What Is Zellige Tile?

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Zellige Nouveau Matt White Metro Ceramic Tile Mandarin Stone

What is Zellige Tile?


Zellige tile is a traditional form of Moroccan mosaic tilework. It is created by handcrafting individual tiles using a combination of clay, natural pigments, and glazes. The tiles are then assembled together to form intricate geometric patterns, which can be used to decorate walls, floors, and other surfaces.


Zellige tile dates back several centuries and has its roots in Islamic art and architecture. The technique was developed in the 10th century and reached its peak during the 14th century in the city of Fez, Morocco. Zellige tilework can be found in various historic buildings, such as palaces, mosques, and mausoleums, throughout Morocco and other parts of the Islamic world.

Design and Patterns

Zellige tile is known for its intricate geometric patterns. These patterns are created using a combination of basic shapes, such as squares, triangles, and stars, which are arranged in a repetitive manner. The designs can be simple or complex, depending on the skill of the artisan. Common color choices for zellige tiles include shades of blue, green, yellow, and white.

Production Process

The production of zellige tiles is a labor-intensive process that involves several steps. First, the clay is shaped into small squares or other geometric shapes. The tiles are then dried in the sun and fired in a kiln. Once the tiles are ready, they are individually hand-glazed and fired again to achieve the desired color and finish. Finally, the tiles are assembled into larger panels or mosaics.


There are several advantages to using zellige tiles in interior design. Firstly, they add a unique and exotic touch to any space. The intricate patterns and vibrant colors of zellige tiles can create a visually stunning effect. Secondly, zellige tiles are durable and long-lasting. They can withstand high temperatures, making them suitable for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Lastly, zellige tiles are eco-friendly, as they are made from natural materials and do not release harmful chemicals into the environment.

Installation and Maintenance

Installing zellige tiles requires skill and precision. It is recommended to hire a professional installer who has experience working with this type of tile. Proper maintenance is also important to keep zellige tiles looking their best. Regular cleaning with a mild detergent and soft cloth is usually sufficient. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes, as they can damage the glaze and patterns of the tiles.

Where to Buy

Zellige tiles can be purchased from specialty tile stores or online retailers that specialize in Moroccan or Islamic-inspired design. It is important to ensure that the tiles are authentic and of high quality. Reading customer reviews and checking the reputation of the seller can help in making an informed decision.


Zellige tile is a traditional Moroccan mosaic tilework that adds a unique and exotic touch to any space. With its intricate geometric patterns and vibrant colors, zellige tiles create a visually stunning effect. They are durable, eco-friendly, and suitable for use in various areas of the home. If you’re looking to add a touch of Moroccan charm to your interior design, zellige tiles are definitely worth considering.