Zellige Tiles Around the Home
Late in 2018, Riad Tile announced that we would be introducing classic Moroccan zellige tiles to our curated repertoire of tiling. Zellige tiles have a reputation for their unique style, vibrant color, and the level of high quality that can only come from artisan crafting, so we knew that they would have some level of popularity here in the U.S., where they are still relatively new. However, we couldn’t have predicted the massive explosion in popularity that this classic style of tile has seen over the last year. Zellige tiles have taken the States by storm, appearing in spaces of a wide variety of stylistic backgrounds. Interior designers and DIY-renovators alike have taken to the shiny, glazed appearance and natural variations of this tile, using it to create all sorts of different applications.
At Riad Tile, one of the things we appreciate most about our customers is how readily they take to new designs and varieties of tile, making bold, exciting statements and paving the way for new applications. Our customers adoption and flawless incorporation of zellige into their projects has proven that this stunning variety of tile has arrived and is here to stay, as it has for centuries in its country of origin. Over the last year, we’ve seen our artisan-crafted zellige tiles used in showers, bathrooms, kitchens, and even as decorative features on pools. Each application is as unique as the person who created them, keeping us constantly impressed with our customers’ vision and commitment to flawless execution.
No matter the style of your home or what sort of application you want to create, we have the options needed to help you make the right decision for your space. Our zellige tile is available in a vibrant spectrum of colors, ranging from delicate and subdued to bold and striking. Each tile is individually handmade by highly skilled artisans located in Morocco.
Letting Your Artistic Vision Shine Using Zellige Tiles
With its artisanal origin and specialized production process, zellige tile’s versatility may come as a bit of a surprise. After all, when you’re looking for something that can be used in a variety of different spaces, you might not think to start your search in the palaces of Morocco. But due to the sizeable color palette we have available and the relatively simple color scheme within each variety, zellige can be used to great effect in many different situations. In fact, we find that one of the most interesting aspects of zellige is just how multifaceted it is, with potential uses only limited by the imagination. With Riad Tile’s available zellige, you can make something vivacious and prominent as well as something a bit more subdued and accenting, like in the example below.
In this example, you can clearly see just how substantial the addition of something as simple as our Snow Zellige can be. The off-white color is the perfect match for the shiny, white countertops, adding just enough variation in color to distinguish the wall from the counter. Additionally, the signature lack of complete uniformity that graces every zellige application is on full display here, with a handful of minor chips and speckles creating a complex tapestry that shirks that flawless evenness is the only way to go for tile. In this application of zellige tiles, the hard work and craftsmanship of the artisans is clear and easy to appreciate. It’s everything we love about the art of zellij.
In this one simple example, zellige tile proves that it can be used to create an application that is subdued yet complex, but this is just one sample. Our customers have used zellige to create new and exciting applications in many gorgeous settings, using zellige masterfully to bolster a space’s level of contrast, color, and texture. It just goes to show that zellige’s role in your application is completely up to you.
A Multitude of Uses Around the Home
So now that we’ve seen a simple, mild example of zellige being used in a little corner of the kitchen, what’s next? What else can zellige really be used for? The answer: a whole lot. Our zellige tiles are now a part of many kitchens, bathrooms, showers, and other areas of the home. This tile is as functional as it is gorgeous, leaving the decision of placement completely up to you.
Some applications are simpler and more strategic, like in this modern kitchen:
Despite the fact that this application of zellige is actually relatively small, it is a prominent feature within this kitchen, functioning as both a centerpiece and a strategically-placed accent. With white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and gold-tinted fixtures, this kitchen space is bright, elegant, and the perfect candidate for a zellige tile backsplash. This application of 4×4 Snow Zellige serves to unify the disparate parts of the kitchen, its off-white color softening the color of the cabinets while acting as a midpoint between the stainless steel and gold. Beyond the functionality of bringing the decor together, this application puts the delicate glaze of zellige on full display.
Though zellige tiles are excellent at adding a slight dose of color or texture where needed, they are also well-suited for more grandiose applications, serving as the focus of a room. In this kitchen, zellige takes a more contrasting role:
This stunning wraparound zellige tile backsplash uses our relatively simple 4×4 Natural White zellige to incredible effect, enhancing this kitchen’s charming color scheme. With its white countertop, grey-blue cabinets, and silver fixtures, this space features the best parts of simplicity without veering into boredom. Because of this simplicity, the zellige application really becomes a focal point of the kitchen. Thanks to the expert placement, the application’s subtle variations in color and texture become more apparent, providing a dose of contrast and complex color that deepens the surrounding decor.
