Pebble Tile Installation Guide

Pebble tile or river rock tiles are a natural stone mosaic. They are mesh mounted in a patented interlocking pattern for a seamless pebble floor or wall. They can be used in an extensive variety of installations. They are appropriate for both indoor and outdoor applications, Residential or Commercial. Commercial applications include pebble tile flooring, feature walls, bar surfaces, and walkways in projects ranging from restaurants, medical facilities, public parks, and corporate offices, fountains and patios. Residential installations include pebble tile mosaics for pools and pool decks, patios, landscaping, fountains, water features, kitchen back splashes, flooring, shower floors, bath and powder room floors, entryways, fireplaces and BBQ areas.
Recommended tools for installation:

  • Apply thinset with a trowel.
  • Place pebble tiles on the thinset. Get tiles close together.
  • Lightly tap down the pebble tile make sure not to sink tile.
  • Seal the pebble tiles with a good quality penetrating sealer.
  • Apply a sanded grout on 2" x 2" sections until covered. 30 min after grout dries remove excess grout.
  • Sponge off the grout until the desired look is reached.

The pebble tiles and pebble tile mosaics are a popular decorative finish due to their durability, texture, range of color and many applications. They can be used indoors and outdoors on driveways, patios, steps, pathways, steps, swimming pools, showers, kitchen, flooring, fireplaces and countless other residential and commercial applications. Installation is relatively easy and straightforward. Please take the time to refer to these instructions and to have your contractor do the same.
Preparation and Application

Installation of pebble tiles is similar to any other natural stone product for best results, we recommend a qualified trades person who is experienced in the laying of natural stone product and specifically is familiar with laying pebble tile. The tiles are sold in 12 inch by 12 inch sizes and all tiles interlock on all sides. Sort tiles before installing to ensure an even color layout. For a vertical or contoured surface, smaller pebble sizes should be considered as well as a polymer based adhesive with a short hydration period(i.e. glue setting time)Substrates - Area of application should be flat, clean, dry and free of contaminants. For wet areas the use of reinforced waterproof membranes is suggested. In the case of flooring a fall to the drainage point of no less than two inches in required.

Adhesive

Adhesive - Use only a high quality thinset mortar. The thinset manufacturer’s literature will outline if it is appropriate for indoors or outdoors as well as for floors and walls. It is important that each pebble is embedded in adhesive, however the pebble tile should not be pressed too deeply into the adhesive as this will compromise the finish when you go to grout. Select a product suitable for application with a ¼" or 1/8" notched trowel and apply no more than three square feet of adhesive at a time.

Sealing and Grouting

It is recommended that the pebble tile be sealed before and after grouting. For the best results use a good quality penetrating sealer. These types of penetrating sealers ordinarily do not change or alter the color of the pebbles. In order to enhance the color of the stones to a deeper matte or glossy finish it is suggested you use natural stone color enhancer or natural stone color and shine enhancer prior to applying the penetrating sealer. A sanded grout that is suitable for external or internal conditions which ever may be the case is recommended. Generally grouts are a water mix but where some flexibility may be needed then a latex additive or similar should be used in the water it is important to wait the interval recommended by the adhesive manufacturer before grouting to minimize dirt ingress between the pebble and avoid the opportunity for dislodging of pebbles grout a small area at a time. When the grout has dried, the use of a stiff bristled brush to scrub excess grout out of the joints will create a 50/50 relief. After removing most of the grout with a brush, use a grout sponge to continue removing grout until the desired finish is achieved. Check out how grouting effects the finish color of the pebble tile.

Control Joints

Joints can be easily formed with two angles, sealant and bond-breaker between them designers may show points at which joints are needed and they are certainly required where tiles join walls or some other building material in the substrate a tile saw may be used to fit edges or corners you can also flip the tile over and cut the desired edge or shape with a sharp cutting instrument OR take individual pebbles off the pebble tile mesh to fill the gaps ordering extra sheets of pebble tile may be useful for this. Sealers and Cleaning It is recommended that the pebble tile be sealed with a quality impregnator again after the grout has dried completely. To maintain ease of maintenance of natural stone it is recommended that sealants be applied every 2-3 years. Whenever using sealants and cleaners, ensure you follow the manufacturers recommended method of application. The pebble tiles can be cleaned with neutral mild detergents. The porosity or water absorption in pebbles (natural stone) varies, and therefore staining will occur in different degrees if the stone is unsealed. Consequently, any spills should be cleaned quickly to lessen the degree of the stain and thus sealers are highly recommended.