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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper pebble floors wood vanity claw foot bathtub
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**** UPDATE: The poll has now closed, and we have a winner of ‘ROCK IT’, with 79% choosing ‘Yes, Use Pebbled Tile’ and 21% choosing ‘No, Don’t Use Pebbled Tile’. Thank you to everyone who voted, entered, and shared your opinion. We love having you participate in this exciting project and we can’t wait for you to weigh in on the next design decision. In the meantime be sure to head here to see all the polls and progress of the fixer-upper project.

If there is one design element I never really considered before it might have to be pebble tile.  That is partly because they aren’t appropriate for every house, architecturally and I’ve never designed a ‘pebble tile’ worthy house. Until now. The design of the mountain cabin is in full speed (be sure to check out my insta-stories today as we are making A LOT of decisions up at the property – including this one), but we had a hiccup after ‘Refined’ won. (See this post to get up to date). A few days after the victory I was pitching some hardwood floors to Brian and he muttered, ‘Sure, I like it’. After prying why his enthusiasm wasn’t matching mine (a HUGE personality flaw of mine), he said (in a sad, not passive-aggressive way) ‘Well, my ship has sailed so what I want doesn’t really matter anymore, and that’s ok. It’s for the blog and they (refined) won’.

I felt awful. Yes, technically he did want ‘Rustic’ to win but had said he really liked ‘Refined’ and besides, it was still going to feel warm, just less ‘reclaimed’, etc. But rustic came in VERY close, so… since the poll closed, I decided to increase the projected ‘rustic-ness’ in the house to make sure that not only is my husband happier, but also the 44% of you who voted for that style are as well. I told him that and yet we’re still in this awkward conversation.

So I immediately pulled a bunch of design books off the shelf and we went through page after page, talking about what he likes and doesn’t like about each picture, desperate to get to the bottom of what he really wanted and what ‘warm’ means to him. What it came down to was, I was designing a bright airy lake house in the woods (refined scandy) and he thought we had bought a mountain cabin. He said, ‘I love the house you are designing, I just don’t think it’s THIS house’.

To be fair to me, we bought it in August when it was 90 degrees up there, and yes, walking distance to a lake where the kids can swim. But now that it’s winter up there I am changing my tune… maybe I’ve missed the mark on the whole ‘mountain’ thing. Clearly, I wanted to design something super  minimal as you read about in this post. But maybe that is absolutely WRONG and maybe my desire to do a style was going to ruin the vibe of this specific house.

So after some introspection I realized that he was right – I wasn’t designing a cozy mountain house up in the woods, I was designing a ‘Refined Scandinavian Chalet’ and that perhaps this house needed some more ‘mountain’ in it – but Refined won, so how do you make a Refined Scandinavian Californian Cabin? Well, I guess start by calling it that … 🙂

Then it was time to educate ourselves – what are the fundamental elements of mountain cabins?? Huge windows, a lot of wood and loads of stone. We are set in the wood department and are likely recladding the ceiling in our dream wood (as well as the floor …stay tuned), but I hadn’t considered designing with rocks or stones until last week.

And then a massive lightbulb went off in my head. YES. WE NEED STONE IN THIS HOUSE.

I think it’s safe to say that my world was rocked. (My inner-dad just laughed, followed by my actual dad what with that last ‘dad joke’).

I mean, we already have it in the living room, and all the bathrooms are faux travertine on the walls and floors.

Emily Henderson Lake House Before 245

The previous owners got the mountain intention, but I want to do it in a more fresh and modern way. So I did what any legit mountain house designer does – I googled ‘mountain cabin bathroom ideas’. I left out ‘rustic’ on purpose, but here is what I found:

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms rustic bathroom lantern sconce
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Wood and pebbled tile all over the place. The one above and below are super inviting and obviously so appropriate to a mountain cabin, but they aren’t the style we are going for.

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms Good Inspo Pics 15
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Pebbled tile more commonly looks like this:

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms Inspo Pics 5
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Rover Rock Wall Mountain Cabin
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Mountain house bathroom
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River Rock Back Splash Kitchen
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Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms wood floors
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Contemporary Bathroom Shower With Dual Shower Heads River Rock
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And none of those would fit the ‘Refined Scandinavian California Cabin’ vibe (fine, I changed the name, it’s ok). And I think some of those photos have accidentally acted as bad PR for the the greater pebble tile. Some are very taste specific and others are too contemporary for me.

But I started to find some examples that did get me excited:

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms River Rock
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That one is definitely a lot of rock and in a lot of different tones making it more busy – maybe we’d stay more tonal and fresh for this house like this one:

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms free standing tub
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I like the direction the above shower is going – certainly more warm and rustic than any bathroom I had originally planned in this house, but Brady pointed out how clearly you can see the grids of the tile which takes away some of it’s authenticity.

I kept digging, found more and more and sure enough, I started falling IN LOVE and could absolutely see this idea working in some of the bathrooms at the mountain fixer.

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms wood bench vanity stone floor
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The combination of the white and the rustic wood, and the modern sink is pretty great.

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms Boho Bathroom
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Below are my two favorites (although MAN they are looking RUSTIC!!).

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms Good Inspo Pics 13
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And then the I stumbled into this photo, which is the home of Trinette and ChrisTrinette and Chris (who also took the photos) talk about a talented pair, where they had installed white pebble tile on the floor of the bathroom and I was SOLD.

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms claw foot bathtub
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It’s so warm and adds so much texture in a quiet way. Simple statement, quiet impact. YES. (If you know who designed it please let us know so I can credit them and not just the photographer)

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms Clawfoot Bathtub
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More and more photos convinced me…

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms Good Inspo Pics 5
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Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms Good Inspo Pics 6
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Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Rethink The Pebble Bathrooms Good Inspo Pics 4
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But then every time I expressed my excitement in pebble tile to a new person they said, ‘I don’t totally hate the idea.’ Even my team in the office was like, ‘yah, that could work’. My best friends were worried. But Brian Henderson was GAME.

My excitement was deflated, but then I showed them some of the other materials we might use – below. Nothing is set in stone yet – HOLD ON I AM A HILARIOUS PERSON AND JUST WON MOST ORGANIC PUN EVER – OH MY GOD SHE’S DONE IT AGAIN. (Laptop shuts, comedy tour booked and sold out instantly).

Bathroom Moodboard CompressedRustic Modern Cabin Mountain House Bathroom Moodboard Pebble Floor

See? Again, these aren’t firm material choices, but they are part of the ‘narrowed down’ group I’m playing with at the studio and I personally think that addition of the rock is wonderful. It feels ‘Modern Mountain’ … ugh, that’s probably what this should have been called anyway! But you can still see the Scandinavian (light, bright, super textural) style coming through. And be sure to check out my insta-stories today as we are making A LOT of decisions up at the property – including this one. EEK!

Stay tuned for more firm material choices, but for today’s poll I want to know if you WANT me to go for the pebble, or if you think it’s a mistake. Is a mountain home a mountain home without rocks? Of course there are other ways I can bring in stones (and I am – leathered marble, stone kitchen floor, etc) but I really like the scale of this as an accent in the bathrooms.

Do you want to see if I can pull it off as much as I do?

If so vote ‘ROCK’ IT (I’m not sure if I love or hate myself more after writing that) but if you think this is a BAD MISTAKE that will ruin this house please vote: SKIP THAT ‘STONE’. As far as far as I am feeling, I am into it but definitely scared… but brian is fully on team “rock that stone”. Now it is your turn to VOTE!

I Design, You Decide

Pebble Tile: Yes or No?

Option 1

YES: use pebbled tile

79 %

Option 2

NO: don't use pebbled tile

21 %
(Vote by Wednesday, Feb 21th to have your voice heard.)
You did it!

Thank you for doing your daily design duty.
Your vote has my vote 🙂


Now enter to win

A five-night stay at the cabin this summer (with some blackout dates, of course, because our family uses it) with $1,000 towards travel expenses (if you live driving distance then it’s just fun money, or if you live internationally then we will cover up to $1,000 of your expenses. So, all the international readers please feel free to participate and enter as well). We’ll make it a dream trip! Including cocktails out on the lake with me.

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All you have to do for a chance to win is enter your name & email below...

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*If you are wondering what this poll thing is about (and what you can win) here is the general info or go here to see all the posts. But a quick recap is that I’m designing a mountain home and along the way you are making some key decisions. Right now its the bigger stuff – the finishes and we’ll get into the design plan for each room as well. You vote and get entered into a contest (or not) to win a 5 night stay at the cabin with $1k towards travel. 


Additionally (and most importantly because I’m pretty sure we are going to “rock it”)  for those of you who have designed or lived with pebble tile (am I even calling it the right name?), I’d love ANY tips on what to avoid, how to install or general opinions about this controversial design choice. For instance, can you see the grid of tiles in yours? Will the white pebble stain? Do you like the underfoot sensation? And most importantly do you want me to say ‘Underfoot sensation’ more often? I’m happy to. We will likely get the rounded one, not the flat – but not the crazy irregular ones either as I stepped on those and I did not enjoy the underfoot sensation, and hopefully not the ones that look like a grid. I’m also totally open to not using ’tile’ and sourcing the individual rocks but that seems problematic especially if we want light or neutral (we are also considering black for powder and gray in other areas, but not the ones that have a lot of contrast).

Vote. Help. All non-judgemental thoughts and comments are welcome (and remember, many people who have pebble tile or like it (like myself) read this blog, so if you REALLY aren’t into it simply vote ‘skip that stone’ and maybe skip the comment section this time 🙂

Update: Check out all of The Mountain House REVEALS here: The Kids’ BedroomThe Kitchen | The Kitchen Organization | The Kitchen Appliances | The Powder Bath | The Living Room | The Downstairs Guest Suite | The Loft | The Hall Bath | The Upstairs Guest Bath | The Dining Room | The Family Room

  1. It’s not something I would have picked for my own home, but I’ve got to admit, those later pictures with the pale pebble floors are very attractive. So I say go for it, in the cause of marital harmony 😉

    (Some of those earlier photos, though… man. The bathrooms of my nightmares!)

    1. Agreed. I feel like the first pics belong in a convention center in the Smokies. 🙂

    2. Above pictures are very good, I want to decorate my house like this.

  2. Go for it. You’ll do it beautifully and find a way to make it warm and you. L

  3. I think rocks, done tastefully, are going to rock your home (ha!)

    And I appreciate so much your taking into consideration your husband in this (it’s his home as well and you are modeling a loving and wise way to compromise for the benefit of your family). Kudos!

    btw I tried them at a friend’s house and underfoot they are amazing 🙂

    1. Ha. so you loved the underfoot sensation? the guy at the high end tile show room said that, but VERY seriously. He was like ‘you need to be able to handle the underfoot sensation’ as if it were a permanent lifestyle choice .. 🙂

      1. I loved it but they were rounded, flatish pebbles (no different heights or pointy parts). Think of it as a foot massage, nothing like walking on a rocky beach, more of a subtle feel.

        1. This is why I voted no. I don’t like the way small stones feel on my feet. They hurt soon after walking on it and I couldn’t imagine you standing there drying your hair or putting on make-up or anything that would take a long time without your feet hurting. Maybe I had a bad experience and the stones can be laid flat enough that it doesn’t hurt your feet, in that case I’m all for it! Looks great!

  4. We put some rock tiles in the master shower during a total renovation of our family cottage. Admittedly they were sold as border tiles 12 years ago. Coming from London, we definitely wanted something rustic to celebrate being in the back of beyond. But you can slightly see the grid and it drives me bonkers. Purely because it would have been such an easy fix. We flew in to meet with the tiler before the tiles went in, and he gave us the impression he knew what he was doing. Ha. Beware of high end product in places where they aren’t typically the norm. Tradespeople can talk a good game, but if they’re unfamiliar with the product, it’ll never look the way you’re used to or expected. And I can’t say suppliers are all that helpful at warning them of the hiccups. All our tiler had to do was twist a few rocks in each tile (they’re on mesh), one in each direction, so that their edges would fall outside of the straight lines of the grid. Into what would be grout spaces, if you can picture that. And the grid would never have formed. He did do it with some tiles, but then clearly got bored and didn’t bother for a few rows. Every day of every summer instead of sun salutations, I curse our tiler as I take a shower in the morning. As will my children. And their children. Hopefully in another 4 generations someone will come along and redo the bathrooms….

    1. Oh no. Ok thank you. Tile is something (especially when its expensive) that I also advise people on not hiring someone cheap because if done wrong, its an extremely expensive fix – or you never do. like wallpaper. a good installer is KEY. thanks for the ‘twisting the stone’ advise. That is kinda what we were talking about at the studio today so good to know that is actually what they should do. We are hiring local tilers up at the mountain (via our contractor) so I’d assume they know how to install but I’ll be micro-managing just in case 🙂

      1. Good idea. This was one of the things I noticed in the photos above. The natural look is somewhat lost in the grid pattern.

      2. Yes, definitely watch out for a poor tiling job! I have a friend that wanted pebble tile, she got it but they did such a poor job installing that she actually demoed the bathroom after a few months because it drove her insane!

      3. I read that you should order some extra tiles to take a part for the pebbles and the installer fill in so you do not have the grid… had not heard the twist the stone idea…that sounds good too. I TOO am considering this for bathroom remodel. Shower floor…. and bathroom floor too? light in tone so it is beachy . A friend who had it in her other home loved it. A friend who recently remodelled was warned by her designer about it being hard to clean ( in shower ) as it trapped water. (?) A few people i know have installed the “sliced stone” similar look for it is flat and even. UNdecided here!

    2. Hi Emily,

      I hate to be a nay-sayer but I would really encourage you NOT to use the pebble tiles. It’s true, they look lovely, but they are not very practical. They will capture the dirt quite easily and also ….. body hair. Not that easy to clean either.

      If it is a holiday home/weekender would it make sense to keep it low maintenance?

      All the best,

      1. It’s GORGEOUS!!! But…I totally agree with Kathryn – if this is going to be a place you vacation in or plan to Airbnb I would not put in something with so much grout (and white at that!) to keep spotlessly clean.

      2. I voted yes because I think it’s such an interesting look, but then I thought about cleaning in a rental. We just stayed in a beach house where the cleaners had been…less than thorough…in the turnover. I feel like that kind of floor would be REALLY hard to keep clean. Maybe on a wall instead?

  5. I agree, it looks very nice in some of those pics! My sister has it in one of her bathrooms and I also agree though that it doesn’t feel great underfoot and will add that keeping it clean seems tough. There’s a lot more grout involved with pebbles than traditional tile, and even my extremely clean sister’s has dark scuff marks that subtract from the look. Might be a better choice for a vertical wall or at least a less-trafficked area.

    1. Ooh, so shoes give black scuffs? I don’t like that ….

      1. We don’t wear shoes in the house, and our guests are aware of that. Boot trays by the door, and a polite, pretty framed sign in the entry. If shoes are not worn in the house, then they won’t be worn in the bathroom, so no black scuffs on the pebbles, and no icky germy nature bits on the floors all over your cabin. It makes the whole house easier to clean, too!

    2. I’ll echo the difficulty cleaning. One of my girlfriends put stone on the floor and walls of their master shower and she curses it every time she has to clean it.

    3. Not only black scuff marks, the grout gets dirty too – okay you can seal it better, but the pebble floor is hard to clean, you really have to go down on your knees to do it by hand. I have a small guest bathroom tiled with pebbles and I wouldn’t do it again. Although, I voted yes on your choices, it just looks so darn good and maybe you’ll find a better solution to seal/clean them.

      1. @Erin, I don’t think you can enforce the no-shoes in a rental, though. I mean, you can ASK, but you can’t enforce.

  6. You know, pebbled tile always kinda hurts my feet.

    1. I have flashbacks of living in south Florida with a pebble paved patio around the pool… walking around bare foot was painful.

  7. Please keep it visually light and can it be heated underneath? Nothing sounds worse than cold stone for under the foot sensation concern. Not sure if you were thinking black stone, please no black stone. This title needs to look authentic from a pebble standpoint and not too beachy and not too 1990”s up north cabin. White, off white, light tan, pale … No busy grout. Clean light, natural without being everywhere in your face pebble- earthy refined. And refined in the sense of some restraint in how much pepple used – floor and small accent area not everywhere. Keep a flexible calm mind and this will be great.

    1. Agreed. and yes we are putting in floor heating underneath. I think we are going to go for the more natural with some variation but not the bright white…. xx

      1. Oh, I envy you the floor heating! We stayed in a house in Colorado and I loved it. It is so nice to step out of the shower onto a warm floor.

