April 24, 2018

TALKING TILES - Moroccan tiles

zellige, cement tiles, mosaic, bejmat

There are several names on Moroccan tiles and the word Zellige has become the common word for tile here. Quite confusing as I used to call the small square tiles zelliges ...

Fes and Meknes are known for there high quality clay to produce pottery and tiles. Of course, these are the most expensive ones, but also Safi and on small scale Marrakech have tile production.

There is one tile though that has nothing to do with clay and which I love for all the beautiful colours and patterns! We're talking cement tiles

Another tile that is frequently used on floors are Bejmat tiles. In fact the same basic ingredients as the Mosaic and the zellige but in a brick shape and often not glazed and in it's original terracotta colour. You can find them however in any glazed colour you want.

Zellige (Zellij)

Beautiful setting with Zellige tiles from ZocoHome
The square glazed tiles that became very popular worldwide about 10 year ago. They are all handmade and their imperfection is something to consider when you want to apply it. It's this imperfection that gives the tile its characteristic beautiful look but you might not want to use it in areas that need a lot of maintenance.

Mosaic

zellige, cement tiles, mosaic, bejmat
Classical Moorish patterns on floor and wall
Mosaic tiles are Zelliges cut into small pieces and put together in Moorish, Islamic patterns to create breath taking interiors. The art of making these mosaics you can admire in all Moroccan cities. Small workshops with men on the floor, mastering the technique of cutting the smallest pieces one by one and then putting them together like a puzzle!

Bejmat

zellige, cement tiles, mosaic, bejmat
Green glazed Bejmat tiles in fish bone pattern at le Jardin Secret
The ways to put bejmat tiles seem to be endless. From fish bone or straight to all kinds of combinations from natural unglazed ones with a colourful square heart of the pattern. 

Cement Tiles

Zellige, Bejmat, cement tiles, mosaic
Colourful cement tile floor at Max&Jan Medina
cement tiles have to grow on you! Not only do they get more beautiful with ageing, but I'm every time again excited to try out another pattern, another colour and create magic! It's a fairly cheap way to create astonishing homes, however you have to realise that they are quite thick and heavy. So count with about 7 cm of space to put them (screed+tile)


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