Zellige tiles are small natural or enameled terracotta tiles typical of the Moroccan artisanal tradition. Handmade in the Fez region, they line the floors and walls of palaces, mosques and riad patios with floral or geometric patterns. The local clay is poorly filtered and ancestral manufacturing in rudimentary kilns produces pieces with an irregular appearance: more or less curved tiles, uneven layer of enamel, removal of material in places, micro cracks or presence of small white balls called “plaster lice”. This is what makes the originality and beauty of traditional zellige tiles that no industrial production can match.

What formats are offered ?
Originally, the formats are innumerable since they are cut according to the desired decor in situ. We offer simpler formats in squares (in 10x10cm, 5x5cm and 2.5×2.5cm), in rectangles, Bejmats in 5x15cm, 20x20cm plates of small square tiles assembled in 2x2cm or rectangular in 2.5x5cm, hexagons, split corners to accommodate a cabochon, “chacours” in the shape of scales in three sizes, various geometric or calligraphic friezes and « Tableaux » with exclusive floral motifs. And all these formats in 48 colours to choose from.
A quote may be requested for any other formats or sizes than those offered on the website.

Why are they so different from each other within the same reference ?
These are the welcome hazards of artisanal manufacturing. The tiles should not be considered one by one, the risk would be to reject those which might not appear “compliant” at first sight whereas the beauty of a zellige tile panel lies in the infinite nuances perceptible throughout the decor .

Why do they look like broken on the edge ?
This is the specificity of zellige tiles : these tiles must really be laid edge to edge, they are skillfully hammered on the edge in order to provide better grip for the glue because the very thin joint would not be enough to fix it permanently in a vertical position. Zellige tiles for the floor do not need this precaution and have straight edges.

Are they fragile ?
No more fragile than any other ceramic tile once installed correctly according to the instructions provided.

Are they different for floors and walls ?
The zellige tiles for the walls are approximately 12 mm thick and have beveled hammered edges to promote adhesion on vertical support. The zellige tiles for the floor have straight edges and are thicker, around 18 mm.

Does the installation of zellige tiles present any particular difficulties ?
We provide precise instructions for installing zellige tiles. No particular difficulties, it is however essential to ensure that the glue is spread over the entire back of the tile as well as on the support. The tiles must be laid edge to edge, the irregularity of the zellige tile means that the gap between two tiles is variable, and on average more or less 1 mm. We do not use crosspieces, only pieces of very thin cardboard if necessary to help in places. In addition, it is important to mix the tiles to distribute all the colour nuances in a natural way.

How to cut zellige tiles ?
With a portable saw with diamond cutting blade, as with any ceramic tile.

What color should I choose for the joints ?
We recommend a medium gray joint whatever the colour of the zellige tiles chosen so that it blends into the whole without creating an unsightly grid. Above all, no joint tinted to match the colour of the zellige tiles.

Should the surface of the zellige tiles be treated ?
If the zellige tiles are glazed, they do not need to be treated after installation, they are as solid and waterproof as any glazed tiles. Only “natural” (unglazed) zellige tiles must be treated with a suitable water-repellent wax or oil.

How to clean the surface of zellige tiles ?
With any commercial descaling cleaner, such as household white vinegar, for example.

Can they be placed anywhere indoors ?
Yes, really everywhere, in dry areas as well as in wet areas.

Can they be placed outdoors ?
Yes, however you should avoid placing them on the ground in cold regions because it is frost-prone. Vertical walls are less likely to freeze (water does not stagnate there), especially if they are sheltered. Whatever the climate, it is preferable to create a slight slope on the ground so that more or less acidic rain (which would otherwise stagnate) does not ultimately alter the surface of the zellige tiles.

Can they be placed in a swimming pool or pond ?
Yes, zellige tiles cover patio and swimming pool basins in Morocco, so it is possible to use them in regions where it does not freeze. Otherwise avoid.

Can they be placed near a stove, near or in a fireplace ?
Zellige tiles pass through fire and are therefore resistant to high temperatures. They can be placed in front of and around a fireplace, but not inside in contact with the flames.
A metal wood stove must be placed at least 37.5 cm from a wall, tiled or not, and the smoke exhaust pipe at a distance 3 times greater than its diameter.

Are they compatible with underfloor heating ?
Yes, it is the quality of the glue that matters in the case of underfloor heating.

Can they be placed in a public place ?
Yes, especially as a wall decor there is no problem. For floor installation, you should know that in the long term high traffic with shoes will wear down the enameled surface, as can be seen in old buildings in Morocco.

In what cases is an “expansion joint” necessary?
An expansion joint can prevent cracks from appearing over time. It must be laid around the edge of the tiling according to the rules in force and is only necessary if the surface area is large (from 40m²) and if the support is considered unstable, as in an old construction, for example, or when installation on pre-existing parquet flooring, even patched.

Can they be placed on pre-existing tiles or parquet ?
Yes, in both cases it is necessary to ensure the good flatness and stability of the base by possibly carrying out surface repairs and leveling.

Do you have zellige tiles in stock ?
We have most colour references in stock in 10x10cm and 5x5cm formats. However, stock quantities are limited and may be temporarily unavailable.

What is the minimum quantity for an order ?
No minimum quantity for orders of tiles by the piece, knowing that the price is more attractive from one m² of the same reference. The price of friezes is calculated per linear metre.

Do you give samples ?
The zellige tile samples are in 10x10cm format. You must keep in mind that a single tile will not allow you to visualize all the nuances within the same colour reference. The samples are sold in order to avoid waste and not have to increase the selling price per m² which would necessarily be the case if the samples were offered.

Should we order a quantity of zellige tiles corresponding to the exact surface to be tiled ?
It is essential to provide an additional quantity of 6 to 10% to compensate for possible breakages and necessary cuts during installation.

If too many zellige tiles are ordered, is it possible to return them and get a refund ?
Returns with partial refund are possible provided that the boxes have not been opened and are intact.

What are the lead times for non-stock orders ?
About two months.

Do you deliver everywhere ?
Yes, everywhere. A quote is calculated based on the location of delivery and the total weight of the pallets shipped.

What is the weight of one m² of zellige tiles ?
20 to 24 kilos.

Can we request special decorations on the zellige tiles ?
Yes, and it’s an EMERY&Cie exclusive. Agnès Emery hand paints countless small animal or plant patterns, offering a vast choice of colours for the pattern as well as for the background enamel of the tile. Each tile is unique for a tailor-made decor project.