Frequently Asked Questions

How should I hang my art tile?

There should be a hanging notch on the back. Use it with a flat-headed drywall screw, or flat-headed nail. In earthquake-prone areas, we suggest the addition of ‘quake putty,’ double-sided tape or command strips to help keep the tile from jumping off the nail or screw. For plaster walls or thin panel walls, expanding or specialty anchors may be required, especially for larger framed tile. Most anchors come with a weight rating to help determine suitability.

How do I frame my tile?

Our framing page goes over everything you need to know about how to frame your Motawi tile.

What is the actual size of your tile?

Motawi tiles are sized to fit together using a grout space of approximately 1/8" to 3/16". Therefore, the actual size of a Motawi tile is slightly smaller than the stated/nominal size (a 4x4 tile is approximately 3 7/8" x 3 7/8"). As each Motawi tile is crafted by hand, dimensions may vary slightly by up to 1/16". Our standard tiles are approximately 5⁄8” thick at the edge, with a slight dome rising at the center.

Can your framed tiles be used as trivets?

We don't recommend it because they aren't designed for that purpose.  Just like fine wood furniture, the lovely, hand-rubbed finish will be damaged by heat and moisture.

How do I clean my Motawi tile? 

Start with regular soap and water. We recommend any non-abrasive cleaner, such as Soft Scrub. For more difficult jobs, we have used "green" scrubbing pads and lots of elbow grease. We do not recommend the use of any acids to clean our tile and it is always wise to test any other cleaning methods in an inconspicuous area of your installation if you can. 

How do I remove pencil marks from my tile? 

Try using the pencil eraser first. If that isn't successful, then we recommend a small amount of Soft Scrub. Don't be afraid to use a "green scrubby”. 

I just bought a tile to match one I had at home. They are the same tile and same colors, but the glazes don't match. Why?

Our glazes vary in color and surface quality due to variations in glaze thickness, minute differences in firing temperature, and variations in the raw materials. This natural variation is intrinsic to their beauty.

I have seen Motawi Tile for sale on eBay. Are you authorizing these sales?

No we are not. We can't guarantee the quality or authenticity of Motawi Tile sold on eBay. Any tile that is marked on the back as "BONEYARD" is a second-quality tile, which means that it does not meet our quality standard or was discounted by us due to lack of popularity. We have reason to believe that some eBay sellers obscure, or remove the mark. Buy direct for best karma!

I want to use your tiles around my fireplace. Are they heat-resistant?

Motawi Tiles are designed to be used in fireplace applications and will not be damaged by the heat.

Can your tiles be used in wet applications like a shower, tub or pool?

Yes, our tiles are suitable for wet applications. However, we recommend that your installer follow the guidelines set forth by the Tile Council of North America for these specific conditions.

How do your tiles perform in direct sunlight?

Tile will not fade over time in direct sunlight. The color of the tile is fired into the surface.

Can your tiles be used in exterior applications?

Because Motawi tile is not vitreous, its performance is not guaranteed for any outdoor use. Please contact us and we will help determine the suitability of Motawi tile for your exterior application. That said, we have had our tile installed outside on vertical outdoor surfaces for several years now with no issues. The best outdoor applications are those that have some protection from the elements or an overhang to keep moisture out. We do not recommend using our tile outside on horizontal surfaces in cold climates. Testing has determined that Motawi field tile is semi-vitreous, with a water absorption rate of approximately 6.47%. Motawi polychrome tile is non-vitreous, with a water absorption rate of approximately 8.11%.

How can I affix tile to the exterior of my home?

For semi-permanent installation of an art tile with a hanging notch, use drywall screws and anchors. For un-notched tile, use a construction adhesive such as Liquid Nails. For homes with a stucco finish, the tiles may be embedded directly into the surface during installation.

Can dark grout stain light matte glazed tile?

Yes, some dark grouts may stain light-colored glazes and some light grouts may stain dark-colored glazes. Test a sample before grouting. Installers will find that taping off relief tiles can dramatically reduce cleanup time and prevent staining.

I've noticed that you no longer offer bullnose edging on your tiles. What happened?

While we still offer edge-glazing on our tiles, we no longer offer bullnose finishing. We were unable to produce a bullnose finish that met our strict quality standards

I'd like Motawi to donate a tile to my upcoming charity event. Do you do donations?

Yes! We have a few criteria that you can read about on our donations page here.

Our Warranty

Motawi tiles are warranted to the original consumer purchaser to be free from defects in material and workmanship for one (1) year from the date of installation. Where inspection by Motawi Tileworks, Inc. discloses any such defects occurring in normal usage within one year after installation Motawi will, at its election, repair or replace the product or make appropriate adjustment. Motawi is not liable for any direct or indirect costs associated with the repair or replacement of Motawi tiles including removal, installation or reinstallation. Motawi tiles should be inspected prior to installation and any defects must be reported at that time. Installation constitutes acceptance.

Damage caused by inappropriate installation, accident, misuse, abuse, or improper maintenance is not covered by this warranty. Variations in color, shade, flow, grain, tonality, crazing, veining, and texture are inherent characteristics of Motawi Tile and are not defects. Variations in facial dimensions and thickness will be allowed as per Motawi standards. No warranties are made against crazing, scratching or wear due to: improper installation (including improper alteration of the surface with sealers or grout), falling objects, abuse, misuse, exposure to extreme temperatures, using improper chemicals or compounds, non-foot traffic wear, or other similar incidents.

To obtain warranty service, contact Motawi Tileworks, Inc. at 170 Enterprise Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, 734.213.0017,, Implied warranties including that of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are limited in duration to the duration of this express warranty. Seller disclaims any liability for special, incidental, or consequential damages. Some states/provinces do not allow limitation on how long an implied warranty lasts, or the exclusion or limitation of special, incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights. You may also have other rights which vary from state/province to state/province. Any action for breach of this warranty must be commenced within one (1) year from the time the defect occurs or should have been discovered. Some states do not allow such a limitation on the time in which to sue, so the limitation may not apply to you. This is our exclusive written warranty.