Mother of Pearl Tile Installation Instructions

Mother of Pearl tiles are flexible and interlocking and are suitable for use indoors on the floor, wall, and in wet areas. These tiles are stronger than they look and can be installed similar to the way that you would install glass tiles.


All substrates should be firmly fixed, flat, clean, dry and free of contaminants such as dust, oil, paint, sealers etc. to ensure proper adhesion. Painted surfaces must be scuffed or sanded for the product and adhesive to bond correctly. Wet areas need special attention and require appropriate substrates, e.g. concrete, cement boards (compressed sheet), and/or treated plywood. The use of reinforced waterproof membranes is suggested.


Waterproof membranes prevent leakage of water through to the sub-floor framing and/or habitable spaces below. Particular attention must be paid to: carrying the membrane up the wall, outside shower boxes, installation of bond breakers, and sealing around penetrations. It is strongly recommended that membrane systems be used in all wet areas. Please see manufacturer’s guidelines.


Mother of Pearl tiles can be installed around gently curved surfaces. Some alterations of the tile may be required in order to create uniformity.


Cuts may not be necessary during installation, due to the freeform pattern and nature of the product. When approaching the edge of a surface, if a straight line is desired, the seashells can easily be cut with a curved splitting clamp or a glass cutter. The mesh back or plastic fronts can be easily cut with a utility knife.


Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Please check with your local supply store for alternative and comparable products. The manufacturer’s literature for the adhesive you choose will explain if the product is suitable for interior/ exterior, floor/wall, and wet/dry applications. The Mother of Pearl is translucent, please be sure to use a white adhesive. Suggested adhesives include but are not limited to:

Mapei: Adesilex P10 (bright white) non-sag mortar for glass tile. Mix with water or Keraply.

Mapei: Kerabond Premium Dry-Set Mortar (Ker 102) mixed with Keralistic Mortar Admix (Ker 310).

Hydroment: ReFlex Ultra-Premium Latex-Modified Thin-Set Mortar. No admixture is necessary.

Laticrete: 254 Platinum Multipurpose Thin-Set Mortar. No admixture is necessary.

Custom Building Products: MegaFlex Ultimate Thin-Set Mortar (white). No admixture is necessary.

Apply the adhesive with a 3/16” trowel. Due to the thickness of this product (3/16” thick), we do not recommend using a square notched trowel greater than 1/8”. Set the tile in place gently tapping it in with a grout float to ensure 100% adhesive coverage.

Clean excess adhesive before it completely dries on the tiles with a damp cloth, sponge, or brush.


When the tile is firmly set, we recommend using a non-sanded grout. Depending on the application, an epoxy grout may be desired. Excess grout needs to be cleaned before it hardens.


Mother of Pearl tiles do not have to be sealed but we strongly recommend sealing the grout after installation to help prevent it from absorbing stains. This will help keep your installation looking clean.


Mother of Pearl tiles must be regularly cleaned and maintained to extend the life and beauty of the tile. The tiles can be cleaned with a neutral mild detergent. Keep surfaces clean from abrasive dirt and do not use abrasive cleaners, powders, scouring pads, steel wool or sandpaper. Do not let soap, bleach or other cleaning solutions set on the surface. Seashells consist primarily of Calcium Carbonate. They will react with acid including vinegar, acidic foods and carbonated beverages.

See also: Understanding the Thickness of Mother of Pearl How to Measure the Quality of Mother of Pearl Tiles