Pebble Tile FAQ

Pebble Tiles are  a very simple and brilliant creative architectural element. They are made from natural stone pebbles mined from ancient river beds that are then sorted for shape, size and color and hand assembled onto interlocking mesh mounted patterns. That is it, nothing really complicated or particularly mysterious but again they not are super common.

Different than the rather ordinary 3x6 ceramic subway tile you are bound to find at Home Depot, our river rock tiles are foreign, exotic and not something you will find in every neighbors home. And that is a really big part of why we love them so much, they scream "wow". But because they are so different when someone is contemplating a new pebble floor, questions are bound to come up. And as the teachers says, there are no stupid questions. So if you are curious, these questions and answers will help to explain most of the specifics necessary for an informed purchase of pebble tile mosaics.


Newest Question form Bill 11-30-16

Q: We are considering using the river rock pebble tile for our fireplace. How does one cut or trim the tile to fit?


A: The tiles are made up of small stone ( pebbles ) on a mesh. So when it comes to the edges and corners you use extra stones pulled off the mesh of extra tiles. You then select and puzzle fit those into the open spaces. If you do any cutting it is usually along the mesh between the pebbles. Then use the same procedure of filling in the gaps with extra stones you pull form the extra sheets.

New Question from Bryan 8-27-16

Q:Can the black pebble tile be applied on a vertical? As in a tub surround?

A: Yes, it is very easily applied for an application like that You just need a modified ( stickier) thinset to prevent sagging during the install.


Q: Where are river pebble tile from?
A: The first and original pebble tiles are from Bali, Indonesia. Now there are some secondary brands manufactured in Java, Indonesia and of course the Chinese have a range of styles as well.

Q: How do I finish a corner or cut pebble rock tile?
A: For corners, edges or for cuts on the tile, you can simply puzzle loose pebbles into the gaps of the interlock or if you need a half sheet, simply fold and cut with scissors and to finish the edges just hand place loose stones. This is where the artist in you comes out so take your time picking stones that fit into the mosaic.

Q: How much overage should I calculate for pebble bath tiles?
A: Most times we say 5 % should do the trick because waste and breakage are not typical. The big key to extra when shipping cross country is not getting caught short of material mid installation.

Q: How long does a pebble tile installation take?
A: Expect 3 days. One day to lay out the material and set it. 24 hours to let it set and to seal the stones ( helps in grout clean up) and a day for grouting and cleaning up. Installation is simple and straight forward and each step may take only an hour or two but the time for setting and curing adds up.

Q: Can I install tile pebble flooring over existing tile?
A: Yes as long as the surface material is prepped properly and you are adhering the tile in accordance with the tile thinset's manufacturers guidelines.

Q: Can I lay pebble shower tiles around a toilet?
A: It is easy to cut and lay the tiles around a curve surface and hand set smaller stones flush to the toilet base. A Professional would advise on unseating the toilet and laying them under then reseating the gasket and the toilet but if you are DIY then stay clear of plumbing efforts when possible.

Q: Do you sell pebble border tiles?
A: For many of the regular style pebble tiles we do have a 4x12 border and the same configuration is available for the flat rock pebble tiles. The Polished Pebble Tiles have a 6x12 border option. There are no liners for the sliced pebble tile.

Q: What type of grout do you use for pebbles tile and stone?
A: You want to use a sanded grout because grout manufactures advise when the gaps between stones or tile spaces are in excess of 1/8 inch to ONLY go with sanded.

Q: Can I change the look of the pebble stone tiles.
A: Definitely. You can darken the stones with a stone enhancer ( permanent so test before. Wetting the stones will give you a glimpse into what the change will be ). You can also add a concrete stain onto the pebble tile to change the color. For instance a white concrete stain on the White Rapids Tile makes it very white and levels out any inconsistencies. Finally, your choice of grout color will change the look of the installation. Imagine white stones with black grout, or a gray grout versus the expected white grout. There are lots of options for creating distinction with pebble flooring.

Q: Can I use these as a pebble shower floor?
A: Perhaps one of the most common uses of Design for Less's tiles is for shower pans. They are a great and very cool look. They are also very slip resistant (great for kids and seniors) and easy to install.

Q: Can these be used as an outdoor pebble patio floor.
A: Pebble flooring is perfect for indoors or outdoors. The stones are very strong and timelessly durable. The grout is cement based so also strong and durable.

Q: Are pebble mosaics "OK" for pools?
A: Yes!