  8. I wasn’t convinced after the first few pictures, but the last ones really are a beautiful and unique combo of rustic and scandinavian vibes. So I am interested to see how you would incorporate it + I don’t want Brian to hate us 😀

  9. It could totally work, but I would worry about the ‘underfoot sensation’. It just looks ouchy.

    1. it’s not ouchy! it’s nice underfoot. not quite a massage but massage-ish adjacent.

      1. I think it depends on the stone. We have two samples that hurt and the rest are SO nice to step on – where i enjoy the underfoot sensation 🙂

        1. Another thing to consider may be to use epoxy grout, more expensive and evidently harder to work with and installers often don’t like to do it so may say not necessary but that is what we have done and it makes a hugh difference.
          It doesn’t stain.
          Also most stone products need to be sealed which should take care of better ease of keeping it clean.

          1. Ooo Epoxy grout is a great idea!

          2. I definitely recommend the epoxy grout… makes a huge difference for staining and cleaning. I’ve loved the underfoot sensation, but I’m sure that can vary based on the selection itself!

        2. just a teeny suggestion to make sure your kiddos try it too! or use your mama ninja mind meld powers to make them think it’s the best thing ever. i have a verrrryyy sensitive 7 year old and I can totally see a pebbly floor underfoot sensation setting her off at a totally inopportune time, like right when I’m trying to get her into bed so mama can go sit and have a drink in peace. Or maybe other people’s kids don’t pull this kind of thing…

          1. I can totally relate to this! I too have a verrrrrrrry sensitive 7-year-old and she would act exactly as you’ve described. I think it’s great to involve kids, but not let them call all the shots in the house. We’ve done that way too much with our daughter and it has backfired on us. She thinks she is the family leader. So-maybe just tell kids that this is what is happening and go from there. I highly doubt C & E are as crazy as my kids. 😜

      2. i stayed in an AirBnB that had a river rock tiled shower. I was really into the “underfoot sensation”! I felt like I was wading in a (hot) stream… in a pleasant way 🙂

        1. HA. this is cracking me up. GREAT TIP about grout epoxy. yes to sealing for sure, and i don’t think we’ll put it in the kids bath … just ours. or maybe not. you’ll decide 🙂

  10. Yes. Yes. Yes. To the (last pics of) the pebble tile AND to “Modern Mountain”. Was team rustic… But since we lost, #teammodernmountain

  11. I am saying yes, but I think in maybe one bathroom for texture. If it is repeated in several bathrooms it might look themey (is that a word?) or less special.

    1. See, that’s interesting. I tend to repeat elements – I would never do the exact thing in every bathroom or it will look like a contractor/builder did it (not always a bad thing, but you know what I mean). My thought was to bring it in in 2 or 3 of the 5 bathrooms (3 full, 2 half) but have it mostly featured in the master bath…. but you guys will decide. HA.

  12. I’m not voting until I know what Brian thinks. Sure, he’s ‘Game’ but does he love it? Does it fill his need for rustic?

    Brian gets my proxy vote.

    1. Ok. fair enough. when he wakes up i’ll tell him. I highly suggest you watch the insta-stories today because we are going up there and i’m pitching him a LOT of ideas and design plans (for a video series, but we shooting it on stories as well). But I will tell you that I did a soft pitch and he really really loves the stones. 🙂 But I’ll let him tell you.

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  14. i love the pebbles. i encouraged a friend to use them in her brooklyn brownstone shower even after the tile salesman told her she’d have to seal the stone at least once a year, which was almost a deal breaker. i promised i would seal it for her… i never did seal it, but she still loves the stones. vote yes!

  15. From a design perspective looks great. From a functional aspect not so much. Doesn’t look comfortable on the feet
    I vote for on the walls somewhere

    1. Some of them feel wonderful! Soft, massagy, smooth. I vote Yes!

  16. I can’t wait to see how you bring an element that’s previously gotten a bad wrap, and implement it in a fresh way. This will be beautiful!

    1. This is how I feel. I love the “idea” of pebbled rock but so frequently think ends up looking cheesy. I’d like to see someone take a look at it with a fresh eye. (So I can then shamelessly copy you if it turns out.) You are able to take chances where most homeowners can’t, and you do! This is a huge benefit of reading for blog, for me personally.

  17. Have you looked at Lauren Liess’s blog? Pretty sure the mountain home she designed for her dad has pebble bathroom floors and they look amazing!

    1. OOH i will. I love her work but haven’t seen her pebble use 🙂

      1. I just looked up Lauren Liess’s pebble floor bathroom. Love the cement walls, (which MUST be sealed but not in love with the pebbles in this case. But over all love pebbles.

      2. Yes, my immediate thought when I read this post was Lauren Liess did this and it was beautiful (and refined)! I was waiting for you to show a picture from her portfolio 🙂 http://www.laurenliess.com/portfolio-projects/lake-gaston

    2. I was also thinking this!

  18. I have pebble stone tile in my basement guest bath (we live in Colorado). It’s beautiful and feels great on your feet, but beware that it is COLD in the winter. I wish we’d put some radiant heat under it.

  19. Love the pebbled tile!

  20. I also hate that you can see the grid on some of the pebble tiles. My brother’s house has pebble as an accent tile around the kitchen and it hurts to walk on it barefoot. Plus more grout is a negative in my books. It seems like this trend peaked 10 years ago as well. Follow your gut, if you are taking a poll you probably have doubts about it.

    1. The entire point of this project is that she is polling people and getting our opinion!

  21. I have always loathed pebble tile and looking at those photos just reinforced my feelings. However, the last few photos have changed my mind. I love love love it now, or at least when it’s white and in a very Scandinavian looking decor.

    1. See??? Its just rocks! How can we hate rocks? its the application and the context that we hate, not the thing itself (in my opinion). When appropriate I think its great.

  22. First off- thank you for acknowledging your partner in this. I want Brian to love it too, and none of us are designing things in vacuums- many of us have partners who have design opinions and these kinds of big projects should totally involve both team members. You’re awesome- I don’t see enough of this in interior design and I love you for it. Second- I voted for the pebble tile, but can I use this comment as a caveat list? I only like the really subtle, tonal takes, with the pale stones or the light grey ones. (My favorite image is the one with it only on the floors, where the walls are left clean and white- it feels refreshing and simple). And I think I only like it as the floor, or as the floor and one full accent wall. When it’s used as an accent stripe (no idea if that has an official name lol), it feels sort of like when contractors throw one of those into flipped house showers with small, colored tile and I absolutely hate it. (Harsh, sorry!). I feel like you can totally pull this off as long as you take a restrained approach and I can’t wait to see it! (Oh! And I second the heated floor comment- I live in CO and having stone floors in the winter is only doable with radiant heat!)

    1. Ha. no stripe! and brian will appreciate your comment. And lastly agreed – tonal. no contrast. We totally agree 🙂

  23. One word: dated.

    The only photo that makes the pebbled tile look good is the almost all-white bathroom pulled from trinettereed.com (with all the shiplap). The photo second from the bottom (with the crystal chandelier) isn’t bad, more spa-like, but you’d have to replicate those designs pretty closely in order to achieve the fresh and modern look you are going for.

    I don’t get a “mountain” vibe from those designs; they look like something you’d see in a modern farmhouse (trinettereed photo) or city condo (second from bottom).

  24. I’d be worried about cleaning it.

  25. I voted for the pebble stone tiles because of your backstory, but I have to caution you from a practical standpoint: my experience with pebble stone tiles is that they are very hard to keep from getting moldy and to clean – because of the texture and unevenness of them they retain water in all the crevices and it becomes a chore to mop the floor after practically every use of the bathroom, and to scrub the shower walls with non-abrasive cleaning solutions once a week. Maybe pebble stone tiles advanced in the last decade – but maybe you can find a stone alternative for the bathroom? Pebble tiles can work great in other rooms of the house.

    1. Interesting … I do not like that review (but thank you). mold is not awesome although we’ll have radiant heat underneath so i wonder if that will combat it????

      1. Adding heat to a wet environment will only encourage mold you lovely optimistic lady. 🙂

  26. I voted go for it, definitely in honor of your wonderful husband. I love your sense for design and know that you can make these rocks ‘rock.’ 🤗

  27. I do like the pebbled floors but a lot of decisions I make in my own space have the added challenge of making it safe because I live with someone who has mobility/balance issues. That means the bathroom is one of the most important rooms. I have to be careful of surfaces that are either too smooth or too uneven, especially in a shower. I think I like the pebbled look on the walls more than on the floor. Also, although I like the look ofglass enclosed showers, there needs to be something to hold onto. Also, can’t help but wonder how easy it is to keep those pebbled floors clean…..could be easy or not. You are doing a great job with this!

  28. I’m not a commenter (in fact, had to look up how to spell it!), didn’t vote in your poll (never vote in polls), don’t usually care if my opinions are factored into your designs (in a nice way…meaning you’re the expert and I love to watch what you do) but I just couldn’t help popping in to say that I feel bad that what Brian wants for a house you are designing for YOUR family might be hindered by the opinions of people who really shouldn’t matter (again, in a nice way….). I know this blog is your business but would there be any harm in saying, oops, I think I made a mistake and need to please my client (husband) more than my followers? I wouldn’t stop checking in on you everyday. In fact, I’d respect the honesty. And you could still be challenged design wise to come up with something that isn’t necessarily your style but that makes your family happy in what is going to be a very special family retreat. Just a thought. Maybe there’s a reason I don’t comment. 🙂

    P.S. I think the rocks look beautiful in many of the applications you showed. You’re talented enough to pull anything off beautifully.

    1. don’t worry. We are designing this house to make sure we all love it. Its a weekend house so we can risk more and having fun on a blog in a marketing way is bringing me a ton of challenge, satisfaction and joy. Brian is super into it and he’s never cared about the process so much because he really wants to be heard. I love how much you guys care about Brian’s feelings so much so that I’ve asked him if he wants to have a column here and write about his perspective and hes into the idea 🙂

      1. GREAT IDEA! Would love Brian’s take on things.

        1. I too think it would be fun to hear Brian’s perspective first hand. I find myself wondering – did the two of you find this house and buy it as a weekend retreat for your family and then later decide it could be a good business decision to let the blog followers determine the design direction? Or was it purchased as a blog project that the family can also eventuallybenjoy? The distinction seems important because it shows who the “client” is – your family or your followers. If Brian thought this was “his” house and then the readers suddenly had more say, I can see why he’d be bummed about that. But either way I respect your transparency and willingness to reconsider all decisions to take his feelings and aesthetic into account. And I definitely think you can make the pebble tiles work in a really beautiful way. I’ve never loved them, but seeing them in white definitely changed my mind! I say go for it!

          1. HA. this is a very good question. I started commenting back but it was such a long comment that I realized it needs to be a post – and maybe i’ll interview Brian. 🙂


        1. Yes let’s hear from Brian!!!

      3. Would love to hear Brian’s take on it all.

        1. So…I’m really enjoying the transparency regarding your opinion and Brian’s opinion, not that I wish you any marital spats! But this tension is what I always face with my husband: I get super excited about some design decision and then he brings puts the brakes on because of cost or function. I’m always for spending a bit more for something beautiful, and who cares about function if it’s FREAKING RAD? (Haha.) It’s very nice to see how design decision impacts another couple. Thank you!

          That being said, I don’t really care about Brian’s opinion. (Sorry, Mr. Hendo! It’s not personal.) I am here to see what you, Emily, will design! I am interested in the marriage angle of the design decisions on this house, but ultimately the bottom line for me is seeing the best, most beautiful design possible. I know my opinions are kinda in conflict, but that’s how I feel.

          As for the pebble tile? I voted YES, but with a lot of reservation. I liked a few of the inspiration pics, but so many of the pics and times I have seen pebble tile in person are SUSPECT. I am looking forward to see how you can make it seem fresh, Emily! Thanks for including us! Much love.

      4. Having Brian writing a column it’s a great idea! Not in a reality show we-are-curious-about-your-life kind of way… 🙂 it’s just another point of view, from someone (not the designer ;-), nor the readers) who really lives in the space.

  29. I have pebble tile in my bath shower, on the floor and as a shower wall accent. I’m really wanting to do over my bath because I think it looks dated, the pebble tile included and maybe most of all. The stone doesn’t have a natural, organic feel. I tend to think that most underfoot pebbles found in nature are more muddy in color, more variable in size, and don’t look like the pretty white ones that, to me, look best in photos and bathrooms. Having said all of this, I chose it myself 7 years ago and loved it at first. Also, a lot of people love how it feels on their feet. My young nieces love taking showers at my house. I have found, though, that if you have a callus or corn or something it can be uncomfortable. Good luck with the decision.

  30. My feet feel happy just thinking about it. One time when we were tile shopping, they had a sample of pebble tile…only it wasn’t on the floor, it was up on a wall, about thigh high, and WITHOUT EVEN THINKING, I took of my flip flop and stuck my foot on the tile sample so I could feel it underfoot. . My husband was mortified!! He was like, “what are you doing?!? You can’t just rub your feet on their.samples! That’s disgusting”. And I agree. Clearly I lost control because it IS disgusting to stick my bare foot on a tileshop wall. But it looked so inviting and I lost all composure. I was as happy as the lady in the spaghetti pool on patch adams until my husband called me back to reality. All that to say I voted YES!!!! This house IS the place for it. Not many other types of houses can pull it off (i.e. sadly mine).

    1. Ha. I did that too!!! Except with my socks on. xxx

  31. You have no idea how excited I was to read this post…I too was a bit heartbroken when “Rustic” lost! We moved into a literal log cabin a year ago and, now that we’re settled in and have had a chance to live with the space, we’re starting to take on decorating and remodeling. One thing I know for sure is that I don’t want a bunch of furniture made out of rough sawn logs, since there are enough of those around already! So when you shared your “rustic” vision, and included quite a few pictures that I have pinned for our own house, I was SO EXCITED at the thought of getting to see you bring it to life, and hopefully gain some ideas for my own house along the way. While I’m sure you would have designed a beautiful “refined Scandinavian chalet,”, I think there is a huge opportunity to contribute something beautiful, refined, and inspirational to all of us “rustic” lovers out here! Also, major kudos to doing the hard and necessary work of truly listening to what Brian wants and likes, tracking down inspiration, and figuring out how to mesh your two visions. That is what is going to truly push this space to something great and make it a place you love. And for what it’s worth, I say go for the pebble tile!!

    1. thank you!!! It will be cabin-y, I promise. and to be fair to me, it took MONTHS to get brian to engage in the process and he really didn’t till after the first poll. So I didn’t really know and he didn’t really know what he wanted in the house til last week (I BEGGED for inspiration photos from him). But we are sailing in the right direction now …

  32. I agree, only the white stone floors are pretty. I certainly wouldn’t put any on the walls, it just feels unnatural and weird. My last thought, it looks like it would be a total pain to clean….Good luck!

    1. that’s a GREAT point. Rocks naturally live on the ground, not on walls. You are right. thank you 🙂

      1. I like more tonal, for whatever that is worth. Often, at least in the pictures, the white rocks look painted. :((

      2. So just to be fair, mountains are rocks and you could kinda think of them as walls

  33. So the thing is, a friend of mine has this on the floor of her bathroom. And while I’m also not hugely on board with it stylistically in that case, I know my taste is very different to hers and you could make it work…. but:

    IT FEELS HORRIBLE TO WALK ON. At least to me? I feel like I’m about to stub my toe all the time!

    So for that reason and that reason alone I’m firmly anti-pebble floor. On the walls, meh, sure. I bet it could be really cool.

  34. I don’t love it. Pebble tile just seems dated to me! Am sure there are other ways you could bring stone in.

    1. It was dated, but i think in a mountain house its never out 🙂 Its all about the context …

  35. I don’t think I like it (mostly because it seems way too “weird” to not negatively impact the resale value) but like Sarah Sherman Samuel’s recent foray into terrazzo (which I would never in a million years imagined looking anything other than “airport”) if there’s anyone who can pull off an unexpected “look” it’s a design master like you..so…

    A super wealthy relative of mine has a house in this super bougie newish development in Tahoe called Martis Camp — something about it is mildly grotesque ($5 million “rustic” homes owned by Silicoln Valley hedge funders) all tastefully designed to look like Martha Stewart, Ina Garten and Ralph Lauren came for a visit…. I personally love your more modern whites and lake-house vibes (which is totally up my alley) but unless you borrow the woodsy Ralph Lauren vibe — not sure if this is “tasteful Americana” or dude ranch” or what, seems hard to get the “mountain rustic” look that Brian really wants…


    1. I’m listening … and kinda want to see those houses now … finding good inspiration images for this project has been HARD – thus trying to design the inspiration myself i suppose…

  36. I had the lighter pebble tile in my bathroom in my old house and almost instantly regretted it! IT WAS SO HARD TO CLEAN and it constantly looked dirty to me! I think if you put it behind a mirror or something on the wall it could perhaps work but the floor is such a pain in the butt! Just my experience. I wished someone could have talked me out of it!

