Tile for a tiki bar — a tile made from real sea shells

shell-tile-mosaicTiki-TuesdayTile might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about designing a tiki bar, but using it can help add yet another layer of texture. Quite possibly the perfect tile for the job is this fabulous Canarium half row natural shell mosaic wall tile made by Merola Tile — available through the Home Depot website for $17.97 per sq. ft. While I wouldn’t call it affordable, this tile may be the only mosaic tile on the market that’s made of real, halved, Carnarium shells. How’s that for ‘found on the beach’ decor?


From the Home Depot website:

The Merola Canarium half row powder natural shell mosaic wall tile is a unique and innovative new tile. Made from halved natural Canarium shell, this mosaic is sure to impress! Different grout color choices give you the ability to create a variety of different atmospheres and looks with this versatile mosaic. Natural shells will vary in size and pattern. Use this mesh mounted mosaic as field tile or cut into strips to use as an accent to other tiles.

Merola-shell-tile-with-grout-colorsI would use just a few square feet of this fantastic shell tile as a backsplash or counter for a tiki bar, or perhaps even an accent wall in that nearby, tiki-themed half bathroom. I also love how you can get a variety of different looks from the same tile by just changing up the grout color. The possibilities are endless.


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  1. SebastianFTL says

    Sustainability is an issue but, eww: for some reason when I look at this I think of some dermatological disease. Like scaling. Sorry. Not a fan.

  2. says

    The one with black grout looks like fossils, which I think is cool. The others do remind me of schools of fish. Seems like they would be something different to add to a tiki room, still in the theme palette, but not the same ol’ thing in every other tiki bar!

    Merola is certainly on the right track for reaching those of us who want something that will work in our vintage homes. But I would love it if you could follow up with the company about how responsibly the shells are harvested. Thanks!

  3. Sandra says

    I’m shopping for backsplash material, now. Frankly, the highest priority for me is something that’s easy to un-splash. I’m not sure I want grout, let alone that much texture. It is pretty, however. It would be cool in a pool or fountain.

  4. says

    Hi everyone! Maggie from Merola Tile here. The shells for this tile are non-endangered waste products from food harvests in the Philippines. To receive them, we needed to go through a rigorous process to obtain an import permit, and had to register with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Thanks for your interest!

      • Cynthia says

        We have used a similar tile Merola Tile Beach Shell for our fireplace surround. Our builder is saying that the grout will cover up the detail and texture of the tiles. Currently, he has just applied sand to the thinset but the sand is falling out and the mesh is somewhat visible. We like the look of the sand but need it to be permanent. We would really appreciate advice on how and what type of grout to use that won’t hide the detail and texture of the shells. Thank you!

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