While zellige is an amazing material for kitchens and backsplashes, it is by no means limited to ornamental applications. Zellige tiles are actually quite durable, and while they aren’t suited for high-traffic areas like entryways or porches, they are resistant to many forms of wear, such as water and even some light foot traffic. Zellige is an outstanding material for bathroom countertops and showers, as seen in this gorgeous example:
Our Snow Zellige, this time in the more delicate-looking 2×6 format, is an excellent foil to often starkly lit bathrooms. Snow zellige, with its soft off-white and gentle color variations toward grey or tan, is a perfect choice for people who still want their bathroom to feature vibrant white color but want to keep it from becoming too harsh. In this zellige shower, we can see this practice in action, as the tile walls contrast the bright white bathtub. In addition, the tinge of brass from the fixtures is a tasteful addition that complements the zellige well. Ultimately, this simple shower showcases zellige tile’s capacity to soften the edges of an otherwise bright space.
Though zellige tiles work well in simpler applications, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be used for more multifaceted projects. In fact, you can even use multiple styles of zellige in one space, leading to the creation of something truly unique.
This shower, which makes astounding use of our 4×4 White Zellige and 4×4 Black Zellige, is an example of a completely zellige feature. With a zellige floor, nook, and walls, this shower is shows that zellige can be used for every part of a shower. The black and white zellige tiles are an ideal contrast, creating a rustic, organic look for this shower while allowing the fixtures to tastefully contrast both. This shower is an exemplary showcase of zellige that exhibits this tile in its purest form, cracks, chips, color variations and all.
Fine, Old World Craftsmanship
Another aspect of zellige we’ve heard our customers praising is something that can be hard to grasp unless seen in person: its organic look. The classic look of zellige is owed to a few key factors: the time-tested production process, the natural building materials, and the talent of the craftsmen who make them.
Zellige tiles have been crafted using the same processes of hundreds of years, having been perfected centuries ago. Each zellige tile begins with unrefined clay, hand-kneaded with a bit of water, formed into the appropriate shape, and dried. Each tile is then kiln-fired over olive branches. Once the tile has been fired, the craftsmen apply a glass enamel finish that gives zellige its signature color. The way this finish interacts with the tile is somewhat unpredictable, giving each tile its own style, ranging from glittery pearlescent to subdued matte. Additionally, each tile’s texture takes on its own character as well. As the finish sets, subtle chipping or slight cracks may appear in any of the tile. These subtle imperfections give the zellige a bit of variation in texture, providing the rustic charm that these tiles have become well-known for in the U.S.
All of the craftsmen who make our tile are highly specialized in the art of zellij, spending years perfecting and honing the art form. The way zellige tiles are crafted has been handed down, one artisan to another, for generations, meaning that when you use zellige to create something unique, you’re adding a dose Old World tradition directly to your home.
Choose from a Wide Variety of Colors
At Riad Tile, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide our customers what they need to craft their perfect project. Our curated collection of tiles is designed to provide an ample quantity of options that are affordable and, most importantly, unique. With this philosophy in mind, our zellige collection features a wide variety of different colors, each of which is available in 2 different styles, 2×6 and 4×4. From vibrant pink to rich, organic green to multiple delicate blues, our offerings include colors for any and all applications you might have in mind.
Zellige tiles are colored using blends of natural pigments added to the glass enamel finish, creating utterly fascinating finishes on each individual tile. But as you saw in the examples above, zellige is at its best when alongside other zellige. The variations in color provide a level of contrast that looks positively stunning and organic, similar to how a tree’s fall leaves aren’t all exactly the same shade of red or yellow. These close variations can only be the product of handcrafting and happenstance, as replicating something like this through mass manufacture just isn’t possible. In each tile, you can clearly see the work of the artisan who made it, putting ages of tradition directly in your hands.
Complete Your Perfect Project
Whether you’re interested in renovating your entire home or you simply want to add a small backsplash to a half-bath, Riad Tile has everything you need to complete your dream project, ensuring that you don’t have to compromise one bit. Our tiles are individually handcrafted to ensure quality and provide you with the ideal materials for your home.
If you are interested in seeing our zellige in person, please feel free to order a sample directly to your front door. If you are local to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, stop by one of our displays located in several showrooms around the Metroplex.