  37. We had pebble tile in a bathroom in a house that we bought. I HATED it. It hurt to walk on and too many nooks and crannies for mold to grow.

  38. I truly love the look… but how the heck do you keep it even vaguely clean? I think you’d have to really love hands and knees scrubbing, because keeping the grout even vaguely white with that much texture would be so, so hard.

  39. We took exact inspiration from the bautzhomes photo you included in the roundup (white pebbles beneath the tub and in shower with smooth tile in the remainder of the room) for our master bath reno two years ago.

    After living with it for two years, here are my thoughts:
    -Every shower I invariably will have to reposition my feet a few times because they’ll land on a part of pebble that hits my feet in a very uncomfortable way. (As someone who’s put my feet through LOTS of high-heel shoes, they may be more sensitive to the lumps in the pebbles than others, as my husband doesn’t complain.) At this point it is pretty much subconscious that I just move my feet to a more comfortable position without giving it any thought, but I’m slightly worried that as I age and my feet become more sensitive I might have to wear shower slides on my feet like at a gym (not ideal at ALL.)
    -You cannot detect a grid in our pebbles which would definitely drive me insane.
    -The tile installer did not brush out the grout as much around our tub as he did in the shower (for drainage purposes I assume) so it’s actually much more comfortable underfoot near the tub than in the shower where the pebbles stick up from the grout more.
    -We do end up with some “pooling” in the shower in some areas so we make sure to use a daily shower spray after every shower, and about every other week we spray foaming bleach on the floors to help with the discoloration in between regular cleanings.
    -I use color enhancing shampoo/conditioner (in red, of course) and some of the stones are prone to staining but the foaming bleach spray remedies that.
    -I think a zero entry shower (no raised shower pan edge) is absolutely essential to pulling off this look in a modern way.

    OVERALL THOUGHTS: Given all of the drawbacks listed above I’m not 100% sure that I would have gone with the rounded pebbles in the shower, but I do really love how it looks. I don’t exactly regret the choice, but I would have given it much more consideration. (as you are clearly doing.)

    1. this is SO HELPFUL. thank you. Right now we are mostly considering floors, but not shower floors (because of just what you said). And we figure we’ll put a little rug in front of the vanity. But the tub and the main floor will be on it …. but the cleaning issue is going to be kinda annoying. Our master is on the second floor and i kinda feel like we won’t track too much up there, but who knows …. all good to know though.

  40. Also, I just have to ask, are those heads of radicchio leaning on the sink in one of the middle photographs (with the twigs on the mirror)? I love that space overall, but a little confused on the vegetable styling props in the bathroom…

    1. They love Radicchio!! they just picked it from their garden and were rinsing it off … 🙂

  41. I think you definitely need to incorporate stone into the design but I am not feeling the pebbles in a bathroom. First of all it seems like a nightmare underfoot. Secondly having more grout in a bathroom that boys will be using (especially if light) is a nightmare. You’ll understand as Charlie gets a little older. I can maybe see it as shower flooring but as an entire bathroom floor seems like overkill and the possibility of seeing the grid would be a non-starter for me. If you do go with it I would maybe limit it to one smaller bathroom or powder room where comfort would be less of an issue. Or maybe a fun finish in a mudroom where underfoot is less of an issue. I don’t know what it is about these tiles they just seem 80’s cheesy to me. Granted in some of the photos they are better than the norm but I just think you’ll grow sick of them quickly. I would try to incorporate real stone in other areas of the house and skip the pebbles in the bath. Either way I’m excited to see what you decide. I like this New more mountain feeling. It feels more true to the house and your family.

    1. I’m SCARED!!!!!

    2. Do not use it near a toilet if you have boys. I have 4 boys and their toilet area is so gross. I have to wipe the floor down constantly. Ick.

      1. Mother of a boy here –

        When toilet training little boys **teach them to pee sitting down**

        It makes all the difference in the world – my now 13 year old thinks it’s normal to pee sitting (of course he can pee standing up – and does that outside, etc.!). And there’s ZERO mess around the toilets.

        If they’re already toilet trained? Just say: new house rule! And just teach them how to do it (“point your p*nis down while you’re sitting”). 😉

        1. Mom of 2 boys here. Mine peed sitting down for a while when they were potty training, but as soon as they went to kindergarten, those days were OVER. Most public men’s bathrooms only have one toilet. I agree 100%, I would never use these anywhere near a toilet with any kind of male person who would ever use said toilet.

  42. I LOVE the pale pebbled tile! I feel like if you go with it, you’re going to start a huge trend!

    fwiw, my grandma had pebbled sidewalks, and as a kid getting out of the pool, I really didn’t like walking on them. however, those pebbles were really tiny (like, bean size), so I think that’s what made them uncomfortable to my bare feet.

  43. Make Brian happy! But I am completely unconvinced that it wouldn’t be a nightmare to clean on the floors. A simple swiffer wouldn’t work: all that dust in between visits would collect in the uneven places. Who wants to spend their time (or money) deep-cleaning on vacation? It’s all I can think about! I’d be less freaked about it on the wall. For the floor, something in larger, flatter, unpolished pieces, with less grout?

    1. I agree! Make Brian happy. But maybe another way?! Lol

  44. I love the rocks! And love the natural element they provide. I had them in my last house as a shower base and loved the feel on my feet! Since it was a small space, you didn’t notice the lines.

  45. My main concern is that you are leaning toward the super light stone with white grout. There is SO MUCH grout on an installed pebble tile which, for a floor, will be a nightmare for your real life. If you go this route, I think you need to explore epoxy grout or something similarly commercial grade which is much more stain resistant. I’ve installed pebble shower floors before but always (ALWAYS) done a cement-like gray grout for this reason as it’s a much more forgiving color.

    1. Yes not white grout and yess on epoxy!

  46. I like the look–but can anyone comment on how hard (or easy) it is to clean? All that grouting + white + floor makes me think you’d be down there scrubbing all those nooks and crannies waaaay to much.

  47. We tiled our master postage stamp shower a couple of years ago. We used mixed color stones of twelve inch tile sheets. I agree with one poster that if not laid out more organically the lines of the sheets will drive you crazy! I really couldn’t complain because my husband was our tile guy.

    The other issue I had (because we didn’t use a professional tiler) was the outer edges/corners. Water pooled up and orange mold began to grow……and was unsightly. If you had someone one to make sure there is more of a downhill slope toward the drain you should be okay. Watch out for the edges!

    BTW, there wasn’t much of a problem with the mini foot massage……most mornings.

  48. The “I know nothing about flooring and tiles” me, LOVES the look of it, especially in the last pictures. Go for it!
    The “professionally sells this type of pebbles and other tiles every day” me, would never ever put this in a bathroom floor or wall.

    Sales person is giving real talk now:
    PRO: totally fits the look you are going for, every piece is unique because it’s a natural stone
    CON: maintenance is … a challenge, pro tip is to put a protector on top and repeat every year, the biggest issue with maintenance isn’t the porosity (protector helps) but the unevenness of the pebble.
    There are pebbles available that have a flat surface and they are easier on the floor or wall in a shower (or any surface that gets water on it) for example the fifth picture starting from the top.

    Think about how you mop your tiled floor now and remember that the surface is flat. Now because of the uneven surface and a whole lot of joints, most of the dirty water is gonna dry up on your bathroom floor because the joints are lower and the water is going to go there. (I hope this makes sense to everybody)
    That combined with light joints is going to create dirty joints within a couple of years/months.
    Basically if you want nice clean joints, you have to clean them with a toothbrush and get rid of the dirty water somehow.
    And be sure your installer knows what they are doing because grid lines are very real.

    So I hope this was informative. I don’t mean to be negative at all, because I really think it would look stunning.
    I also think it’s not going to look the same in 2 years time unless you are never going to use the bathroom. Or do black joints. 😉
    It’s all good with black joints.

    1. Thank you for this! This is what I was wondering. I love the look but there is no way I could handle that much maintenance.

    2. hhhmmmm…. Emily mentioned above that they are installing radiant heating which seems would address any issues of mold (as post-bathing water in between the pebbles/stones would evaporate before it could begin growing anything) but your comment makes me wonder if there is still a problem functionally speaking -because even evaporated mop water would leave behind it’s dirt, right..? Can’t wait to see the evolution of this idea : )

    3. You changed my mind, along with other comments here. If the maintenance is a challenge, then it doesn’t make sense to use them unless you pick a dark tone, seal it and use something like a natural gray polyurethane grout.

      One of my favorite spa getaway places has cement floors for the vanity area/WC, a walk in shower with dark gray pebble floors, basalt tile walls, white quartz counters, white shiplap and white fixtures. Very serene but also holds up to a lot of use. I’ve been going there for 10 years, still looks great and I have borrowed inspiration from there before. Maybe you should go stay there for inspo?

  49. yeaaaah the two pictures before the shiplap bathroom are greaaaaat, and I’m team mountain rustic so…. pebbles it is ! great post !!!

  50. I love the modern mountain vibe you are going for with the stone! I also LOVE the feeling of pebble flooring, particularly in a bathroom. I applaud how open you are being about the design process and I admire how important Brian’s opinion is to you! I would hope the diehard refined voters understand.

  51. i love the way it looks, but i would hate to be the person who cleans it. Lucky for me, my husband is the designated bathroom scrubber in our house. But I think pebble tile would make him even madder than the marble in our master shower that he isn’t allowed to use chemicals on, serious man cleaning rage there.

    1. Hilarious! 😂

    2. Super hilarious 🤣

  52. For some reason I had already assumed you’d do pebble tile in the bathrooms 🙂 And I voted for refined scandi chalet. So YES, definitely rock it! Incorporating lighter, more modern versions of rustic materials stays true to the house and location yet allows it to really transform. Scale, texture, and tone will be the biggest factors in balancing rustic/modern and woodsy/airy. It’s a more interesting project to seek this balance with every element.

  53. I say go for it, but also agree only in one bathroom. Also saw great use of the pebble tile as a splshback in a laundry. http://www.threebirdsrenovations.com/house6.
    Have you thought maybe terrazzo would fit the more refined look?

  54. The style you are going for is pretty, but I sure understand Brian’s pain! Those last pics should be called MODERN………. (?mountain? – maybe?). Not trying to be mean or critical; but I live in the foothills of the Appalachians where mountain homes are seldom modern so maybe I’m just having a hard time picturing this style anywhere but LA or Los Vegas.

  55. I like the look and think you could do something really special with it …but I voted “no” for the sole reason that cleaning almost all white stone with extra grout seems impossible to keep looking clean, especially if you plan to rent the home out. But I think incorporating the pebbles onto a wall instead of floor would work better for function and give Brian want he wants!

  56. I love modern organic and LOVE to see new and different design materials. Tile that has a lot of color variation in general is not my thing- especially the pebble ones. But the clean light colored ones you are looking at could be so pretty and feel cool to step on. I really appreciate that you explore as a designer and mix things up.

  57. We have pebble in our bottom of master shower of our MCM home – I think it works! I think it should stay on the floor though, not scaling up a shower wall, and it looks like you mostly came to the same conclusion for the bathroom.

    More than anything – I want Brian to be HAPPY. My god this is his house, even though I voted for refined, and I had a feeling refined would win, I’ve been hoping you would do this and bend to him and polls be damned! 🙂

  58. First, I do love pebble floors in modern spaces. They are both peaceful and fun.

    I have a couple things I was wondering after reading:
    1. Are you leaning toward white pebble? If so, why not darker pebble?
    2. Have you considered larger stone floors (river rock?) instead of pebble-sized?

  59. I have pebble tile on the floor of the shower in our Tahoe cabin. It is bumpy, rounded and various shades of natural stone colors. The walls of the shower and the bathroom floor are a slate like tile in 18” squares… same color tones as the pebbles. The pebble grids don’t show because it is in such a small area. The texture feels good on your feet while showering but you don’t have to stand and walk on it while in the bathroom. Overall I like it and I’m glad we used it in a minor way. Our cabin is very “Old Tahoe”, log cabin style with lots of stone, wood trim and log walls.
    Bottom line: I think you will like the pebble tile but perhaps in a smaller area.

  60. Have you seen the master bathroom that Jenna Sue did a couple years ago? She used pebble tile on the floor and one of the walls. You can’t see any grids and it looks amazing. I think in the comments someone asked about how it feels underfoot and she said it was fine. I think she wrote a whole post about installing the tile, so that might be another resource to check out. If you can’t tell by now, I’m definitely team rock it!

  61. Love the lighter colored pebbles. Just make sure they’re smooth enough so you don’t trip. Can’t wait to see what you do.

  62. I have pebble floor in a bathroom. I love the “underfoot sensation”. It’s like a massage on bare feet. I don’t think it would be good for someone who wore a lot of stiletto heels in the bathroom. But, that’s probably not how you’ll be dressing at the Rustic-Refined Cabin.

    Regarding white stones — its not the stones that you have to worry about staining. It’s all the grout. A pebble floor has a lot more grout than your average tiled floor. Needs to be well sealed and kept pretty clean or you will have white stones with gray grout.

  63. My sister has pebble tile in her shower, and I loved the underfoot sensation. It’s like a mini massage for your feet. Also, no need to feel badly about deviating from what the poll says. It is fun, but after all it is your and Brian’s house!

  64. I would be really worried about how comfortable it would be to walk on in bare feet, but love the look on a shower wall!

  65. I don’t love the stone but I voted yes. Mostly because Brian loves it and he should have it. I’m also super interested to see if you change my mind. I always love what you do so I’m sure I’m just wrong here.

  66. I think it’s super pretty.
    Also wondering how high maintenance it is. You’re gonna want to relax in that cabin not scrub pebbles right?! 🙂

  67. I like the look a lot. But the practical midwesterner (and mother of three boys) in me thinks they would be very hard to keep clean. That would be my major hesitation.

  68. It may be just me, but pebbles (especially white ones) make me think of the country side – maybe rustic, yes, but not mountain at all. It may be also because in Italy most of mountain pebbles are grey or multicolored, not white usually, so I don’t know ahah.

  69. I love the underfoot sensation, but small stone can be a pain cleaning-wise on the floor. If you haven’t done it yet, absolutely book a place with pebbled floor for a weekend or a week and check it out in person. You will know right away if it is for you. If you’ve ever had a rough stone tile (think old slate or tumbled rocks) those uneven surfaces make for weird dirt/dust-collecting spaces, which need to be vacuumed, then mopped. This is OK for a normal clean, but a pain when you are doing it daily or getting the place ready for on-the-fly guests as they are not easily wipeable. If you are renting this place out, the ability for it to easily look (and be) fresh and clean is paramount. Maybe save the pebbles for a wall where dirt collection is less of an issue and use larger, less uneven stone for the floor? Also, you can totally see the grid lines in the white wall photo above (with the dark floor), which gives me hives looking at it, and I FEEL, FEEL, FEEL for the people who installed it or had that installed and now will forever live with a checkerboard. Twist out some of the stones at the edge or cut in at random zigzags with scissors like you would do with meshed penny tile and you won’t see the lines!

  70. I like this because I trust you. I think it can go sideways really fast, but you are so right about your thought process!

  71. We lived in a rental with irregular pebble tile in the shower and my husband LOVED it and I wished it were smoother. One area of the shower grout had not been well treated and never fully dried which was a concern. I’m really curious how the white grout will hold up or if it will need lots of extra care to keep clean. I think it’s a YES if you are both on board.

  72. Wowza!! I love it in the last few pictures, and I never thought I would, the contrasty ones are not my style. I’ve been in showers with it on the floor a few times (mostly airbnbs) and I liked the underfoot sensation (my new fave term). I love this series, especially with the keeping Brian excited subplot, I have a lot of awkward convos with the man o the house about my ideas and I’m so inspired by your calm and patient approach… I have not always taken that approach.

  73. Emily, as a home builder and designer, my husband and I typically tell our clients to avoid this choice because it doesn’t feel great on the feet! It can be downright uncomfortable to walk on. Beware!

