Originating in Morocco, Zellige style tile is shaping up to be the hottest trend of 2019.
Zellige tiles are popping up everywhere nowadays, and these ancient terracotta tiles are not appropriate for perfectionists! Traditional Zellige tiles are hand made in Morroco of natural clay, usually terracotta, and then coated with an enamel glaze by hand. The tiles wildly irregular shade variations have an imperfect, organic quality; chips, dings, and divots are a feature, not a flaw.
The current reigning champion of producing these ancient tiles is Cle’ Tile. Our clients who insist on Cle’ fall in love with the sequin like shine and depth of the tiles. They are produced on a thick terracotta base that gives the tile a warmth even after glazing, and their meticulous attention to detail and quality has won over many designers. Their tiles are handmade in Morroco by artisans that have been honing their craft for generations. They offer many different sizes and colors leaving the door open to imaginative applications. Due to the nature of the process, lead times for special orders can be on the long side, 18-20 weeks, but they do have many sizes and colors ready to ship in 5-10 business days. One drawback of using the real thing is the time and detail it takes to install the tiles, this is not suitable for a DIY application! The retail price of these tiles starts at $19.50/SF plus freight for their most basic color and size options.
Fortunately, recognizing the demand, other tile vendors are putting out lovely copies that are easier on the pocketbook and easier to install. These copies are machine-made but use multiple molds and encourage an irregularity in color variation, glaze, size, and texture to emulate the originals. Though not built with terracotta clay, many of these copies are made on a natural clay that successfully creates that organic feel. The lead times on these options are usually 5-7 days or less and price per square foot ranges from $9-14.
Please visit some of our vendors that currently offer beautiful Zellige look options