Moroccan tiles are one of those trends that will be around for years and they’re a fantastic way to bring Mediterranean style to your home. They don’t have to be restricted to older cottages – when used right, they work beautifully in modern homes as well. From kitchens to bathrooms, there are plenty of ways you can usher in the Moroccan vibe.
Moroccan tile designs are based on intricate patterns that are assembled from small cut pieces to create a bigger whole. The result is a stunning tile pattern that can be used as a focal point in your home, whether you opt for the classic blue and white option or something a little more bold and colourful.
The best Moroccan tile makers are masters of zellige, the ancient art of creating these unique hand-made tiles. The artisan who produces these unique tiles is known as a Maallem. They have a centuries-old tradition and are incredibly proud of their work. They’re the only ones that should be producing zellige tiles and not the cement and hand-painted versions that can often be found in stores.
Zellige is a difficult art to master and the process is laborious and time-consuming. The artisans start by soaking the clay they’re working with in water until it softens. Then, they use a tool called a Menqach which resembles a large and broad hammer with both ends cautiously sharpened. It’s a complicated tool that takes years to learn how to use. An experienced cutter can cut up to 400 tiles each day!
Once the tiles are cut they’re carefully arranged and placed on a large canvas, which is covered with plaster. Then, they’re left to dry under the sun. Once they’re fully dried, the artisan will grout the tiles and paint them with vibrant colours. These bright and cheerful colours are a hallmark of Moroccan design.
Unlike paintings, which can only hang in certain spaces and are prone to damage when exposed to moisture, Moroccan tiles have the versatility to go just about anywhere in your home. They’re also a lot more cost-effective than a painting and can be repainted later on when you want to change your style.
The most popular Moroccan tile designs are geometric. These are usually based on repeating shapes and can be found in a range of sizes from tiny mosaic tiles to larger symmetrical hexagons. They’re perfect for adding interest to a bathroom and can be used as a focal point in the room.
If you’re looking for a Moroccan tile supplier in the US, consider Tiles of Ezra. They’re a company that has a direct partnership with zellige artists in Morocco and are incredibly proud of their work. It’s a beautiful way to support local artisans and add a piece of Moroccan history into your home.