  74. I have always really admired your sense of style, but when you suggested using stone in this home, my first thought was “how predictable and boring.” I’m sorry! Mountain house with stone – not as creative as I hoped you would be with this project. I understand wanting to please Brian – and I 100% think you should – but once you start leaning toward the light, tonal stones, I don’t think you are getting the rustic feel that he really wants. I think you should scrap the idea and think of a new way to get the rustic feel that Brian wants in a fresh, new way.

  75. I voted for the tile, but I am commenting to say that I am super excited you are keeping the stone fireplace in the living room. I know that you can style it so that it goes mountain house in the right way, and I was really sad when originally you were going to get rid of it.

    1. Me too! I was disappointed that the rock fireplace was leaving – I hope you decide to keep it!

  76. I love the pebble tile – the inspiration bathroom photo with the white pebble on the floor is giving me real scandinavian refined rustic envy. Also I just have to say I’m SO HAPPY you’re tweaking and adapting as you go on this project. I was a rustic voter, and when I saw the results I was bummed ever so slightly, but thought, “eh, it’s not my house, she’ll do something awesome with the other theme.” But I couldn’t help feeling like it was a little too streamlined for a cabin in the woods. Anyway, fully in support of the pebble and the project all around!

  77. Do the stone. Your husband matters most and as much as I LOVE the Scandinavian look and refined was my choice, Brian is right with the ‘mountain’ being excluded. The stone pebble and other touches will be the right mix/compromise and I think you will end up loving it!

  78. Rustic does not appeal to me at all and I would never attempt the pebble floor without a phenomenal, daily housekeeper. But I appreciate and support the need to work with one’s life partner. That trumps all design decisions. Maybe it would help if Brian had some sacred space that was off limits to both the blog and your eye.

    Thank you for a wonderful blog! Whethe the styles appeal to me or not, I really enjoy the eye candy and detailed thought processes.

  79. Your inspiration pics are really lovely but maybe consider an accent wall/area instead of flooring or showers? The “underfoot sensation” gets uncomfortable if you are on it for more than a few minutes and the grout joints! Egads- the cleaning of the grout joints.

  80. I rented and lived in a house for a couple years with a pebble floor in one of the bathrooms. The pebbles were various colors and no grids were visible. I’m pretty sure the owner of the house did the installation himself DIY-style. I did like the look of the pebble floor. However, I will say I did not love how it felt under my feet (especially in the winter), but maybe that is a result of the installation? If you could install it with heated floors, I think that would be awesome.

  81. I love it, as long as it is white. I think that walks the line, and will be timeless and tasteful.

  82. I like it. It fits that mountain cabin feel perfectly, but I can’t help but wonder if this is just a trend like glass tile was the small glass tile was five years ago? I would also suspect that the excessive grout would make it difficult to clean also, so even though it is rock, it does not appear to be very durable in keeping clean. What about using a slate in a cool geometric pattern in a minimum tone differentiation? That would give the mountain feel in texture, yet refined in its shape/pattern without being too “river bed” like the small stones. Maybe instead of the dark reclaimed wood, how about going lighter in the sandblasted neutral color wood? In the end, your design will be amazing and I cannot wait to see what you choose. Even if you go with the stone, I am sure you will rock it – pun intended. 🙂

  83. I vote go for it because if anyone can change my mind on pebble tile, it’s you and I want Brian to be happy. I had it in a bathroom and I have to admit that it was the worst to clean – I ended up paying to have the grout professionally cleaned and re-tinted white every year which sucked but maybe there is a way to install/better types of grout etc to help these days

  84. We stayed at a high-end inn on an island in the PNW that had the most beautiful bathroom I’ve ever enjoyed. The free-floating tub was situated in front of a huge window facing the water. The shower floor had river rocks embedded in concrete. They were a little smaller than eggs and set in pretty well. The shower was completely open to the view as well. It definitely felt like a spa/labyrinth walk but my feet felt energized and stimulated. I imagine the cleaning was not a problem b/c the hotel staff clean the bathroom daily and probably a stiff broom brush and diluted bleach is all that’s necessary. I had never heard of rocks on tiles and to me, that would be a big NO. If you’re going to bring in the outside, do it organically.

    1. I have to agree with this comment – if you can do it with real, non mesh backed rocks, that would be FAR superior. I’ve seen the technique she mentions in lots of garden landscape books used in paths and it’s so lovely.
      There is something fake looking about the tile squares of pebbles IMO just like your current stone fireplace surround in the mountain house. It actually reminds me of the “stone” walls we would melt out of styrofoam and faux paint back in my theatre days.

  85. Have you considered slate or other stones not that would be less rough? The stone in the last photo is beautiful, but I personally find the underfoot sensation difficult to live with!

    Just to blow my credibility, I’ll add that your CA mountain house decor does need a CA bear, someway somehow!

  86. I love the look of the pebble tile and it feels so nice on the tootsies. Two things to think about … it can be hard to keep clean because of the uneven nature of the material and it takes a ton of grout at install. I’m not a fan of it on walls but love it on floors.

  87. We have a pebbled floor in our master shower and I love it – it adds a spa-like feel to every shower! Cleanability is a bit meh, but for a vacation home I would go for it! https://www.houzz.com/photo/9701993-modern-master-bath-modern-bathroom-grand-rapids

  88. I think these will look great, and they do echo the fireplace stone. Good solve, and I can completely relate to the process, that is exactly how it works with my own husband. The end result will be even better because more thinking and rethinking got to a better solution.

    You are going to heat those bathroom floors too, right? Must have, especially on snow days.

  89. DON’T use it in a shower surround! You are signing up for a daily battle against black mildew.

  90. I LOVE this look. It really is reminiscent of terrazzo, albeit in a more textural and organic way. Rocks rock! (Sorry….more Dad jokes…)

  91. Brian is right! I voted for the Scandi design and I’ve very very happy with this new direction. I think this will end up better than either original option! Well done Brian!

  92. My vote to SKIP it is based solely on the difficulty cleaning a light pebble and grout flooring due to the MANY crevices. So that’s My concern! I’ve had light tiled floors before and was also forewarned.. did it anyway (voted brightness in a small kitchen space) then spent years with the forewarning echoing inside my thoughts Every time I noticed the dirt tinted stains in every crevice. Even after tedious cleaningslike after 2nd bucket mops. So if you go Rock it then know you’ll have to dry mop the floor after every wet mop from the get or the dirty tint will too, torment you and/or your house cleaner for many years..

    I’d not hesitate for shower floor or wall.. underfoot sensation sounds awesome! My Uncle a lifelong Tile Man taught me later that a Natural gray grout won’t lose its color over time and caustic (like bleach ) cleanings.

  93. Any chance of keeping the rock fireplace? We have one in our 80’s PNW house and I have grown to love it.

  94. Yes, but with caution. As a previous poster stated, it could come off theme-y / gimmicky. We too have a mountain house (almost 20 years now) and slowly we’ve been redoing rooms. I used the pebble tile in the shower area of a guest bathroom. I ask all my guests how it feels on their feet. It’s pretty much 50/50. Some enjoy it, others don’t. Personally I wouldn’t install it in open floor areas of the bathroom but use it as a back splash and/or accent wall and with some color variation (looks more natural).

  95. Emily, are you familiar with Lauren Liess’ work? She does rustic so well. http://www.laurenliess.com/

  96. Emily Henderson, you can do no wrong!!! Thank you for being so open-minded and for valuing your marriage and partner more than a design or trend. (I don’t know if I could!) A good designer uses all kinds of elements and makes them look beautiful regardless of trends and I have full confidence that stone will look great in your house.

    Can you write a post about designing/remodeling while keeping the peace with a significant other? I don’t know about everyone else but my number one roadblock to a beautiful home is convincing my husband that it’s worth the time/money/work. I’m curious to hear your thoughts about this.

    Also, I vote yes for a post or column by Brian! We want to hear what he thinks!

    Love love love. It’s going to be amazing.

  97. I have the smooth white pebbles shown in your inspiration bathroom floor in my otherwise very modern glass shower. They feel smooth under foot and my boyfriend LOVES them. They do not stain and you cannot see the grids at all. You can always have the tile layer move some stones around or smush in smaller ones from the beach. I had each of my littles pick up a few from a beach with tons of great matches and then they put them in the “grout lines.”

  98. I’d be interested in hearing from any reader who has pebbles on the shower floor or wall. Is it comfy on the feet? How difficult is it to clean (all that irregular grout!!), is it sealed to ward off water stains? How is it after it’s got a few years of wear on it — does it still work and function well?

    The paler/whiter shades of pebbles are attractive, but I worry about utility and how they will work in daily use.

  99. White/light pebbles on the floor! Heated flooring for the winter is key, as you don’t want popsicle toes!

  100. Man, that was almost as hard to decide on as last year’s election. Ha! I think it will be beautiful and rustic with more rustic elements brought in with all the wood too. How much time do you spend in bathrooms anyway? Keep it out of the shower and you will be super happy with it.

  101. Love the pebble tile as flooring … the rest? Not so much.

  102. I stayed at a hotel in Medellin, Colombia that had a tiled shower floor. I was obsessed! Not only did it look awesome, but the pebbles feel SOO nice under your bare feet.

    Also, totally killing it with the jokes. I very much appreciate them 🙂

  103. I have had stone, very similar to what you are looking at, as my shower floor and bathroom floor, and I loved it. I agree that your installer has to know what they are doing when it comes to that material. I loved walking on it barefoot, like a foot massage, which will be even better with radiant heat on the floor. I think it will look great!

    1. Oh, and I’m into the neutral tone stonework, too. DO IT!!

  104. I think you could make it work visually, but I’ve personally hated the physical feel of it in any place I’ve lived with pebble floors. They hurt my feet and are also a pain to clean. That being said, I was living in cheap rentals at the time so I’m sure they weren’t top-of-the-line materials! Curious to see how this debate ends 🙂

  105. I am so damn thrilled you decided to add a more rustic/cabin vibe to the space! Not only do I think it lends itself better to a mountain house, but it’s how I voted too! I love simple Scandinavian style, but without any rustic elements it leans boring in my opinion. It loses soul. I think doing it this way let’s everybody who voted win, because naturally being Scandinavian in design it will have elements of refine and simplicity, but with the rustic touches the people in my camp desire. Fist bump, Emily!

  106. Rock it! I love the look of this pebble! I know what Brian means about wanting a warm mountain house. You’re awesome for trying to find a compromise. This is beautiful!

  107. Love the idea of natural stone floors in the bathroom, especially with cozy radiant heat underneath! However, dirty feet in the bathroom with lots of grout is something out of a cleaning nightmare! Have you considered other types of stone? Maybe something larger but still with the organic feel? I’m thinking limestone? Imagine a flagstone floor, but its lighter and if you did different sizes of stones it could have a really soft but very refined effect. Just a thought!

  108. I love the white pebbles with the rustic wood but HATE the darker colored pebbles. Too dark, too rustic. During the winter, it seems like it would be kinda grim. LOVE the inspiration photo of the indoor/outdoor bathroom…can just see that during a snowstorm!! Brian has to be happy with the house. Although you are including us all (THANK U!!!) in the design, he will have to live with it. So it is very important for his voice to be heard.

  109. I have this as a kind of rectangular border in my large sunroom. And some of the rocks HURT when you walk on them! I would say use LOTS of grout and make sure each and every rock is flat and no corner-like parts protruding up (even ones that look big enough can hurt).

  110. I totally think you should. I’m with Brian on being sad Rustic lost out, so I’m really glad you’re incorporating his style inclinations, too. Pebble tile wouldn’t have occurred to me as a choice, but I love the washed out options toward the end of the post. I would definitely research the foot feel, since I’d be worried it’d make me feet feel like they’ve been walking around a waterpark barefoot for a few hours, but this is an exciting twist!

  111. I’ve never loved the look, but I know you can make it work! And compromise is so important to a marriage. Can’t wait to see it come together!
    Although, my friend had it in her shower and said it hurt her feet.

  112. Okay, why are there 3 heads of radicchio on the concrete sink (the white/rustic wood combo) in the BATHROOM? Seriously, I am concerned.

  113. Poor Brian Henderson! I voted for Refined Chalet but his vote is obviously way more important than random internet lady #2472. Good on you for being such a team in this – I think my first reaction to my husband would have been, “But the INTERNET said…” which is obvi the wrong choice. I’m learning from from you in style, and in substance. Team Hendo!

  114. I love the look of the floor with the mix of tiles and pebbles (2nd last photo). We were looking for an affordable natural material for the bathroom floor and decided on real slate (not slate-look tiles). It’s much too dark for scandi-style but I’m so happy with it!

  115. Last year I stayed in a condo with pebble tile on the floor of the bathroom and in the shower. The stones were sort of gray and blue with gray grout which may work better for cleaning. I liked the look of it but wasn’t crazy about the feel. I didn’t hate it but I also didn’t love it. I also vote yes for Brian to write a column. I would love to hear his take on the process.

  116. So I’ve never really liked pebble stone but I think all of the examples I’ve ever seen are like those ugly beige photos you posted. I do really like the lighter version on the floor.

    I also think it’s important that Brian likes the house and as fun as it is for us to all pick things, I think it’s important to sometimes make choices based on what a the clients (your and your husband) might actually want whether I would have it in my home or not. I voted for Refined Scandinavian and I felt bad when I read your comment about Brian’s reaction.

    I too would worry slightly about the feel under bare feet but lots of people use it so it can’t be that horrible.

    As for staining you could have everything sealed after it’s installed (which would save the white grout from stains as well)

  117. Love the flat white stones with white grout on the shower wall !!! Looks clean and fresh with fun,
    subtle texture. The stones on the floor are “scary” to me. I picture constant cleaning of the uneven white grout. About to redo a master bath and am soaking up all your pictures and the great blog comments from others. Thanks

  118. I grew up in Idaho–mountain country if there ever was–and currently live in AZ. We built our own cabin a few years ago, and I did most of the design work. From our experience at our cabin, that white stone tile will be IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean. I love having my kids dig around for lizards and chop wood and all the mountain stuff there is to do at the cabin–which leads to an inordinate dirt load in the bathrooms and laundry. I really like the multicolored option (especially paired with white walls and windows, etc.), but on the floor . . . I would HATE to try and keep that clean.

    1. Mountain = dirt for me too!

  119. Hi-check out “Your Cabin in the Woods” by Conrad Meinecke. It’s still in print and a lot of fun to read. I have a small ski house and just bought a knotty pine lake house that is a complete fixer upper. My biggest takeaway- don’t put high maintenance materials into a mountain house….which is not my normal decorating pattern-lol

  120. I could switch my vote to ‘Rustic’ if that helps bump it up to a more half-and-half Refined/Rustic ratio. My guess is that others would feel the same….

  121. I really like the pebble tile I have in my master bath. It feels great of the feet. I think a lot of it has to do with how high/low you do the grout in terms of both look and feel. I say go for it (which you will), and don’t feel bad.

    Here is a pic of my bathroom I designed (its not styled, and the shades on the sconce were only cheap temporary ones because the clear Schoolhouse Electric ones I bought were blinding us). https://photos.app.goo.gl/UgijXujbkQmZL4GA2

  122. Love the stone! I think for sure you should somehow emphasize be darker colors in a modern way …. it might feel more 90s contemporary but the stone with the light colors feels more “spa” than “cabin”

  123. You could use the white pebble rocks on the wall or as an accent band around the perimeter of the floor, but not the whole floor. Seems like one of those things that look good for a few months, and are then a nightmare to keep clean.

  124. My mother’s guest bathroom had those pebbles, and i stayed there very often. I wouldn’t put it in my home. They were cold and unpleasant to walk on and the grout was difficult to clean.

  125. I believe that the idea behind not having clients anymore is to let the Emily freak flag fly and see what you (or you plus readers) can do without having to cater to other people’s visions. Perhaps you save the polling for the house you are building with your brother and keep the Mountain House as a family home that you design with Brian. It’s sort of uncomfortable for us as readers to vote to come between you and your spouse.

  126. Try it, but stick with the white/light colors. I’ve stayed in places with pebble tile in the showers and the “underfoot sensation” takes some getting used to. There is also a LOT of grout to keep clean.

  127. I can not see pebble tile without thinking 1980’s mall floor. Hard pass 🙂

  128. I voted a few weeks back for the Rustic over the Refined. Both of course could work and would be beautiful. I voted Rustic because I agree with Brian! It is a mountain home/cabin! I think a lot of your work is more Refined which I love but don’t you want to push yourself and show your followers that Rustic can be done differently than what a lot of people think of when they hear rustic? It can still be light and bright and beautifully Rustic! I don’t think your readers who voted will care if you change your mind and go more rustic. It is your mountain home/cabin after all. We had fun voting and appreciate you asking us our opinion and getting a chance to win a stay to your amazing place, but we do want you to love your home, and show us how to design many different types of homes/styles. Right? Thanks Emily!

