Let’s Talk…Installing Bejmat and Zellij

Handcrafted and full of texture, bejmat and zellij tiles are one-of-a-kind. Tiles this unique come with equally unique installation instructions. However, with the right installer and our handy guide, laying bejmat and zellij can be a piece of cake! Follow these guidelines, and it’ll be smooth sailing when creating your Moroccan-tiled dreamscape.

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12 / 16 / 2022

First Things First

 You received your beautiful box of zellij! Now what? First, inspect your tile. Feel free to remove any unwanted pieces, but remember, pits, cracks, and crazing are what give your bejmat character! Different batches are dyed slightly different hues, which means you want to avoid placing similarly shaded tiles directly next to each other. Mix and match tile from different boxes to get an evenly mottled overall color. 

Making the Cut

 After you’ve measured your space, you can make your cuts with a standard tile cutter or a water-cooled tile saw with a diamond-edged blade. Before starting your installation, make sure your surface is as level as possible. The varying thickness and texture of bejmat and zellij will create a naturally irregular surface, so they should be placed on a space that is relatively smooth to begin with. 

Ready, (Thin)set, Go!

 Spread your thinset on your tiling surface and on the back of each, individual tile. Now you’re ready to start placing your tiles! Lay the tiles one by one with little to no space in between each tile. The traditional method of installing bejmat and zellij is edge to edge. However, you’ll still want to use grout to fill in the gaps. We recommend matching the color of grout to the tile, and using a grout bag to avoid staining. 

Au Naturel

 Going for unglazed bejmat or zellij? These natural beauties need a little more TLC. Soak your unglazed pieces prior to applying the thinset. Make sure to seal these tiles both before and after grouting to combat their naturally porous surface. We recommend using the 511 Porous Plus Sealer from Miracle Sealants. There may be a few more installation steps to complete, but there’s nothing quite like the aesthetic appeal of unglazed zellij. 

The Perfect Placement

 If you’ve fallen in love with these tessellated wonders but you’re not sure where to place them, we have some sparkling suggestions! Zellij tiles are well suited for both interior and exterior installations. They make stunning shower walls and beautiful kitchen backsplashes. Bejmat tiles can also be used as flooring in low-trafficked areas (unglazed natural on the floor is our favorite!) 

From LA to You

 Zia Tile is based in Los Angeles but we ship all over the world. Now that you know the ins and outs of installing Moroccan tile, it’s time to find your ideal shape and shade! We offer zellij tiles in 38+ colors and four distinct cuts. Looking for more tile-related advice? Reach out to our team for tips and tricks!

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