Pebble Tile, Standing Pebble Tile, Pebble Tile Borders, River Pebble Tile

Pebble Tile, Standing Pebble Tile, Pebble Tile Borders, River Pebble Tile

About Pebble Tile, River Pebble Tile,

Pebble Floors and Flooring

Pebble tiles have an old world history and origin in

their use of river rock tiles for creating a pebble

floor. The ancient Greeks, in the city of Helike,

have ruins still standing with examples of pebble

floors.Today you are more likely to find examples

in modern architecture but examples

new and old are scattered throughout the world.

Although natural stone pebble tiles are just now

coming more into vogue in the design and

architectural community, they have enjoyed

renaissance for years in Asia,Australia and

Europe. Most recently,they have been available in

the USA for about 15 years. Their usage has been

gaining recently in popularity on television with

shows such as DIY TV and as some of the large

chain stores provide access to mosaic pebble tiles.

Local retailers are also starting to offer the line

which is a common starting point for homeowners.

Also main stream catalogues like the Pottery Barn

C atalogue featured a bathroom with the white

pebble mosaic tiles and that ignited a flurry of

interest. Still many retailers, architects, designers

and consumers are confused about the product, its

versatility and durability, where to source pebble

tile and where in design pebble stone tiles make


Probably the best way to understand pebble tiles

and there place in design and architectural

specifications is to understand their origin. The

concept of the tiles was created in Indonesia were

they are manufactured. The Indonesians and

particularly the Balinese are noted for their

artistry and use of natural materials. In Bali, the

people are born with art. From childhood on they

are taught an instrument, dancing, painting and

wood carving. It is from this heritage of art that

many products are born.

With an abundance of pebbles, also known as

beach pebbles or river rock, naturally occurring,

the clever locals came up with a unique method of

affixing the pebbles to a mesh backing so they

could be easily installed on floors and walls. Many

a tourist who travel the islands, will see many of

the local hotels, residences and commercial areas

have utilized this attractive creation. Yet with all

the installations being done in the island and here

in the USA, availability is not an issue. Probably

the last concern individuals have is about the

Indonesian labor market. Some speculate that

purchasing product from the islands is on the same

scale as child labor. Nothing could be farther from

reality. The locals created the pebble tile market

and many business owners profit from it and help

the local labor market by creating jobs.

Fortunately with over 800 islands in the volcanic

archipelago, there are numerous sources for the

pebbles and a variety of color selections that are

specific to particular islands. Contrary to popular

perception, the pebbles are not being pulled from

river beads and locals are not denuding beaches.

The pebbles are actually mined from mountain

sides and from massive ancient beds in the shallow

bedrock. The resulting collections are then sorted

for color, size and thickness and sent to either Java

or Bali for the arduous process of hand puzzling

the pebbles onto a mesh backing. There are also a

series of polished pebbles that are used for pebble

flooring that are mined and manufactured in


Originally the backings were perfect squares made

of a nylon mesh similar to screening material but

considerably thicker. Many of the older

installations in the USA used the older square

version and have seam lines between the tiles.

These applications are not unattractive but the

grid lines do muddle the effect. Recognizing that

this is not the optimum for pebble tile flooring, the

Indonesians created a simple yet very effective

method for interlocking the tiles into one seamless

field. There have been several renditions of this

and with each new offering has come a better

method for creating a perfect pebble floors in

Pebble Tile, Standing Pebble Tile, Pebble Tile Borders, River Pebble Tile

which no seams are evident.

Probably one of the most common concerns is if the

product is comfortable to walk on. This is an

obvious concern because of the multitude of rocks

in a single pebble floor tile. With or without the

grout, the pebble thickness is consistent enough to

create a level surface and the pebbles selected for a

tile are sorted for thickness. Those large or rounder

stones are used for loose aggregate in gardens and

patios. Smaller pebbles with a flat profile are

typically used for a pebble backsplash or border

piece. When an installation is complete, most

consumers say the pebbles are very comfortable to

walk on and some say they feel therapeutic like a

light foot massage.

Well beyond the realm of using the pebble stone

tiles for a floor or shower pan, the options are

endless. There are many top restaurants that use

the pebbles for flooring, feature walls, bar kickers

and counter tops. Homeowners are also happy to

use the pebbles on shower walls. for tub surrounds,

kitchen back splashes, fireplace hearths and wall,

pool liners and patio surfaces and a pebble

fountain. Even unique designs and images can be

easily crafted from the pebble tiles because they

are so easy to cut and trim pebbles off the mesh.

This is a critical aspect because the cost of

installing tiles is always on list of expenses to

consider. Often homeowner and designers will

complain because contractors and tile masons will

say the tiles are very difficult to install and attempt

to charge a premium or extend the hours necessary

to finish the job. The fact is that the tile grouting

process requires more grout and a bit more time for

clean up but this extra time is easy to

accommodate because the tiles require no spacers

and no real tile saw cuts.

Probably the hottest new ticket in this exciting

product line up are vertical pebbles or stacked

pebbles. These are made by cutting the pebbles in

half and then gluing the pebble on the cut end to

a 4 x 12 interlocking mesh pattern. The tiles

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