  129. I love this. Why? Because it feels lovely, fresh, and DIFFERENT. I love that it will be unique to the standard go-to looks you see a lot nowadays. The lighter stone in those more modern applications are stunning, and if my house were a different style, I think I would totally do this. You rock 😉

  130. Talking from experience: don’t do a to light grout. Even though it’s beautiful, it’s a pain in the * to keep clean. Because there will be a lot of grout.
    Greetings from Scandinavia 😀

  131. Talking from experience: don’t do a to light grout. Even though it’s beautiful, it’s a pain in the * to keep clean. Because there will be a lot of grout.
    Greetings from Scandinavia 😀

  132. I think it looks nice…but I think they really are painful to stand on.

  133. I’m on team Rock IT!

    My parents have pebble tile in their mountain / lake house bathroom. They veer a bit more rustic than refined and it works aesthetically quite well. It does not feel dated because of the context of the surroundings and home. I love it, especially the underfoot feeling.

    HOWEVER, three things

    1) the stones are FREEZING if you step even a tiny bit outside of their radiant flooring (it seems that the contractor may have missed a corner here or outside wall there in the radiant application. My parents also typically run the radiant 24/7 from fall through spring, as the floors are miserably cold if you get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

    2) Clean is more like clean-ish. If you are a neat freak at all, pebble floors are not for you. Even with a shoe-free home, its impossible to get the perfectly clean look or feel that you can with wood or a less textured tile. And if it ever gets muddy? Good luck. Especially with white pebbles.

    3) The lines in installation is a real issue. 90% of my parents came out great. They knew about the issue in advance and talked with their installers at length about avoiding it… but there are still a couple of places where you can see the shape and it annoys the heck out of me!

    All that being said, I’m a fan!

  134. I really like that it’s something different, but totally fitting for a mountain house. Also, I think it’s supposed to be really good for your feet to walk on pebbles like that! In Asia, they have outdoor reflexology walking paths with different sized stones that you’re supposed to walk barefoot on.

  135. I inherited pebble tile under a free standing tub and on the shower floor in a home we purchased. Pebbles probably would not have been my first choice, but I’m coming around to it. That first picture you led with is gorgeous and I’m going to try to make our bath look more along those lines. Our pebble tile came freshly sealed – so it has been easy to keep clean. I imagine we will need to seal it on a more regular basis than with a tile choice requiring less grout. There are also some new epoxy/polymer grouts that are stainproof – but more expensive. Might be worth checking into if you plan to rent out the cabin. I personally love reading how the design process changes based on feedback. I think that is your true talent as a designer, being able to meld everyone’s needs and wants into a beautiful result. More challenging, but also more satisfying I’m sure!

  136. Pebbled tile also FEELS really good. The floor of our shower is pebbled and it feels like a little foot massage.

  137. I apologize for the negative comment. I felt driven to it by the many many comments praising Brian and his importance in the process. It’s not that I disagree with that but I felt like the contrary opinion needed to be presented.

    I feel like you sold this process as really letting the voters decide. And you explained how it was a huge amount of work to have two options you could love etc. and the two choices were really very similar. And then… you’re totally throwing it out. I feel pretty blah about that.

    Brian had the chance to veto the choices! He was allowed and encouraged to say what his dealbreakers and preferences were and he agreed on the poll. And instead of taking yes for an answer you’ve thrown out the promised “you decide” so that he can be perfectly pleased with the direction.

    I don’t know, I just feel like this is one of those things that a man would never do for his wife and it’s self inflicted that you’re doing it. Gives me kind of feminist irritation.

    I like mountain style fine but I like adults figuring out their feelings and sharing them promptly more and I’m not going to bother voting in any futures polls for this – it’s clearly just a “vote” for fun which is fine but I wish you hadn’t marketed it as something it isn’t.

    I realize it’s Brian’s house too but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a nice place to weekend in no matter what style or styles are chosen. Plumbing will work, family and nature will be there.

    1. Exactly.

  138. Use it sparingly, I like very few of those pics above. I trust your design style will be light years ahead of some of those but still, use it sparingly.

  139. I am currently living in a rental in which the large master bath shower has a floor like this. I love the look. The feel underfoot is nothing noticeable. I remember thinking when i moved in “ooh, that’s going to feel so good”, but honestly i don’t notice it feeling good or bad. I will say the installer didn’t install it as well as he could have and therefore the grid lines of it do bother my very particular eye, but if you ignore that detail, i love the way pebbles looks. Mine are more natural colors, so i can’t speak to the whiter options or staining issues. The grout of mine which is light colored still looks great probably 3 or so years post installation.

  140. It looks cool but how will it take to being kept clean?

  141. My only question about the pebbled floor is how hard will it be to keep clean? That is a lot of grout in a light color. I have used showers with pebbled tiled floors before and loved how they felt on my feet.

  142. As someone who has had the misfortune of experiencing pebbled tile floors, I will say I find it SO uncomfortable underfoot. It hurts my feet in areas I didn’t think my feet could hurt, in a place that’s supposed to be relaxing – like a shower. I do like the aesthetic of the white pebbled tile with white grout in the last few pictures, but would also urge you to consider how much grout is involved. I couldn’t imagine installing a tile that requires that much grout in a bathroom and cringe to think about how it would look around the toilet after a few months!

  143. Emily,
    Thank you for sharing the back and forth between you and your husband as you figure out what you both want for this house. My husband and I haven’t always agreed about redesign projects over the years,–it’s a real challenge sometimes–but it’s so satisfying when we (both) love the final look. Well done you!
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  144. I think the pebble floor can look clean and appropriate for the decor, but that transition from stone to smooth wood slats – AWKWARD. Is there any way to get away without a hard line?

  145. Thank you so much for this post! I love how you are working to get your partner to love the design and feel of the house too. It’s much harder to get my husband excited about a style than to just go ahead and do it myself, and I am encouraged by Your work here. It takes sacrifices and lots of recalibrating and reconsidering and energy to keep the plans continuing with the hope for EVERYONE to call it home. Thanks!

  146. Emily…Be very careful in your choice for the pebble floors. They are EXTREMELY difficult to clean. My daughter-in-law had them in her rustic mountain house in the shower and master bathroom floor; and while they looked amazing, she said they were awful to clean. When the water from the shower hit the floor it calcified and left lots of white marks that were impossible to clean. She said it only looked good for 1 week after the install. While the texture feels amazing on your feet and like a massage, it’s a bugger to keep looking nice. How about pebble just on shower floor and maybe a slate tile in a lighter color on the floor. Slate is very rustic, woodsy and mountain-like in design feel. Maybe some colors that have a gray bluestone look to them.
    Had to also make a comment on your living room fireplace…I hope you are going to leave that gorgeous stone, because it is beautiful. You just need the right wall color to bring it to life.

  147. Love the last few inspiration pictures. Question: is the whole floor sealed after it is grouted?

  148. When we renovated our bathroom, I used white pebble tiles on the shower floor with a marble tile surround. I love the look and feel of the pebbles. As for staining, I have found that after sealing, the white grout has been far more of an issue than the rocks themselves. In installing, we were very careful to feather the sheets and I haven’t noticed any areas where the “grid” is obvious. I love the organic element of the rocks in an otherwise modern space. My vote- yes yes yes!!

  149. AAAAUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! RUN LIKE THE WIND!!!! The pebbles look beautiful – really, really, beautiful – and pristine today, but hear me now and believe me later: all that grout between the stones will stay that beautiful for 6 days, and make pretty photos for the blog. There is no cleaning it. I laugh at all sealing products – HA. If your ultimate goal is a grayish footpaths with some white remaining here and there you will be super happy. xoxo Practical Patty a.k.a Buzzkill Betty

  150. I’m not being judgemental but I think you have to hold true to your vision. I feel as if you’re forcing yourself to like this and get excited about it and actually what you like in the source images is the white light, the sharp graphic weave in the basket and the airy feel to the space. I am not a fan of the pebbles and I fear that you’ll end up falling between the two looks if you try to do two things at once. I can’t think of much worse than a sort-of-Scandinavian sort-of-rustic look.

    1. You need to get your hands on the Elle Decoration Country biannual collections, if you haven’t got them already. Rural homes but no compromise on style. http://www.elledecoration.co.uk/magazine/elle-decoration-country-volume-11/

    2. Totally agree! I’m also kinda baffled by the desire to avoid looking like a lake house, but isn’t that what this is? A SoCal lake house that happens to be at a high-ish elevation. We’re not talking about an aspen ski lodge here. I mean sure in winter it drops below 50 degrees but there’s no meaningful snow even.

  151. I think you should do rustic and not worry what the people say. It all your mountain cabin….do it!

  152. As a design sales rep in the tile industry, I will tell you, unequivocally, that this will definitely need to be sealed with a high-quality, penetrating sealer. Also, probably try to use a stain-resistant grout, like Fusion Pro by Custom Building products. That will make your life so much easier, and keep the stone looking delicious for years to come. Go for it!

  153. I’ve the rock/pebble on the floor of a client’s cabin and it looked great! I say ROCK IT!

  154. I really like the way this looks in the examples towards the end and for some reason I don’t have the dated negative association that others have. I voted yes, but after reading the comments from people who actually have this in their bathrooms–I feel like I want to vote no. This sounds like a very high maintenance flooring for a bathroom. I love the usage of this, but I think it would be much more practical to use it on an accent wall. Same look, less of the annoying crap you might have to deal with in a flooring situation. Just my two cents…

  155. I love the idea and I think you should go with it. I would be curious to know how the white grout would wear over say 5 years. Please keep sharing. Love the puns #underfootsensations 😂

  156. Okay, I started reading comments to make sure I wasn’t too redundant, but decided it didn’t matter in a vote. So, I say “rock it” with caution. I’ve showered on pebble floors and hated the feeling. For your more aged visitors, consider the padding on their feet thinner. My in-laws all prefer to keep their shoes on in the house because my “wood floors make them ache.” I love them, but we live in Seattle and shoes can get messy walking from the car door to the front door. Have you considered the sliced stone look? At least for the shower floor. It might put less pressure on feet.

    On color: I love the look of something in the soft gray family. White can be sweet but not white stones that have any yellow or orange streaks. Getting gross here, but it IS a bathroom after all. My mind just goes “there” when I see yellow on the floor. Or maybe just don’t use stone for the entire floor and keep it to the shower and walls with wood at the vanity?
    Other thoughts. Stone and wood combos usually look better than stone and dry wall combos. If you use stone only on the floor, tie it in somewhere else. Perhaps a stone soap dispenser, rustic edge vessel sink in a soft gray to match your floors, etc.
    You’ve got this Emily! Brian sounds like a great sounding board. Love that you’re working together on this. Maybe next time you do a reader poll (if you ever do 🙂 his vote should count as way more than 1.

  157. I put pebble tile in the floor of my last master shower. My two cents:
    – Get the sliced (not flat) pebble! It has texture,but not like full rounded pebbles, and always felt like a massage on the feet.
    – I agree that tonal colors look best – not all same, not wide variety. I used a ivory/Gray/beige combo (from Floor & Decor) and it looked fantastic.
    – I did not have a grid issue. Just include it in the scope for the tiler; s/he will need to do some manual placement to make the mosaics well integrated.
    – Good call on using it in the bathroom floor. but not shower floor. Pooling water was definitely a challenge in terms of everyday cleanliness.

  158. It could be beautiful done well, but I think it’s far too hard to keep CLEAN. And I’m not a fussy housekeeper.

  159. I would say not to use the stone. I have had it for 8 years in a beach house and, while really attractive, it is beastly to keep clean. I am not generally a huge fan of lots of grout either. Definitely go with a vertical application if you do decide to use for easier cleaning.

  160. Love the paler stone; it’s both modern and yet elemental.

    My parents have this on the floor of their bathroom, and I *love* it underfoot.

    Yes, it is something that you are pretty much always aware of – but in the best way. There are no squared off edges, and so your feet are relaxed (it’s not like walking around outside on a rock beach where you’re always a little wary of stepping on something sharp) but, your feet are always…stimulated? It’s hard to describe! But I think it feels wonderful – especially in the shower.

    Make sure your stones are smooth, if there are any grabby, textured bits it will be hard to keep clean as they’ll hold onto dirt. Think about bathroom products that you use, if you use a white stone – e.g. do you use a purple shampoo for your blond hair? TRY THAT OUT on a sample – make sure it doesn’t stain.

    Overall I think it’s a fantastic idea – it folds in the concept of the mountain terrain in a way that is refined.

  161. We have tiled pebble in our master shower – not by choice, it was already in the home – but the pebble look of the tile, I really dig! The contractors choice of grout color makes me want to puke every time I take a shower. I will also say, before the tile is grouted into place make sure you stand on the tile where you are most often standing in the bathroom. There is one tile in our shower that digs into my foot whenever I’m rinsing my hair, and it tends to hurt. But if that one stone was placed elsewhere within the shower I wouldn’t have noticed it.

    Another fun thought you could do in this bathroom is make a tile rug with the black pebbles within the white pebble tiles! I think that would be gorgeous!

    OMG this photo! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/173459023126457079/
    or this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/474637248200546399/

  162. No vote … because it depends what you do with it.

    I dislike the idea of it in a shower, but think it could look ok in the bathroom area.

    My biggest concern is that if the grout stains how the hell do you clean it with no clear scrubbing lines?

  163. Rock it!

  164. Use it for marital harmony. But, I would consider it for a wall instead of a shower floor because of the cleaning issues. It looks like a ton of grout to maintain and I’m all about making life easier, especially at a getaway home.

  165. How do you keep it clean?! Im not a huge clean freak, but I would imagine it’s not a flat surface once grouted- even less so than flat tiles and that sounds like an impossible surface to sweep. Especially when it’s white and the grout has a fairly rough texture gripping all the dirt.

    I do like the look of the white pebbled floors, but I had to vote no for functionality. I know you won’t be living their full time, but if you’re renting it out, you want it to be easy to clean between guests!

  166. Design is one thing, but you both have to live there. If you can get excited about it, and Brian feels like he can be at home there, go for it!

  167. I actually have dark pebble shower floor, which the people who lived here before us chose. It’s a modern bathroom, not rustic at all, but the pebbles warm it up. It would never be myfirst choice, but it looks good and it feels really nice on my feet! My only complaint is that it’s a bit hard to clean–lots of spaces to get grimy and soap-scummy. But otherwise, I think it’s a great and unique choice.

  168. Rock it! But I do think my personal likeness of the look is limited to the white/bleached pebble with stark white grout.

  169. Rock it! I like the pebbled stone look, especially in the last instagram pic you posted. But, some are commenting that it hurts the feet. My friend had it in her home and it felt fine, but maybe not so great for extended periods!?!? Anyways, I do like the white pebble scandi mountain home bathroom look!

  170. If you need pictures for inspiration, check out the Yellowstone Club website. It’s a gated community in Montana where the “Mountain cabins” are going for upwards of 14 million dollars. I worked there after high school, and the homes are amazing. If you click through the galleries as well as the properties for sale, there are a ton of great ideas for a twist on rustic.


  171. So glad that Brady pointed out the grid. It jumped out of the photo to me. I’m convinced that any material can be done well or can be done poorly. I expect that you’ll do a beautiful job.

  172. So glad you are incorporating something your husband loves! I happen to like the “lighter” images of the pebbles you have shared. I am sure you can get your stone in without the look getting too heavy, in keeping with your Scandy inspiration.

  173. We have pebble tile on the floors of 2 of our showers and we love it. We have dark gray/black in our master bath and the light pebble stone in our guest room. We use a scrub brush when cleaning it, and just a regular cleaning spray solution, I either use Mrs. Meyers or Method. We have had them for 10 years and haven’t had any issues with them. I can send you pictures of the bathrooms, so you can get an idea of how we used them. We have modern wood floating vanities from Duravit and glass tiles on the walls.

  174. I never comment but I have to tell you, I LOVE how white pebble tile looks and I wanted it in our bathroom UNTIL my grandmother had it installed in hers. I think it feels good on the feet but my husband finds it painful so I think it feels different for different feet. Also- she finds it impossible to keep clean. Especially hairs and pinkish mold. Nothing says dirty bathroom like loose hair and mold. As much as I love those pictures (and had some saved myself) I’ve seen how impractical it can be (on a floor anyway). I love it, but I’d say no

  175. I like the look of the grout being a little darker (light gray rather than bright white). I’m excited to see what you do with it!

