How to Make My Own River Rock Countertops

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Things You'll Need

  • River rock tiles

  • Scissors

  • Thinset mortar

  • Notched trowel

  • Grout

  • Rubber float

  • Tile and grout sponge

  • Stone and grout sealer

  • Paintbrush

  • Clear silicone caulk

Enjoy the beauty of river rocks everyday with a river rock countertop.

Allude to the pebbly bed of clear mountain stream with a river rock countertop. Create a river rock countertop by using river rock tiles, also known as river stone and pebble tiles. Tiles consist of square pieces of mesh lined with adhered layers of river rocks. Install tiles over an unfinished, new countertop lined with cement backer boards, or on an older, coarse-sanded laminate countertop with removed fixtures.


Step 1

Lay out the tiles in a "dry run." Cut tiles to fit, when necessary, by cutting through the vinyl mesh, between stones, with scissors.

Step 2

Spread a layer of thinset mortar onto the countertop. Use a notched trowel to create ridges in the thinset mortar.

Step 3

Press the tiles in place, imbedding the wire mesh backing into the mortar. Tile the top surface first, followed by the edges and backsplash. Once finished, leave the mortar to cure for the recommended time.


Step 4

Spread grout over the stones, using a rubber float. With the float, push the grout into the spaces between the stones. Wipe the countertop surfaces with a damp tile and grout sponge to remove excess grout from the stones' surfaces and to smooth down the grout joints. Allow the grout to cure for the recommended time.

Step 5

Paint the countertop with stone and grout sealer.

Step 6

Apply and smooth down a bead of clear, silicone caulk around exposed edge of the backsplash tiles.


Mason Howard

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.