes, I'm certain that there will be cleaning issues--but then again, with slate, there are cleaning issues anyway. Oh, and I would LOVE to use some of the left over sandstone (green county stone) that was used to stone the front of our house in that shower too. I'll be sealing it with Aquamix semi-gloss water based sealer (what I've used on the other floors--really like it!)However, I'm not sure that I could ever seal sandstone enough to prevent everyday shower contaminates from getting imbedded into that soft stone. And, this is our master bath so that shower will be used every day.

Cleaning isn't fun ever--so I'm prepared to fight that battle anyway.

Let me know if the embedding will work....This puppy is going to be finished this weekend (if I can get it to dry fast enough in the humidi-dome). And, I really like the idea of using the little gravel in the grout areas to improve the feel of the river bed in there.


12-14-2005, 03:22 PM

How did your project go? I am in the process of building a shower and decided to use pebbles on the floor. I'd be interested to hear your experience. I like your design, by the way. I was thinking of building a path with black slate, surrounded by the pebbles. My shower is big, too, 8 by 6 feet.