  176. I’ve never liked pebble tile, like at all but the photos you liked and your material ideas had me saying YES! Definitely would look best light and bright with white grout though. I don’t dig the ones with lots of contrast. Have you also looked at raw edge stone floors? I looove that look so much and it’s perfect for a modern mountain cabin. I live in the mountains in Oregon.

  177. I don’t like how it feels under my feet as a floor. Ok(ish) in the shower but not all over.. maybe my feet are sensitive but it hurts!

  178. I have not read all the comments or the complete posting because wanted to say No to pebble tile because of the maintenance! Suppose to be sealed every year bec it is natural. I have it in two showers and it is beautiful but t gets moldy and will bleach out if you go to the bathroom on it. WAlls and back splashes might be fine but not on a surface that gets wet daily. Perhaps there is a ceramic or porcelain tile that has random rock shapes. Please no on the floor of showers!

  179. Heck to the yeah! This is my dream material. I’d vote for it a thousand times.

  180. I do think the pebble is very fitting for this home. I’m just partial to the photos with lighter tone pebbles and not a ton of contrast at all between the pebble and any grout/mortar. The feel of the pebbles on bare feet is so important so I’d totally walk on those babies for a while to decide if you plan to do it for a floor. You may decide to use as an accent in the shower or as a backsplash by sink rather than a floor surface if you don’t like the feel. I love it though — really natural and organic and what you’d probably find right close by the outdoors by the house.

  181. Those photos look amaaaazing but I think in reality, the pebbles will have several cons – difficult to clean and perhaps looking grimy over time, not as comfy on the feet as a flat floor, possibly easier to chip leaving sharp edges (not sure?). I say do it in the shower floor or backplash or even surrounding a standalone tub, but I probably wouldn’t do it on the entire floor. Can’t wait to see the outcome!

  182. Ok so before I started looking into buying a cabin in Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear/Crestline/Sugarloaf/Twin Peaks, I probably would have been your friends going “mmkkay” on the stone,but then I saw an IG of an Air BnB up in Sugarloaf that I really like. It’s a 70’s style a-frame which a-frames are what i have my eyes on. . . . So the kitchen had this pebble stuff and i was like “Wow, never thought i’d like that but I actually really do.”
    You can see the pictures of the kitchen in this link.

  183. please don’t go for pebbles!! notice ALL THE GROUT SPACE between the stones? it’ll look awful in a minute & it’ll be IMPOSSIBLE TO CLEAN!!!

  184. Ok, so I voted to “rock it” because you and Brian love it and it is your house and that is what matters most. I am having a hard time placing it in a Scandinavian Cali Cabin, but am excited to see how you pull it off. Also, I hate the feeling of pebble tile on bare feet and would not like this for me- but my feet will probably never touch it. lolololol. If you guys like it, go for it, I am sure it will be awesome!!!!

    The white wash stones are super pretty!!

  185. I have pebble tile in my shower and I absolutely REGRET it. The worse to clean. It gets dirty in the crevices and I have to put a TON of bleach every week and use tilex almost daily.

  186. Speaking as an interior designer working in North Lake Tahoe designing mountain homes, we did a lot of pebble floors 5-6 years ago. Clients liked them because they brought in a ‘natural’ element that they are often looking for in their mountain home escape. However, I feel they already look dated. It was a big trend for a couple years that has fizzled, and I think the look will not stand the test of time. There are many ways to bring in natural elements to reflect the mountain surroundings. In general, we like to lean away from too much of the ‘rustic mountain cabin’ aesthetic and instead design homes that instill those feelings of coziness and warmth, without getting trapped into stereotypical mountain home finishes and furnishings.

  187. Please stay away from the pebble – it screams “Flip or Flop”!

  188. Is it wrong of me to say this? I feel like I’ve seen a few of those inspo images all over Seattle MLS listings

  189. While I love the look of it, especially in the photos above, I think it’s one of those things that’s aesthetically pleasing but very impractical.

    We inherited pebble floors in our master shower in the house we recently bought. My husband and I both agree, WE WILL NEVER DO THEM AGAIN. It may be our particular tile, but it is very hard to clean and literally painful to stand on. I don’t know what the previous owners were thinking! I still notice it almost daily and we’ve lived in the house for 6+ months. We are considering ripping it out sooner than planned because we hate it so much.

  190. I love the photos of the white pebbled floors you posted in the last photos. My only caution is that some people find it very painful to walk on, even if it is just in the shower. May be if the pebbles are really flat on top it will be fine.

  191. I like the more rustic direction that you’re going and really like the last few pictures. However, I think that many of those work *in spite of* the pebble tiles. The other elements like worn wood, plaster walls, and cement speak to me more. What about something like travertine pavers (so they’re matte/chalky and don’t look like builder-basic travertine)? Maybe draw inspiration photos from homes in Mallorca/Formentera? They’re simultaneously white and airy + warm and rustic. Like http://style-files.com/2017/09/04/a-beautiful-summer-house-on-mallorca-spain/ or http://style-files.com/2013/05/20/a-stunning-summer-home-on-formentera/

    From a practical standpoint, we had pebble floors at our lake house and 2 things to consider: 1) they trap pockets of water and grow mold/algae easily. I think the radiant heat makes it worse bc it’s like an incubator; 2) Boys. Get something that is easy to clean around toilet areas. It may be feel like a massage on your feet, but trust me, it’s no fun on your knees when you’re scrubbing blue toothpaste, mud, pee, slime, and whatnot from all the crevices every 2-3 days.

  192. Love the palate and concept of above but speaking from experience as a professional interior designer I DO not recommend the pebbles. I’ve used them a few times over the years and clients are never happy with them as you see the seam between the sheets as an exaggerated line of grout. The last time I installed them we ended up removing them and re-laying a new floor of bluestone hexagons and the client was thrilled with that look. The ones that photograph beautifully have often been significantly manipulated by the tiler- i.e. removing multiple rocks along edges and hand laying them. I’ve had it done this way and even still it is difficult to achieve a large floor that doesn’t appear gridded. Good Luck

  193. I think “underfoot sensation” is your new catch phrase 🤣…. I am totally surprised by how much I like the look of the smoother, more monochromatic, modern looking pebble tile applications. It is perfect for your mountain getaway. My only experience has been staying somewhere with a pebble floored shower where I wasn’t a fan of the “underfoot sensation”. But I understand that there are other versions that are probably completely comfortable, especially with less variations in height and underfloor heating, yeah! I look forward to seeing the final choices.

  194. The picutre with all the “very possible” materials laid out was fantastic! I could see it all going so well together as the perfect blend for both you and Brian (& us)! Feels like you are doing the Modern Scandi California Mountain House right.

  195. Personally, I like the look of the different tones of rock rather than what looks white-washed. I would also be concerned about the feel of the pebbles under the feet if you use them on the floor. What if something sharp got embedded between the rocks in the grout “hole”? Like a lego, etc… Also, how easy would it be to clean when you are mopping, sweeping, etc? Again, that grout area has me worried.

  196. I love the idea of pebble tile! I voted for Rustic too so I’m glad Brian steered you back in that direction. It seems like there aren’t a ton of amazing pebble tile inspiration photos out there so this is a good opportunity for you to fill that void. I really loved what Jenna Sue did with pebble tile in some of her remodels:

    I can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

  197. I love it! Especially love that Brian is excited. The “underfoot sensation” (omgggg cringe haha) makes me a little nervous for it, but I love the look! I can’t wait to see how you make it your own!

  198. I have that exact pebble in my shower floor and its not the most comfortable. I cant imagine walking on it all over the bathroom.

  199. I vote the rock tile! I have it in my very small powder room and it is the perfect amount of texture and everyone loves it.
    Rock it!

  200. Two things: 1. I’m from the town your mtn cabin is in… so I’ve seen a lot of pebble tile in houses up there. And 2. I just bought a house that has pebble tile in the bathrooms (in San Diego tho). And I hate pebble tile. I can easily see the grid lines in our tile (I fixate on it bc it bothers me so much), but the previous owner didn’t pick high end products bc it was a rental and the bathrooms were remodeled in 2005. BUT I voted yes for pebble tile much to my own surprise bc I trust that you can do it right, with the right product and contractors. I’m so excited to see a house in my hometown designed well, bc most of them are cliche mtn kitcsh 😉

    1. Ok I just read some of the issues others have with pebble tile so I’ll add, from my experience with our tile:
      1. It’s as easy to clean as the rest of the tile in our house.
      2. Our bathrooms are small but I don’t think it feels weird/uncomfortable underfoot.
      3. It’s 13-14 years old in a rental (we’re the first owner/occupier since the 90s), and the grouts all there, no more wear than the rest of the tile from the same timeframe. And the previous owner skimped on quality installation so it would last even longer in your house probably.
      Hope that helps!

  201. Last year I added black pebbles to my modern cabin remodel in Tahoe. Black pebbles are natural to the area. We only put them in the shower, primarily for cost and cleaning reasons. You CANNOT see the squares. I used a very dark gray ground and it looks pretty cool (if i do say so myself).

  202. Yes. I like the rock floor. I don’t like the pics where the grout is almost covering the stone. My favorite is the floor where you note the sink and wood vanity. – which is funny, because I love an all white (marble) bath, and NO beige, but the pebbles look nice with a few beige. I like wood and stone together. I usually put wood in every room and I’m having a hard time with my master bath renovation because I’m NOT putting any wood. (Although, I’m looking at mirrors and light fixtures now with wood and metal.).

  203. I just stayed in a hotel in Florida last month that had white pebble tile on the floor of the bathroom shower. It was definitely a modern bathroom and it totally worked. We’ve been renovating our house and are always looking for ideas, so when my boyfriend tentatively asked “what do you think of those shower floors” and I responded “I kinda love them” and he replied “ME TOO” I was somewhat shocked. I actually think the underfoot sensation might have been my favorite part!
    Listen, I’m a native Oregonian too so I think pebble tile is probably in our DNA somewhere. Others might not “get it” but I don’t think it’s a mistake! I say do it— you, of all people, will find a way to make them both chic and airy while nodding to rustic cabin all at once 🙂

  204. Yes! Do it! I love it! It’s gorgeous! How is this even a debate?

  205. Normally I am anti-pebble floors. The inner me wonders if the pebbles in the walking path will get shinier, the grout impossible to keep white, etc. However, since I don’t have to clean it 🙂 and it’s a vacation home, I say go for it!

  206. I love the rocks on the walls, not so much on the floor.. and Hate the massive amount of work white grout IS . don’t do white gerout, ever!

  207. Rock it! Loving the lighter almost white stone. So peaceful and I bet it feels amazing on your feet!

  208. I love the white pebble floor. I have pebble tile in my master shower (came with the house) and I’ve never liked it. In part, they used more colors, so it’s not as aesthetically pleasing. And… I kind of hate they way they feel. Definitely not a good underfoot sensation! Maybe there’s too much height differential/space between mine? Would be better if more flat, I think. Give it a go or you’ll never know 🙂

  209. I love the idea, I think a mountain house should definitely have rocks in it. Using pebble tile in the bathrooms sounds good, I love it in the shower floor.

  210. what about flat-ish black with dark grout? something that would look akin to soapstone pebbles? The white sounds like a disaster to clean (I am shuddering about the image of dirty mop water sitting in the low points… this would still be dirty but wouldn’t LOOK dirty). 😉

    I also think no accent stripe or wall — either go for a whole floor, or all the walls, etc. I hate accent elements. Go big or go home.

  211. We inherited pebble floor in our master shower, and I’ve always been on the fence about it. The perk is the underfoot sensation 😉 (it’s a little massage-like), and the downfall is how hard it is to clean. However, in a main (non-shower) bathroom space, I love it! The white feels clean, and steers it away from that cliche or expected mountain-pebble look. Way to rock it! (Honestly, the opportunity for you to spin puns into your posts may have slightly influenced my decision…)

  212. Oh man, I walked through a house recently that had pale pebble floors in the shower and it was sooo pretty and seamless that I filed it away in my head for the future, but all the comments about maintenance on this post are now scaring me away from it. 🙁

    For whatever reason, I can’t vote in the poll (it’s only showing me the results), but that’s okay. The comments made me uncertain of what to vote for anyway! I sure do love the look though.

  213. I’ve never been a fan of the pebble tile but I love the direction you are going in. The OCD part of me is still worrying about cleaning all that grout though.

  214. Before you rule out the flat pebble option, be sure you and your family members enjoy the feeling of the rounded pebbles underfoot. I didn’t like it! And consider using an epoxy type grout. Pebbles eat up A LOT of grout and you don’t want stains or cracking.

  215. Ahhhh!! I hit the wrong one. I wanted to vote Yes, Rock it!!

    Just be careful where you put it under foot!!

    We have some on the shower floor and it’s ok for that designated space. I wouldn’t use it on the main floor areas because it tough to walk on and would be uncomfortable for any length of time.

    Still it’s very pretty and clean looking while remaining rustic.

  216. I have definitely seen the pebble floors before and like it. I think there might be some at my Aunt’s cabin… can’t exactly remember… But definitely seen them at spas so thats a great comparison point. Your bathrooms at the modern cabin are gonna be SPA LIKE. That is a win! xx

  217. The pebble tile is the WORST to clean! We have it in our shower, on the floor, and it looks awesome but I want to move every time I have to clean it.

  218. Pebble tile’s never been on my radar either but it looks completely cool, very airy Scandi Chalet to me in those final inspiration pics because of the pale colors and texture, and not even very mountain cabin (I think cabin style = brown stuff for me and many people…). PS I love you for not simply steamrollering over Brian in all this.

  219. I think they look beautiful, but they are such a pain to clean!
    I hate how mold gets in the cracks and you have to clean them with a toothbrush, and harsh cleaners are bad on the grout, and for your family.
    I also am hoping that you are designing the house you want and just what polls or just Brian wants.

  220. We bought a condo with textured tile on our shower floor and it took a while to get used to. I definitely wouldn’t like it throughout the entire bathroom. Sure, it looks beautiful and spa-like when clean, but I can imagine all of those little grout grooves would collect dirt and hair. It’s hard enough to keep traditional grout clean.

    Plus, if it surrounds the tub it seems like it would be uncomfortable and hard on the knees during routine cleaning and bathing babies. Ouch! I vote for only using it in the shower if you really want to incorporate it. 🙂

  221. While I don’t hate the idea of the white rock flooring, all I can think of is dirty feet walking all over that and how do you clean that floor so it always looks magazine perfect?! You want a white floor, how about grey and white walls? ….best of luck keeping that clean!

  222. Okay okay! I started reading this post ready to say, “No way!!!” I have so many vision of pebble tile done wrong. But reading your reasoning, and then seeing pebble tile done very well (omg those last couple pics! 😍)…I am all over this idea! I hope you do it! Can’t wait to see it turn out great!

  223. I like the latter pictures that you found with the white/light stones. I voted yes but have to say the rock tiles have always hurt my tender feet! But maybe it’s just me! Lol

  224. I saw some pebble tile in the latest IKEA catalog today (used on a wall in a very light and bright bathroom), so I’d definitely say it works!

  225. I have a friend who put stones in their shower. LOVE the look, and I definitely think you should ROCK IT. Just be careful how rocky they are as they can hurt the feet if you taking a nice relaxing long shower. I don’t necessarily think you have to go flat, but more rolling plains vs mountains. Sorry, I have no idea how to get this across in written form!!

  226. I can’t see loving it in ten years, but you know your family best! You guys live your best lives!

    I will note, the marble felt off in the product narrow down. Maybe because it’s polished, instead of honed? The tumbled/leathered stone next too it felt just right though.

    Can’t wait to see what y’all decide on!

  227. We bought a house that has rounded stones in the guest bathroom shower. Unfortunately we really don’t like the feeling under foot. And guests that are close enough to us to be honest have also commented that they just find it weird. I voted no for the rock, but since the poll seems to be in favor, I would recommend using them as a small accent only in a way that you aren’t standing on it!

  228. I don’t think the name is working – California and Scandinavia are too far apart! How about Modern Mountain Minimal?

  229. For the LOVE! Don’t do it. It’s my biggest design mistake ever. I absolutely loathe and resent my pebble tile. It sucks to clean, and the texture is annoying after a while. Save yourself!

