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Nontraditional Uses for a Traditional Tile

As zellige tile continues to grow in popularity, many people who are new to the charms of this particular tile wonder how they can fit something as unique as handcrafted terracotta tile in their own design vision. After all, traditional Moroccan tile can seem an odd choice for the average home in the US. Make no mistake though, over the last few years this tile has proven its versatility time and time again, adding a unique flair to countless different projects

A Few Amazing Zellige Applications


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This kitchen features a handful of qualities that play very well together: the open-plan design, the lively color scheme, and the tasteful simplicity of the decor. These qualities are flawlessly united under the cohesive vision of the designer, who brought this bright and open kitchen together masterfully. In broad strokes, this kitchen is an excellent example of space and breathing room, with the island opening everything up while maximizing work surfaces for practical purposes. The whole kitchen is positively bathed in natural light, which really brings the glimmering zellige tile to life.

This kitchen’s simple but intriguing color scheme blends together dark grey and differing shades of white, with tinges of brass, black, and light natural wood finish that keep this kitchen far from anything resembling a bland dichotomy. The role of the zellige tile, Snow in 4×4, in this kitchen is to provide a dash of texture and altered color on the brighter side of the kitchen’s color scheme. Our Snow zellige isn’t simply stark white; its natural handcrafting process produces subtle tints that might skew toward light grey or even tan. This process also produces a slight cosmetic chipping or cracking that adds a rustic texture to zellige applications. In this kitchen, the variations and imperfections offered by zellige provide a pleasant contrast to the generally smooth textures of the cabinets, countertops, and floors. The off-white zellige also serves to contrast both the bright white countertops and the dark grey cabinets, bringing these disparate colors together the way a good backsplash should.

Over the last couple of years, white zellige tile has swiftly become among our most sought-after offerings. Both our Snow and Natural White varieties of zellige tile have become incredibly popular in homes across the country, with no sign of slowing down. Thanks to the early-adopting designers out there who explored the possibilities present in zellige, many people are becoming acquainted with this amazing type of tile and finding new ways to add it to their own homes.

As popular as white zellige has become, it’s definitely not the only color on the market. In fact, all of our other colors of zellige enjoy popularity across the stylistic spectrum. Some, like Forest Green and Black, offer deep, rich coloration suitable for complex applications, while others, like Blush or Sea Green, offer a vivacious look perfect for lively spaces. Still others, like our newest shade of zellige, Unglazed Natural, provide the neutrality to be used in countless scenarios.


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While this kitchen positively exudes classic style, the use of our Unglazed Natural zellige tile in 2×6 adds a new dimension to its traditional design. The most recent addition to our zellige collection, Unglazed Natural is zellige in its purest form, eschewing pigmentation and letting the natural beauty of terracotta shine. This rustic variety of zellige isn’t just another charming color though; it’s a window into the centuries of artisan tradition that goes into every tile. The color of Unglazed Natural is owed simply to the color of the earth and kiln-fired process used to create each one, meaning that these tiles bring a level of authenticity to the home that can be very difficult to attain. In modern settings, like this kitchen, Unglazed Natural provides fascinating color, amazing texture, and an instant sense of history.

In more practical terms, Unglazed Natural’s brown-tan hue is an intriguing addition to kitchens like this one. Often, using decor of this color scheme can be something of a risk, as this darker color can make a room feel dingy if overused, but not so with Unglazed Natural. Because of the variations in color introduced by the kiln-firing process, Unglazed Natural introduces multiple shades of earth tones, bringing light tan, ochre, and everything in between to the table. These delicate color shifts keep this brown-tinted tile from darkening the room, while adding numerous fascinating contrasts between the backsplash and the cabinets and appliances.

One of the things we enjoy most about zellige is its versatility, a quality that might seem surprising to find in a centuries-old style of tile. However, thanks to the spectrum of available colors and unique aesthetic, zellige has proven to be a welcome addition to all sorts of spaces, even appearing in some small businesses:


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This salon in Boston has proven that there’s a place for zellige everywhere! Featuring 4×4 Emerald Green on the wall, this is one of those spaces that shows just what zellige is capable of in a modern setting. The verdant tapestry created by this zellige application is the perfect match for the light wood floors and pink accents, adding rich color and a glazed glimmer that dances across the wall. This application proves that traditional roots don’t have to constrain the uses of any piece of decor. Up until a few years ago, very few people in the US had ever heard of zellige tile, and now, it’s sweeping across the nation, both in homes and in professional settings.

Shop Our Zellige Tile

Beyond the selections above, we have zellige available in numerous shades and several different shapes. At Riad Tile, we make it our goal to provide you with the highest possible quality of tile and the most affordable prices, because we don’t think that you should ever have to settle for less when building your dream space. All of our zellige tile is handcrafted in Morocco according to time-tested methods by artisans who have spent years perfecting their art. Bring a taste of Moroccan tradition to your home, order a sample of zellige today and we’ll ship directly to your front door.