Using Shells in Terrazzo

Shells in Terrazo


There are various aggregates which you can choose for terrazzo. Shells, in particular Mother of Pearl, are known to make a difference in your overall design. Mother of Pearl is beloved for its iridescent appearance and is commonly used today. We’ll explore why shells are popular in terrazzo designs and some options you can consider.

There are an estimated 120,000 species of shells worldwide. Each shell varies greatly in appearance. Imagine yourself walking along the beach at sunrise. You’ll notice an abundance of shells present along the shore.

Many of us enjoy collecting seashells, but they serve a greater purpose to use daily. There are many applications for shells today. In ancient times they served as currency and were used for jewelry and ornaments. Today they are useful for water purification, organic fertilizer, and use as a construction material in pavements and terrazzo floors.

Shell aggregate in terrazzo

Shells in Terrazzo

Shell Aggregate in Pathway

Shells used in Outdoor Pavements

Shells in Terrazzo

For terrazzo floors, there are a couple of shell aggregate options available. The most popular shell aggregate is Mother of Pearl, abbreviated as MOP.

Epoxy terrazzo led to a greater selection of aggregates to be used in a terrazzo floor design. Aggregates including glass chips and shells can be combined in an epoxy resin binder of any color. This allows architects and designers more design flexibility for their terrazzo floors, stairs, and countertops. Today epoxy terrazzo has become the standard in the construction industry due to its quick installation timelines, greater durability and resiliency, and sustainable material options.

Mother of Pearl Aggregate in Epoxy Terrazzo

Mother of Pearl shines when used with terrazzo

Mother of Pearl Options for Terrazzo

Concord Terrazzo Company offers two types of Mother of Pearl options for customers: Freshwater Mother of Pearl and Classic Mother of Pearl.

Both aggregates provide an iridescent effect when used for terrazzo flooring. From a pricing perspective, Mother of Pearl aggregates is on par with costs for glass chips. For those looking for a budget-friendly material, Freshwater Mother of Pearl costs slightly less than Classic Mother of Pearl.

Freshwater Mother of Pearl Shells

Option 1: Freshwater Mother of Pearl

Classic Mother of Pearl Shells

Option 2: Classic Mother of Pearl

Freshwater Mother of Pearl

Among TERRAZZCO Brand aggregates, Freshwater Mother of Pearl is a favorite among designers. Its name is derived from freshwater habitats which include lakes, reservoirs, rivers, ponds, and wetlands. Of all the water on Earth, 3% is fresh water.

When you compare Freshwater Mother of Pearl to Classic Mother of Pearl, you may notice some slight differences in color, shape, and texture. Pink and white hues are more present in this aggregate. It is also more smooth and rounder in appearance.

TERRAZZCO Fresh Water Mother of Pearl Shell Aggregates
Freshwater Mother of Pearl Terrazzo Sample

Check out some custom terrazzo samples that include Freshwater Mother of Pearl:

Semi-Exotic Architectural Hard Sample - Black Terrazzo #122
Terrazzo MS2761 Sample
Exotic Architectural Hard Sample #397 - Green Terrazzo
Exotic Architecture Hard Sample #424 - Black Terrazzo
TERRAZZCO Classic Mother of Pear Shell Aggregatel
Classic Mother of Pearl Terrazzo Sample

Classic Mother of Pearl

Another shell aggregate offered by TERRAZZCO is Classic Mother of Pearl. This is a saltwater aggregate, commonly found along oceans and shores.

Whereas Freshwater Mother of Pearl is more smooth in texture, Classic Mother of Pearl is more jagged in appearance. It also appears more golden in color, with some black and green areas in the terrazzo design.

Check out some custom terrazzo samples that include Classic Mother of Pearl:

Semi-Exotic Terrazzo Sample 1723 - White
Terrazzo JB4690 Sample
CCU Terrazzo
Terrazzo - ASU College of Health Sciences

Shells offer unique terrazzo designs

While Mother of Pearl is widely used in modern terrazzo floors today, there are other shell options available that can alter a terrazzo’s design.

For terrazzo projects near beachside locations, designers may consider using shells that are locally sourced. These shells are then crushed and supplied for flooring contractors to install. Each shell can create a different look.

Take a look at some of the shells we’ve carried through the years.

Sadaf Shells
Laylaky Shells
Sadaf Terrazzo
Laylayky Terrazzo
Exotic Architectural Hard Sample #388 - White Terrazzo
Sadaf Terrazzo

There are many different types of aggregates you can include in a terrazzo design. If you are thinking of adding shells in your terrazzo design, the TERRAZZCO team can collaborate with you in creating custom terrazzo samples. Contact a Concord Terrazzo Company representative today at

Geometric terrazzo floor design at entrance of hospital clinic
Capitana Key West - Shell Terrazzo Floor