  230. My parents did it in their shower and around their bath tub. It feels amazing as a massage on your feet!

  231. If you are looking for mountain cabin aesthetic influence, do yourself a favor and a schedule a visit to Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Colorado. Their interiors are absolutely gorgeous and nail the “mountain” aesthetic. They do pebble tile on their shower floors and it feels AMAZING underfoot. Then they have a lot of wood (I think it’s pretty stripped and dry – not 70s wood paneling) and copper tubs. GORGEOUS. Check it out!

  232. Love the pebble, fell in love when Jenna Sue did it in her master bathroom!


  233. I agree that a mountain house needs stone, but pebbles (especially white ones) scream beach house to me. Not mountain. I think bigger chunkier rocks and stones should be incorporated somewhere in the house, but not pebbles. Too river or beach.

  234. Yes! I am loving everything that is happening here, and I want all the info about the pebble tile as well!
    Pretty much loving this journey, thanks for sharing!

  235. Friends installed a similar flooring in their Refined Rustic Vermont Cabin, and told me how horrible it was to clean. They had issues with actual slimey growth because they figured it never really dried fully after showers. Maybe it is beautiful- but practical? I don’t know!

  236. I love that you were willing to change the whole vibe of the cabin to make your hubby happy. So sweet and really the love and what the cabin is ultimately supposed to represent. Also, totally serendipitous bc I think the white pebble idea is so chic and gonna be amazing. Way to listen to your (and his) heart.

  237. I say Rock it! But I really only care for it in the lighter tones, and if you can’t see the grid. Otherwise I’d say no go. I think the whitish lighter stones keep the texture the most important feature. And for some reason the midtones and dark tones look dated to me. Love this project and thanks for including us! I’ve told so many people to check out your project!

  238. Seems like it would e pretty difficult to ever get it to feel actually clean to me- which is kinda my number one in a bathroom. Both on the floor (I mean, hair?) and in a shower wall where water goes (hard water stains, mildewy?). Does anyone who has and loves it have any input there?

  239. We have it in our master shower on the floor and on the wall. I love the look of it, but the installer used Fusion Pro grout, which in less than 2 years is failing. We are going to have to regrout the entire shower correctly, and deep clean it. However, because of the terrible install job, we can’t scrub the floor (pebbles) very easily, leading to soap scum and excess buildup no matter how much I scrub. It’s defintiely been eye-opening, and I love the feeling of it, but would not do it on the floor again if I had the chance to go back.

  240. I don’t like the tile because it reminds me of the 90’s. Maybe a flat black with white grout would look good but who wants white grout. I think there are so many other tile options like slate or cement that would look better.

  241. Emily, I love your style and your down to earth blog and IG stories. I appreciate you sharing your life and honestly it’s up to you….But honey, you are trying to talk your self into these stone pebble tiles and well…don’t! I worked at a design firm 10 years ago and we had these in our bathroom. I didn’t care for them then, or now. With so much gorgeous stone and tile out there presently there are so many ( way better..) ways to go! In my opinion, just because it’s the ‘mountains’ doesn’t mean you need pebble flooring. It’s sort of like doing a sea shell encrusted mirror in your beach house, ya know?! Any stone will have a “mountain” feel without being so literal. Don’t do it!!

  242. As much as those last photos made me want to click the ‘rock it’ button, I can’t help but think this is something I would get tired of looking at after a while. It’s so beautiful but I don’t know, not a long term choice for me

    1. We used a grey pebble tile for the master shower floor in San Francisco in 2010. Loved it! It was paired with a grey blue heath subway tile on the walls. We really enjoyed it underfoot. Our installer was excellent and we had no lines. It was not difficult to keep clean- but it was also grey so not sure how the white version would have fared. We moved out in 2015 and it held up great with daily use for 5 years and as far as I’m aware – still great. Rock it!!

  243. Hi, I have pebble tile on the floor of my master bedroom shower. I did not get it for a design reason. I got it because my amenable husband who has no opinion only wanted this one feature when we renovated our bathroom. He is so easy-going about the whole process that I was happy to design the bathroom around this. I consulted with a designer and (god bless her) she talked me out of doing a backsplash or design wall with it. Some of these pictures that you pulled up are the EXACT pictures she used to dissuade me from doing that.

    So-I voted go for the stone BECAUSE, Emily, it feels SO GOOD on my feet at the end of a long day. I am a mother of two young kids (so you know what that is like), but I also teach Pilates, GYROTONIC, yoga, and dance ALL DAY LONG when I am not with my kids. I teach a minimum of five hours a day. My husband sits at a desk and then surfs big waves. We screw up our bodies. Those pebble stones are GREAT as pressure point releases for the WHOLE BODY. Another great feature, they are non-slip. When my kids were younger (closer to the age of your kids now), we did family shower in there and it was great because we didn’t have to worry about them slipping. I only have the stones in the shower and not outside of it.

    I voted yes, but I vote NOT to put them on the walls or backsplash. That’s when it starts to get cheesey.

    SO–if you are going to do it, get the bumpy ones for a good foot massage and anti-slip. That’s my recommendation.

    BUT–let’s get to the cons now. What you are essentially proposing to put in a wet area are rocks in grout. Grout gets very yucky, very fast. If I was doing a vacation rental for other people to stay, I would not do the rocks.

    I baby my rocks. My husband and I have an OXO squeegee in the shower and first squeegee down all of the walls so that most of the water is going toward the drain while we have that powerful panasonic fan and heater blasting. Once that is accomplished, we take an old towel (but still beautiful towel because it hangs in my bathroom) and wipe of the glass shower enclosure (we have the treatment that you can’t squeegee over) and wipe up the pebble floor with the towel. Even with all of this babying, the corners with the grout can get yucky. And, you can’t use vinegar or a cleaning product that etches. So, I make a rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil, essential oil mixture and spray it in the corners occasionally. And yes, like you, I have a cleaning service. But even with a weekly cleaning service, the grout WILL get disgusting if you it sit after the shower.

    My cleaning post shower isn’t a big deal and takes two minutes, but, I need to do it every time. I even designed a place to hang this towel after the shower so that it’s always there and I don’t get lazy and not do it.

    So–it’s easy to take care of if you put the two minutes in post-shower. BUT–I would NOT trust renters to do this.

    The good, bad, and ugly of pebble tile…I did not do white, but I regret that. I wish I had done the white tile you are proposing from your pictures. GOOD LUCK!

  244. I am, personally, not a big fan of the stone. I’m not crazy about how it feels underfoot, especially as a cold bathroom floor early in the morning. I alsonthink it could make the house feel very dated down the road. But, it’s your house, do what you think is best.

  245. I used pebbles on bathroom floor and love them…you can lay them in a way that grid doesn’t show..it’s messier laying and grouting these however. Also, I haven’t found the tiles or grout getting dirty in a way that s obvious.

  246. I used pebbles on bathroom floor and love them…you can lay them in a way that grid doesn’t show..it’s messier laying and grouting these however. Also, I haven’t found the tiles or grout getting dirty in a way that s obvious.

  247. Modern Mountain-perfect!!

    Stones were pretty popular in Australia a while ago. Don’t know if they were a trend in the US. I love how you would use them, the lighter look all over floor. A lot of people just used them as a feature strip with very earthy colours but I think that loses what is so beautiful about them which is the natural, organic feeling of walking on smooth stones. I love the lighter look but have you also considered darker stones with dark grout?

    Team stones!

    1. And not sure if anyone has already commented but if you are worried about cleaning use a grout/tile sealer.

  248. Rocking it with the puns Emily. 😉 See what I did there?

  249. I am bummed that I contributed to your husband’s sadness with my vote for refined Scandinavian. This time, I wanted to vote no, but I voted yes because I wanted him to have a win. And it sounds like you do, too. I’m sure if anyone can do pebbles in a fresh, chic way, it’s you. I do like your fav inspiration pic. So I have faith you can pull it off. Maybe just don’t do the whole wall and floor and shower surround. 🙂 maybe just floor?

  250. This post makes me happy! Brian is speaking up, you’re listening. You’re making it more mountainy. You’re getting lots of good input from followers. This is such a happy collaboration already! It’s going to be BEAUTIFUL!

  251. The only ones I really like are the pale pebble tile pictures that you posted in your Instagram. Once the pebble gets too yellow or the wood gets darker (like in some of the photos above) it feels less fresh to me-more like 70s cabin than modern scandanavian.

  252. I love the look.I actually stoned a whole wall in my living room .My vote says run with it .

  253. I voted yes based 90% on your enthusiasm and excitement for the pebble stone. It’s not something I would consider myself, but I agree that it will suit this style of the house. Some of the photo examples you showed us kind of sold me. The lighter stone could still go with the Scandinavian chalet vibe. Ultimately, this is your family’s home and I think we all want you to not be too stressed designing it. If we can’t envision something, you’ll show us how it works in the end. That is why we follow your work – to be inspired and to see how different materials can be used to create something beautiful that was not thought of before. I love the opinion polls, but “do you”. 😊 That’s why we follow you. Xoxo

  254. Yaaaassss! Team Pebble tile!
    I have seen this done really well in some places, and it can have a very spa-like vibe. It can also be done horribly. Personally I think it looks best/ most modern in the very pale, tonal colours.

    I’m keen to see you do this, because I have been contemplating it for my bathroom reno, and selfishly really want to see how you pull it off… and then steal your ideas! Ha!

    Check out Jenna Sue design – she did it in one of her places, and has a great tutorial. From memory I think she said she laid them in a brick-type pattern to avoid the grid lines, and then moved a few stones on the edges of the tiles so the sheets blended together better.

    Also, Three Birds Renovations did it in Lana’s propertyand it was gorgeous!

    Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  255. I still don’t know if I love it on the floor for practicality/”underfoot sensation” but I do LOVE the pictures of the white stones on the bathroom wall with a dark floor tile. It’s refreshing and surprising and does add a lot of texture. I’m sure you’ll ROCK IT either way! Can’t wait to see how you pull it off. Also your enthusiasm for it just radiates through this post so I think you’ve won most of us readers over on that alone. haha

  256. Yes!!! Pebble tile!!! Gorgeous!!!

  257. Hallo, I looove the look and the barefoot feeling of pepple tiles. Some years we had they in our shower. After that I have to say never again. 1. They are not easy to clean. 2. The grout startet to disintegrate after 3 years of daily useing. 3. We had mold in the edges, because of the pebble waves the silicone closes not very well. Maybe it works in a area with less water…

  258. I was #teamRUSTiC and now totally on board with #ModernMountain. Natural elements will totally make this house spectacular and I am super excited to see you Rock It with a stone floor.

  259. We see a lot of these floors in Ibiza. They are comfortable underfoot and work well with the solid concrete and plaster walls you get in ibiza fincas. I’ve never installed them in a project, but the floors I have seen installed definitely don’t have lines between like standard square tiles and i know you buy them as sheets like mosaics.

  260. The images at the end of your blog are gorgeous but ….. I have seen this stone in so many hotel designs that I have reviewed and it never gets past the mock up room. They are harder to maintain than even mosaics and penny tiles, the grout is hard to keep clean because of the micro-pooling and if you are airbnbing the place afterwards this is something you need to be conscious of as you won’t be up there with the toothbrush and grout cleaner.

  261. Those stoned floors and walls look so tropical, so beach, warm weather, coconut, mangoes and hibiscus flowers. It doesn’t go well with a North hemisphere cabin whatsoever. A very very small detail, maybe, if your cabin is near a lovely river and you picked the stones on the river bed yourself, but I am afraid you will regret the use of those stones very soon.
    Sorry for the cold water comment.

  262. My daughter has that as floor tiles in 2 bathrooms.
    Very DIFFICULT to clean/sweep etc

  263. What about slate? The stones have way too many practical cons to use on the floor (hard to keep clean, hard to lay, uncomfortable underfoot). Too many people have commented here that have the floors and say no. I’d listen to them over people who like the look but have never lived with them.

    1. Also, my parents once owned a gorgeous rustic house in a hinterland town. It had two (renovated) bathrooms. The one downstairs was rustic. The one upstairs was more modern. Guess which bathroom felt nicer to use? The upstairs one. For some reason, the rustic bathroom felt super, super rustic in a rustic setting. Whereas it just felt lovely to go into the modern bathroom in a rustic setting. I always felt I was more clean after showering in that bathroom. God knows why?!!

  264. Okay, so first, I’m really excited that you ditched the word “chalet” from the style name and went from “refined scandy chalet” to “refined scandy California cabin!” The word “chalet” was really tripping me up, which is why I voted for “rustic” in the first poll. Personally, I am a minimalist, with an appreciation for mid-century style, as well as Scandinavian style (functional, stylish, clean-lined), California casual, and any practical, comfy space where people can relax and unwind. I don’t really like rough-hewn, super-brown stuff (which is how I perceive a lot of rustic interiors to be), but I thought you could pull rustic off since usually you use a lot of white and your spaces are bright. So anyways, I’m glad that you’re moving a little bit more toward rustic.

    Now, about this specific post, I voted against pebbles for three reasons: 1) it would really bother me to walk on that uneven surface; 2) it seems like it would be more effort to clean (I think grim could settle into the spaces between the pebbles and require more scrubbing elbow grease); and 3) it seems like it could start to look busy (visually noisy), which is the opposite of my personal style which is more calm and minimal.

  265. I don’t care for the pebble tile in any of the above photos. At best, it seems like you can neutralize the pebbles. But my main concern is that pebble tile on the floor really gets gross, even with diligent cleaning measures. I think it is a very bad idea for a rental property (even a high end rental). I’m disappointed that you seem to be sort of throwing out the ‘reader decides’ poll, which was originally the entire drive behind the project. I’m sure that the house will still be wonderful and I’ll enjoy reading the content, but the project has already really strayed from how it was presented and that’s too bad.

  266. Prior to this post, I had no feelings about pebble tile – good or bad. So even I am surprised that I have never liked anything else on this blog so little. Maybe I had a traumatic pebble event during childhood that I have repressed 🤣 Regardless, I love everything EHD puts out and will like find myself a pebble pusher very soon.

  267. I say pebble tile floors in the entire bathroom! No to pebble tile in the shower or as a backsplash.

  268. I am shocked how great the pebble tile can be! I went into this post (and Instastory) totally opposed, but you have pulled some great inspiration pics and I am really excited to see the pebbles in a light and airy scandi setting. Rock on!

  269. I’m living with stone floors in our kitchen, and my strong rec is to use it for walls but not floors. When you break glass, it isn’t possible to get all the pieces up. We have two kids and it’s a constant worry that they’ll cut themselves on a tiny shard of missed wine glass. I’ve taken to using masking tape to try to get everything up. The idea of you having to use plastic tumblers to enjoy bath wine is too tragic to contemplate.

  270. I don’t have pebble tile, but my home came with hand-picked pebbles from the beach as a fireplace hearth, which is pretty charming considering this old building is right on the water, but it also meant quite a bit of grout between the pebbles. It’s murder on your knees when making a fire, and also when cleaning.

    In a bathroom, where you might be kneeling at the tub with kids or kneeling to clean up water or other spills, I’d think about how much the pebbles protrude and how much space is between them, less being better. Your examples look like they’re going in the right direction, being close-set and a bit rounded.

    I was a rustic vote, but I like how you’re giving the refined a touch of rustic. Good luck! I’m enjoying this story!

    1. Oh my gosh, I hadn’t thought about kneeling while you have a little one in the bathtub! Or kneeling to clean the floor. That would be very unpleasant.

  271. I’m conflicted! I think the pebble tile looks fabulous in those light, creamy tones and works perfectly for a Mountain Cabin. But at the same time, I’ve walked on pebble tile a few times and didn’t enjoy it, and I certainly wouldn’t want to stand on it for an extended period of time in the shower or doing my makeup. So then you could put it on the walls, but I was a maid in college and it reminds me of a client we had who had a natural stone shower where the stone sucked up all the soap scum like a sponge, and became ruined and uncleanable, so that gives me pause. So I’m thinking maybe on an accent wall behind the sinks, where it would still be lovely and visible, but not be underfoot and not needing to be cleaned as often as it would in the shower.

  272. Honestly, I don’t think the pebble tile looks very high end, and it’s going to get dirty quick and be difficult to keep clean. However, I LOVE the look of the stacked pebbles in the second photo (the one with the dark vanity and cabinets). That’s so much more interesting to me.

    I’m sure this has been asked before, but what is the source of the sofa/sectional in the cabin living room? How comfy is it? I’m soon to be in the market for a sofa with a chaise and that one is exactly what I’m looking for.

