Installing a river stone shower floor not only adds a unique and natural touch to your bathroom but also provides a textured surface that prevents slipping. The natural stones give your shower a spa-like ambiance, creating a soothing and relaxing environment. If you’re looking to install a river stone shower floor yourself, this guide will take you through the process step by step.

Materials Needed:

  • River stones
  • Thinset mortar
  • Waterproofing membrane
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Tape measure
  • Notched trowel
  • Margin trowel
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Grout float
  • Level
  • Grout brush

Step 1: Prepare the Shower Floor

The first step is to prepare the shower floor for the installation. Start by removing the existing floor and cleaning the area thoroughly. It’s important to have a clean and level surface to ensure proper adhesion of the river stones. If needed, use a level to check for any uneven portions and fill them with a leveling compound.

Step 2: Apply the Waterproofing Membrane

Applying a waterproofing membrane is crucial to prevent water damage to your shower floor. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the waterproofing membrane properly. Typically, it involves using a paintbrush or roller to spread the membrane evenly over the entire shower floor. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 3: Mix and Apply the Thinset Mortar

Mix the thinset mortar according to the instructions on the package. Use a notched trowel to apply a layer of thinset mortar onto the shower floor. Make sure to work in small sections to prevent the mortar from drying too quickly. The layer of mortar should be about 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick, creating a suitable base for the river stones.

Step 4: Place the River Stones

Place the river stones onto the still-wet layer of thinset mortar. Press them into the mortar gently, ensuring good adhesion. Arrange the stones according to your preference, ensuring a cohesive and visually appealing pattern. Be mindful of leaving enough space between the stones for grout lines.

Step 5: Let the Mortar Dry

Allow the thinset mortar to dry completely before proceeding. This usually takes about 24 hours, but it is essential to check the specific drying time on the package.

Step 6: Apply Grout

Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a grout float to apply the grout into the spaces between the river stones, working at a 45-degree angle. Make sure to press the grout firmly into the joints. Remove any excess grout with a damp sponge, being cautious not to disrupt the stones. Allow the grout to dry for the recommended time before proceeding.

Step 7: Clean and Seal the River Stones

Once the grout has dried, use a grout brush to clean any residual grout haze from the surface of the river stones. Rinse the stones with clean water and allow them to dry completely. Finally, seal the river stones with a stone sealer, following the product instructions. Sealing the stones helps protect them from water damage and staining.

Installing a river stone shower floor may take some time and effort, but the end result is well worth it. Enjoy the natural beauty and unique texture of your new shower floor, and revel in the spa-like atmosphere it brings to your bathroom.