Rock bottom wash house

Rock bottom wash house

Our bathroom's rock wall and newly laid rock floor
Our bathroom’s rock wall and newly laid rock floor

This past week Tom has been labouring hard, laying the rock floor in our rock walled bathroom. The bathroom has been a ongoing project now for at least 4 years. We were hoping to have it ready before our wedding 4 years ago, but that didn’t happen, and more urgent projects found themselves at the top of the list. Urgent projects like the bathrooms for the students, which pushed aside the need for our bathroom, hence we are still showering outside in a tent… 

The rock puzzle, some already cemented in, some still awaiting fixture
The rock mosaic, some already cemented in, some still awaiting fixture

Tom found himself some time after Christmas and before courses are back in full swing, and he would like to move our washing machine into the new bathroom / wash house to make more space on the verandah behind our house. So he gathered the rocks he has been storing in the grass and made himself a mosaic on the wash house floor. Years ago he removed a stone retaining wall, a floor in old cow bale yard and a stone path and found similar rocks scattered around the property. Recognising the rarity of these flat, slate-like rocks, and aware that they came from a local, now defunct quarry, Tom kept them aside for a special purpose which now happens to be our bathroom. These rocks are different from the river rock which was used to create the bathroom walls.

The mosaic he created on the floor, was purposely created in a random fashion, avoiding patterns. This has given the floor a uniform look, thus creating a pattern after all. After the mosaic was laid on the floor, the trick was to ensure all the rocks were at similar height, were level and will not cause any puddles to form. A natural, gentle slope also needs to run to the drains in the floor.

Propping up the rocks to level
Propping up the rocks to level

To prop up the rocks, he uses small stones so that they all are similar height. He then pours concrete around the smaller stones to ensure they stay in place. Then he pours concrete under the rocks and in between. Instead of grout he will use cement in between the rocks, and will probably seal the floor after it has been laid.

The end result will be stunning. As you can see in the photo above, the rock wall and floor bathroom already looks beautiful whilst building it! And all the rock was here on the property!

So maybe we will be able to have a shower or even a bath in our own beautiful bathroom some time this year… Maybe in time for our fifth wedding anniversary?

The rocks bedded in, awaiting final cement pour.
The rocks bedded in, awaiting final cement pour.


  1. Thanks for the details on how you handle stones of different thicknesses. I have laid pavers on leveled rock dust, but didn’t know how to use more rustic materials.

  2. That is wonderful news! What a great effort; back-breaking I bet!
    The photos look lovely. Not long now and you will be enjoying it!

  3. How are you coping in the current deluge? I bet all the dams are full to capacity and then some!

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