Pebble floor: Calade

Pebble floor: Calade

Practical aspect

Traditionally, the calades are made with pebbles placed on edge which leave little room for the mortar which holds them in place.

Except on small surfaces, or if you have a lot of time for this work of patience, you can easily put your rollers flat, to obtain an end result almost as pretty ... and much faster. Anyway, if a beautiful calade, with its multiple hollows and bumps, finds its place perfectly in an entry or a country kitchen, you should not be a neat freak. She talks to the broom, the brush and plenty of water!

The step by step

How to do ?


A calade fits into a soil to do. You can perfectly decide to redo the floor of your bathroom in large stone slabs and provide on the threshold a small "carpet" in calade. It is therefore necessary above all to delimit the dimensions of your calade and reserve this surface by materializing the edges with small wooden planks which will mark the thickness of your screed.


On a sheet of cardboard, draw your pattern. You can choose a more or less simple geometric pattern which will play on the colors of the pebbles, or a figurative pattern which, in addition to the colors, will give pride of place to the differences in size of the pebbles.


You will have taken care to store in separate boxes and according to their size and colors the pebbles harvested during your walks.


Make your drawing blank by carefully choosing the pebbles.


Then pour a mortar on 0.5 m2, made with 10 buckets of dry sand for 1 bag of 35 kg of lime added with water, into the excavation prepared for this purpose and start placing your pebbles on edge or on the face according to your drawing.


Stabilize them with a small rubber mallet, then when all the pattern is ready, pour the rest of your mortar and clean the surplus with a quackgrass brush.

Good to know

Recently, there are rollers mounted on the face on a PVC frame which are very simple to use. Presented in the form of slabs of 20, 30 or 40 cm side, or friezes, these pebbles are available in multiple colors and between 8 and 20 mm thick. Still relatively expensive (around 140 € per square meter), they remain an interesting and original alternative to the traditional calade. And ideal for people in a hurry!


Play on the opposition between laying on edge and on face but also with the colors of your pebbles to form rich and personal patterns.

Know-how - home decor © La maison rustique - éditions Flammarion, 2006