What Is Zellige Tile? Design Ideas That Highlight Every Handcrafted… – Better Homes & Gardens

If you’re looking for a tile to elevate your space, few compare to handcrafted zellige tiles. There’s nothing cookie-cutter about them. Instead, zellige tiles embrace imperfection to add character to a room . “When people see or pick up the piece of zellige, they can feel the story, the heritage, the particular craftsmanship, the connection to timeless tradition; it goes so far beyond decoration, ” says  Deborah Osburn, founder of  Clé Tile .

Zellige tile is unmatched in bringing one-of-a-kind personality to a new space. “Zellige imparts some sort of distressed, lived-in look that adds personality to any decor, ” Osburn says. “It will loosen up and modernize a traditional decor plus impart a good warm feel to even the most streamlined and modern of environments. “

To get in on the  design trend that’s centuries in the making, we asked interior designers to deliver all typically the details on this character-rich tile, as well as style ideas with regard to helping zellige tile live up in order to its potential in your home.  

  Kelly Christine Photo

What exactly is Zellige Tile?

“Zellige ceramic tiles have been around regarding hundreds associated with years, ” says Aubrey Butcher, the interior designer behind  Gilded Heights in addition to co-owner of  Riad Tile . “Each piece is a work of art, handcrafted by artisans who have learned their trade from ancestors before them. ” It’s this originality that Butcher credits with zellige’s current popularity. “There aren’t many materials that are as versatile and original as zellige, ” she says.

In order for your tile to be considered authentic zellige, Osburn explains it has to be made in Morocco. There’s an art to be able to the hand-cutting and chiseling of this tiles which has been passed down through generations. “Every tile is hand-molded, hand-cut, and hand-glazed, which means no two zellige tiles are exactly alike, ” she says.  

Osburn explains that genuine zellige through Morocco uses clay sourced from Fez, a city within the northeast part of the country. “[The clay] will be molded into blocks, cured in the sun, then hand-cut in to tiles before it is hand-glazed and kiln fired within ancient bee-hive kilns, fueled by olive pits and even branches. ”

This entire process together with attention to often the generational wisdom that comes with your trade is usually what gives zellige its hand-hewn and additionally “perfectly imperfect” appearance, states. You can spot traditional zellige floor tiles by paying attention for you to these imperfections. “The most defining characteristic of real Moroccan zellige are the beautiful flaws, irregularities, not to mention variation, ” Osburn describes.  

  Kelly Christine Photo

5 Things to Consider Before Choosing Zellige Tile

1. Tile Resiliency

Because regarding its detailed appearance and also handmade quality, it’s easy to think zellige should be admired coming from afar, but Butcher says that couldn’t be farther from the truth. “Zellige is definitely not as fragile of a material as it appears once it’s already been delivered, ” she states. “Each item is fired in a kiln multiple times, making it very strong and resistant to heat. ” It’s also easy to help clean so it’s ideal intended for use in places like kitchens and bathrooms, since it doesn’t show soap scum like other porcelain tiles might. To clean the exact tiles, Osburn recommends a mild, pH-neutral cleaning soap, but suggests testing this in some small area before applying it at large.  

2. Color as well as Glaze Selection

When it comes to color selection, Osburn points to white options like Clé  Tile’s  Moroccan Sea Salt   and  Weathered White   while customer favorites, though their own collection of  Neo-Neutrals , which usually encompasses pinks, beiges, platinum whites, and gold, is growing in popularity. “We also are finding that will deeper colors such as green and red are increasingly popular, ” she says. “The rich glossiness involving the glaze only serves to play up the zellige’s characteristic texture. inch

Whenever working along with colored zellige tiles, Butcher finds the natural variation inside the glazing to become perfectly striking plus impossible in order to recreate together with porcelain or even ceramic choices.   “Natural colorways pair perfectly using marble in bathrooms in addition to kitchens , creating a timeless, tonal area, ” states Butcher. “For a more striking look, using color is always a fun choice. ”

If you’re deciding between glazed and even unglazed zellige, consider whether you want a bold or subtle look. A glossed zellige works to reflect light, lending a more glamorous quality of which, according to Osburn, accentuates the particular handcrafted high quality of the tiles.  

3. Design Suggestions

Any time it arrives to zellige tile design and style ideas, the possibilities are endless. “This is especially apparent in Morocco, where everything from park benches to the exteriors connected with buildings to be able to interior stairs is covered in zellige, ” claims Butcher. The designer is a fan of zellige for a fabulous kitchen backsplash , yet her favorite application might just be a project the fact that hits closer to home. “We furthermore renovated our fireplace a few years ago together with took an important dark green zellige tile floor for you to ceiling, and additionally it’s become a favorite part with our home. ”

Some of typically the more popular applications are baths and showers, bar areas, and accent walls. However, Osburn can be quick to help advise going a more unexpected route if you are so inclined. For her, it’s the unique uses like ceilings and exterior garden walls that truly highlight this artistry inside the material and provide a light-reflecting dimension.  

While the layout possibilities are seemingly endless, there are a few locations where Osburn and Grocer say zellige tile could be ill-advised. Avoid freeze-thaw conditions and become aware of staircase applications as zellige tile can be a more slippery surface than wood or other materials.  

4. Grout Selection

According to Osburn, traditional applications of zellige tile don’t use grout at all, instead calling on a butt joint. While this process has stood the test of time, the girl recommends customers opt for binding material and a slightly larger joint of 1/16. “Because each piece of zellige is handmade, there will be defects along the edges from time to time, ” explains Grocer. “We usually recommend the tonal grout choice, because this complements it best. ” The contrasting binding material could draw attention in order to the otherwise unique flaws in a way that isn’t as flattering.

5. Installation Considerations

Zellige tile requires professional installers , ideally those who have experience installing handcrafted mosaic glass. “Installers who have no experience having zellige are usually often confused by often the ‘perfect imperfection’ of legitimate zellige not to mention uncertain for how to install tile in a way that takes the most advantage about zellige’s inherent textural, size, and colour variation, ” Osburn tells. Blending your tiles, throughout both color and dimension, is paramount. Clients should be present throughout the installation procedure so these people can work with the installer to ensure they are pleased with the overall look and also feel. All tiles must be taken by the box as well as laid out upon the floor. That way, you and the exact installer can easily then begin laying them out around a blended fashion, exactly how you want them to be able to appear. Be prepared for you to shuffle and reshuffle the tiles until you find the perfect layout.  

The Interiorist

The Interiorist

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