  273. A friend’s family had a house in Lake Winnepesaukee in NH and the bathroom had pebble tile on the floor including the shower floor. I actually really loved the feeling under foot (it wasn’t too too rocky) and thought it was so perfect for a NH lake house. It wouldn’t be my choice normally either, but in the right setting (like a lake or mountain house) I think it adds beautiful texture and warmth. Plus, it’s all for content, but also it’s your family’s house first and you and Brian should love it!

  274. Since I wanted rustic all along, I’m totally willing to rock. .. or at least pebble.

  275. I think the idea of Refined Scandinavian Lodge is mouthwatering and also combining it with the relaxed California vibe is even better! Looking forward to seeing what tile sources you find for the pebble floor? I have been considering using it on my Master Bathroom floor the same way as you are. My house is very Scandinavian and build in the 1960s, but located in Midwest. There are not that many sources available locally to go with the Scandi look.

    May I suggest getting honed pebbles to make the floor more flat or going with a larger pebble size. I worry a sliced pebble with sharp pebble edges will change the look of the design too much. I’d love to see a post comparing all the pebble options out there and doing a foot massage test on them.

    Furthermore I think the heated floor is big part of keeping it clean and making sure the grout joints aren’t too deep (hence the bigger pebbles as higher grout joints will cover more of them). Also make sure the floor has higher pitch towards the drain than you would normally have if you are using it in a shower.

    I am also considering using terrazzo tiles in some other areas of my house such as floor my laundry room backsplash. And I think some other stone options that have the same feel such as Ceppo Di Gres (or lighter) could work for you in some areas.

    Scandinavian doesn’t always have to be white and I think it’s great that you are considering other options for the other rooms. Although I must admit I am strange in that sense as for my home I selected different colors of white based on what direction the room was facing or what time of the day (or year) I would spend most of my time in that room, and then taking into account different sheens of paint. My Moroccan neighbor just sees them all as the same white. 😉 I wish you good luck with the design and the remodel!

  276. I’ve been seeing you look at pebble in your stories, and have been so worried and concerned. I definitely had those “common” images you posted in mind. But you’ve convinced me!!

  277. We lived in Mexico for a while (a bit north of Puerto Vallarta) where pebble work is super popular. They do such beautiful things with it in showers, bathrooms, kitchens, and inlaid in exterior concrete. Living with it gave me a deep appreciation both for the beauty of natural stone AND for the artists who install it, piece by piece. The underfoot sensation never bothered me, and all of our visitors commented on how our shower floors felt like “a foot massage.” 😉 We are remodeling a house right now and looking forward to incorporating Mexican beach pebbles (that we collected while living there) into the design of the basement bathroom. I think pebbles are beautiful in the right design!

  278. Just and FYI. My sister has these pebble tiles on the floor of her shower. They are natural not flat, so they really hurt my feet when I use that shower. 🙂 There are some that are smooth, not rough. I’d look for that as the deciding factor.

  279. Pebble tiles CAN be awesome. We used them for a small floor bathroom in our condo. Totally not a mountain retreat also. The floor gets a ton of compliments from friends and family. The texture is great – not too “bumpy” or uncomfortable at all. Oh and we paired it with a minimal Scandinavian design for the rest of the bathroom. One of the tricks is to not lay the tiles facing the same direction so the pebbles look more natural and not in a repeating pattern. But I’m sure you already knew that! Good luck with the project. Cannot wait to see it!

  280. The pebble look you are going for is a fairly refined look and let’s face it is Brian’s house not your blog followers so I say ROCK IT.

  281. Thinking of accessibility I’m not a fan of pebbled floors. For those with mobility issues a pebbled floor is hard to navigate. I do like a pebbled wall.

  282. It will look great but i can tell you from experience that the underfoot sensation is unpleasant, especially for kiddos. I totally respect the wanting your husband to feel heard part. There are a lot of other ways to incorporate those beautiful stones & save your feet from it

    Good luck with all the big design decisions! So exciting!

  283. I’m sure that you will totally make it work whatever you do! And since I guess it is a mountain home for your fam,that your hubs should be as happy possible 😂but as a totally selfish consumer of your content I’m not the biggest fan of the pebbles and the rustic vibe. I just feel like rustic and modern farmhouse is everywhere in general. So I was soooooo excited for a mountain house that wasn’t to rustic. I know it’s silly and what not but I don’t even like to watch hgtv anymore that much because I feel like everything is farmhouse or rustic lol. But once again just one gals humble opinion, and I’m sure you will prove me wrong and make a rustic mountain house I love…

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  285. I do love the look, but all I can think is how likely I’ll be to slip on it while it’s wet & what a pain in the rear it’ll be to clean.

  286. I do love the look, but all I can think is how likely I’ll be to slip on it while it’s wet & what a pain in the rear it’ll be to clean.

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  288. i don’t hate the pebble tile either but i thought what about using the tile or rock or whatever material you choose to use on the fireplace and use it or (something silimar) on the bathroom floors. Anyway what materials get decided will look lovely because you put them together. Love being apart of this, so fun!

  289. Its a little risky, but I know you’ll make it look beautiful and fresh! So excited to see the final product

  290. Rock It, in mono color -white/light color as shown in your later examples!! I feel you Brian!

  291. I’m a little late to the party, but my parents have a pebble tile shower that I use fairly often and I love it. The rocks feel so nice under my feet! And there’s something spa-like about stones, in addition to their mountain vibe. It definitely does get moldy, like any other shower, but regular cleaning keeps that in check.

  292. I really like the look of the modern pebble tile but how on earth do you clean it??!! I can just imagine all the bathroom dirt adding up after the first few years, yuck.

  293. Where can I find the “insta-stories” where you reveal results of your polls and decisions you’re making on the mountain house?

  294. This poll is as if I was asking friends if I should have kids. I’m 100% sure more than 80% would say Yes! Do it!! But that’s doesn’t mean that I should do it, they’re encouraging because they won’t live up with the consequences. Pebbles have never reached a timeless look (even in a cabin) and never will. IMHO.

  295. Love it. I would do “rounded flat” (if that’s a thing?), white pebbles, with a *slightly* contrasting grey grout (specifically *not* a taupe/beige/greige grout). Good luck!!!

  296. Out of any pebble tile, the white is the first color I saw in an ad when I was choosing tile for my home, and fell in love with the quiet, yet textural statement it made. I didn’t end up using that color, but it still is my favorite. If you use the tile, of course, you will need to cut the edges to appear random. You may still need to take some pebbles off of the netting to place them around as well. The only other thing about installing this type of tile is that you need a lot of grout. It holds dirt and is a bit high maintanance. If you’re afraid the pebbles will bother your feet, just fill in with more grout. Still, the rounded pebbles look the best, and I believe it’s worth the effort dealing with the grout, and the white can just be scrubbed without worry of messing up the color. One more point. If it’s in the shower, or where it will get wet a lot, it just needs to be dried. I always dry my shower down, no matter the type of tile. It just keeps mold from becoming a problem. It will be beautiful!

  297. why not try a large aggregate terrazzo? It will deliver the rock and skip the fad.

    1. I like this idea too

  298. Yesss I absolutely love this and love the timing of your post. We are redoing a bathroom in our new home in Arizona. They literally JUST finished installing a rock shower floor (we started small). What I love about the inspirational images that you’ve shared is that many of them incorporate the stone but still aren’t totally honky-tonk rustic. I think that pebble tile, when used with other clean materials and clean lines, can look amazing! We went with a classic white subway tile with charcoal grout and black fixtures and then black pebble stone tile on the floor. Knowing you, I think you’ve got this one! ;).

  299. My mother installed pebble tile in her guest suite shower and every time I stay with her and have to shower in there I cringe because the pebbles hurt my feet. They’re really uncomfortable and as a result I’ve ruled this kind of tile out for any future houses of mine. I’d proceed with caution with this idea. Get multiple friends to spend a lot of time walking barefoot on pebbled surfaces before you settle on a product.

    That being said, I’m sure you’ll choose the right product and I can’t wait to see how the cabin design turns out!

  300. I’m more warm and rustic person, comments offered for that perspective.

    Glad you’re considering the underfoot sensation. Also, make sure it is not too slick when wet.

    If you do use pebbles, I’d suggest a lot more color variation than the last ones you loved.

    Everything just looked cold like a winter snowbank to me. I’m thinking that is not why you got a mountain cabin.

  301. I voted for the stone look because I agree with Brian and your need to have both owners like their homes. You also seem like you need a boost of confidence, so, here you go: You can do it! What are you so afraid of?! You are a bad ass designer who has so successfully designed beautiful spaces for yourself and others to enjoy and challenged yourself along the way. This is no different. You will rock it!

  302. I think it looks nice but I would HATE to walk on it everyday so I had to vote to skip it even though some of the inspo pictures were gorgeous.

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  304. I have black pebbles just in my shower and black slate on the rest of the floor. I used a dark grout so it’s just texture. Subway on the walls of shower and white walls and then a teak slab vanity with a vessel sink and black faucets. White west elm Moroccan modern pendants. It isn’t too much its kind of zen but mostly just rustic modern

  305. I love the LOOK of pebble tile, but have you actually walked on it? It can be hard on the feet!

  306. what about Under Knee feel?!! based on how much cleaning it will require (from everyone’s comments) I am more concerned how it would feel on your knees when you are kneeling on the floor cleaning, than I am with the under foot feel.

    Also- since there are plenty of lakes in the mountains, I don’t understand what makes something a “lake house” or a “mountain house”.

    I think I would put the stone floor in the mudroom, but not in a bathroom.

  307. I love it and you really can’t any get that kind of texture any other way and it’s just bringing another natural element inside whichever screams Mountain House!
    I really love the look of the white but man it just really seems like it would get dirty so quickly and then be the actual worst to clean. Maybe use it on the walls if you go light so that’s less of an issue. I love that picture of the white on the entire surface of both walls…makes you feel like you’re in a modern stone hut(perhaps in the mountains?)! If you are really wanting white on the floor, could you just lay a tile or two in your bathroom at home and strop on it every once in a while to see how it would fare? Then you could try cleaning it too!

    Also, those grid lines are😳. But reading through the comments seems like you’ve kind of got that one figured out.

    And I love how commited you are to having Brian’s wants to be a huge part of this. There are plenty of people out there that wouldn’t even ask their husband’s opinion. You’re good wifey!

  308. I think it would have been cooler to let your husband pick out things he likes and you and your audience pick final approval of said likes. I know you’re the ‘designer’ and you need things ‘blog worthy’ but I’d be so curious to see what really makes him spark with design. What runs through his head when he thinks of his mountain home. Even if you had him create a pinterest board with ideas that he loves. I’d like to see more of BRIAN’s input.

  309. I’ve actually never particularly liked pebble tiles (if done wrong they can be so appalling!!)… up until last month when I was thinking about how to design my second bathroom. It dawned on me that when done well, pebble tiles can look nice, comforting, and lavishly spa-like. Since our visiting guests would use this bathroom more than we would ourselves, I though that – if done in a sophisticated way – it could appeal to many people. So I’m team pebble and would love to see how you would design it!

    Ps: as some people commented before I’ve heard they are hard to clean so definitely a factor to consider / get professional info on

  310. I’m really amazed by how much the COLOR of the pebbles matters. Those very white pebbles feel so much more sophisticated and modern than the typical more earthy tans and brown tones that you see. I think you can definitely get closer to bridging “Rustic” and “Refined” with those lighter stones.

  311. I voted yes to pebble tile with reservations. I had pebble tile installed in a small bathroom, also in a shower floor of a different bathroom. They weren’t the white ones, which are really the prettiest. Just as others have experienced, the grid is obvious if the installer doesn’t take the time to cut the edges of the netting so it looks random. It isn’t complicated. You just have to micromanage the installation. I came in after mine had been installed. It was terrible. But, was remedied by reconfiguring the tiles along the edges of the squares. Cutting the edges in random patterns would fix the problem from the start. Some placement of individual tiles still has to happen, but It’s worth trying to go that route rather than paying someone to individually place each tile. We used quarried pebbles in our shower where they were just taken off the netting and placed. It’s beautiful. It can also be painful underfoot, but if you want less tile exposed, then add more grout. Which leads me to my next point. Give a lot of thought to the people who tell you how much maintenance it requires to keep the grout and the tile looking beautiful. I vacuum the pebble floor with the dust attachment to get into the grout. It catches everything. If you use epoxy for grout, will it yellow if it’s cleaned with bleach? Of course, you’ll seal it,and you probably know which sealant is best. Some sealants cover both tile and grout, but make it shiny. In my showers, regardless of the type of tile, we all dry the shower down after using them. By the way, radiant heat doesn’t cause mold. It actually takes less time for the floor to dry, and water evaporates quickly. Radiant heat under tiles creates a dry environment; also, it holds the heat better than radiant heat under wood floors. Because tile holds the heat better, it makes radiant heat economical. I know you’ll check out your options. Radiant heat using pecks tubing is really great, but you may need to use an option that goes over your existing subfloor. Good luck with this one. It’s really beautiful when done right!

  312. To me the pebbles, especially if white, make me think of Greece, of a beach house in Italy… surely not a cabin.
    The dark pebbles look more cabin-like but they look so cheap, and you might end up with an “after” looking like a “before” photo…

  313. We renovated a bathroom and used pebble tile in the floor of the shower. I wanted the shower to feel like we were in an outdoor waterfall. Ultimately we chose a small stacked stone for the feature wall, pebble tile on the floor, and coordinating porcelain tile on the other 2 walls and bathroom floor.

    You may want to consider a “cut stone” pebble tile look. You get the texture/organic look but the feeling is flatter on the foot. Walking on pebble tile can be a little painful and might not be child friendly.

    Plus that is a ton of grout to keep clean. If you go white it will ultimately look dingy and be incredibly difficult to clean up.

  314. I have never lived with pebble tile but as a guest I’ve enjoyed a pebbled shower floor. It feels great underfoot and is safer (slip-resistant). I’m guessing it would need to be sealed REALLY well to keep it clean.

    I would love to see it done on the floor in a pattern/grid with a second material, maybe wood or a smooth tile.

  315. they can look either gorgeous in principle, but most of the actual implementations I’ve seen have been tacky and they are way to hard to clean! I stayed in an air bnb for only 2 days once and the shower had pebble tiles as well as all of our hair and shampoo blobs for the last 2 days. not at all practical. what use is having a fancy shower if it looks so disgusting you don’t want to use it? might be better for the walls or for accents. I also wore flip flops in the shower as it felt like stepping on rocks at the beach. not a fan.

  316. I came into this post hating pebble tile and after looking at all the examples, I ended up voting “rock it.” Apparently I just hated the examples I’d seen before, because I really love some of these!

  317. I’m not typically a fan of stone in bathrooms, but the options are pretty great and I know you’ll ultimately choose something amazing!

  318. My parents have it on the floor in the shower of their vacation home. I personally don’t like the way it feels and won’t use it in my house. But other people who use the vacation home love it…

  319. As a resident of the Colorado foothills, I am very familiar with pebbled tile bathrooms and giant river rock fireplaces like the one in your mountain fixer upper. You are incredibly talented and could probably make a pebbled tile bathroom look inviting, but have you considered stacked stone or natural stone pavers for your bathroom? Having looked at house after house after house out here….we eventually gave up and just built our own….stacked stone/natural stone seems so much more timeless than pebbled tile does.

  320. We recently re-modeled our bathroom and put pebble tile on the shower floor. I absolutely love the way it looks!

  321. Yes, the white pebbles and if you paint your fire place white it will carry the look throughout.

  322. So weird! Cause we just bought tile for our bathroom a week ago (gray penny tile won out with the husband) but as I rounded the corner I saw pebble tile and literally thought out loud “Hmm, I wonder why no one is using this stuff? It’s super in line with the “natural/organic/soft/farmhouse/scandinavian/neutral thing” everyone’s doing…. LOL

  323. It’s SO pretty. While I wanted to vote “Rock it”, I start thinking about how hard it would be to maintain the cleaning. Dirt particles, makeup spills, occasional grime, etc. would make it really difficult.

  324. I think it’s a great compromise as long as you keep it off the floor. We had a similar pebbled patio when I was growing up and it HURT my feet.

  325. If you go with the stone, please make sure it’s installed so that the “grid” created by the square sheets is not visible.

  326. We did pebble tile in the master bath of our first house. It looked lovely at first but its incredibly difficult to clean (we still have the house as a rental and have to spend so much time and energy getting it presentable between renters). SO MUCH GROUT. We tried several sealers but nothing worked well enough.

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