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Zellige in the Shower – A Beginner’s Guide

03 / 06 / 2020

2x2 'Glacier Blue' glazed terra-cotta zellige, 3/8 inch thick, 10.76 square feet per box (400 tiles)
Our iridescent, shimmering Glacier Blue zellige is lighting up this shower from Woodland Design Co.

 

We know everyday life can get hectic, and there’s no better remedy for stress than hopping in a serene (and almost-too-hot) shower at the end of the day. We firmly believe that this area of your bathroom should feel like a refreshing respite from daily life.

 

Your shower should be somewhere you look forward to spending time, not just a bland necessity. Self-care is super important, and an easy way to upgrade the look and feel of your shower is to install hand-crafted Moroccan zellige tiles. With colors ranging from earthy neutrals like our Unglazed Natural to vibrant jewel tones, there’s no limit to your creative vision.  We offer the largest selection in the US of zellige tiles in over 38 vibrant, multi-hued colors. Choose from 2×2 or 4×4 squares, 2×6 subway tiles, or 3.5 inch hexagons. 

 

 

 

 

Make a Statement with Zellige

 

 

Each piece of Moroccan zellige is molded by hand, fired, and hand chiseled in a process that is nearly a millennia in the making. Looking for an accent wall that’ll knock people’s socks off? Then this is the tile for you. Whether you’re in the mood for clean neutrals like our Pure White 2×6 or more vibrant colors, zellige tiles are versatile and customizable.

 

And that brings us to one of the more exciting concepts of our hand-cut tile; zellige mosaics. Originally used in Southern Spain and North Africa, zellige tile mosaics blend a variety of colors in multi-dimensional patterns that range from simple trapezoids to incredibly complex interlocking patterns. The Alhambra in Granada, Spain is one of the worlds finest examples of this marvel of the tile world. So if you’re looking to create a shower that may very well end up as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then these fantastically unique patterns may be calling your name.

 

 

The Alhambra in Granada, Spain

 

Zellige Mosaic at the Alhambra – photograph from Getty Images

 

 

 

 

A Shower Tile that Stands Out

 

If there’s one design trend you’ve probably noticed, it’s multi-hued, endlessly variable Moroccan zellige adorning surfaces from Instagram to Pinterest and everywhere in between. We fell in love with these Moroccan beauties many years ago, and we’ve made it our mission at Zia Tile to bring these handcrafted, hand cut marvels of the tile world to a global audience. And our absolute favorite place to use zellige tiles? The shower.

 

In a world slathered in mass-produced, characterless ceramics, zellige stands out as a bathroom tile with something to say. With its shimmering, textured surface, hand-crafted Zellige tiles are quite unlike any other tile on Earth – and this wholly unique character starts with craftsmanship. Our craftsmen start with raw clay which they soak in water and hand filter for impurities until the clay becomes a soft, malleable substance that can be placed into various molds left to dry in the bright Moroccan sun. Each tile is hand glazed and then methodically placed in an earthen kiln. 

 

This is where the true magic happens; heat is distributed unevenly throughout the kiln which gives zellige gorgeous variations. After the tiles cool, each piece is hand chiseled to perfection. Every tile is an expression of the artisan’s work that day—beautifully imperfect and unique. This process, from start to finish, is truly what sets our Moroccan zellige apart. 

 

 

 

 

Modern Design Meets an Old-World Aesthetic

 

 

We find that the best modern designs elevate individual construction materials through clean lines, brightly lit open spaces, and minimal, uncluttered decor. Modern design is all about embracing natural materials, and this is where our perfectly imperfect, handmade zellige tiles really begin to speak for themselves. If you’re a designer or homeowner with a more contemporary aesthetic, jewel-toned tiles like our Jade 4×4 zellige (quite possibly our favorite zellige color right now) will turn your tepid shower from luke-warm to scalding hot! Shop sleek and stylish neutrals like our Casablanca White or our multi-hued Graphite Grey for bolder, contrasting shades. Each of our 38 gorgeously varied zellige colors lend themselves to a shower space that is richly textured, multi-hued, and fantastically unique. Have a flair for the dramatic? Our monochromatic Carbon Black 4×4’s pair perfectly with bold, modern décor.

 

 

 

Zellige in the shower! Our Jade 4×4 is a deep, jewel toned green.

 

 

 

 

Zellige Tiles – Monochromatic Tones and Variation

 

 

Zellige is part of a greater trend towards artisanally produced handicraft – in a sea of sameness, people are searching for products that reflect a more unique character. As a result, ombré and gradient patterns have risen to popularity in the last ten years. Because of the way our zellige is fired, tonal gradients within each color can vary dramatically.  This natural tonal variation is completely unique to the earth-fired kilns in which zellige is made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zellige Tiles in the Shower – Where to Start?

 

 

From shower walls, to shower floors and every shower niche in between – figuring out the best size, color, and placement can be a little daunting. Dealing with an unusually shaped space? Our zellige tiles are offered in smaller sizes, which makes them perfect for covering spaces with weird angles and curves, and smaller format 2×2 zellige easily fits the slope and space of your shower pan. Check out our pinterest page for a few design ideas to help you on your journey.

 

Zellige Tiles for Shower Walls

 

The ancient tradition of zellige gave rise to the glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles that are so commonly seen on shower walls – and we are thrilled to see the rediscovery of such primitively dynamic tile. Because of their impermeable glass enamel layer, Zellige tiles are the perfect material for in and around the shower, with gorgeous character imbued by their varied color and texture. Each piece of handmade zellige is a work of art unto itself.

 

 

 

4x4 'Desert Bloom' glazed terra-cotta zellige, 3/8 inch thick, 10.76 square feet per box (100 tiles)
Desert Bloom glazed terracotta Moroccan zellij tile from Zia Tile

 

 

 

 

Zellige Tiles for Shower Floors

 

When it comes to shower floors, a few considerations are worth noting:

 

 

 

2x2 'Tidepool' glazed terra-cotta zellige, 3/8 inch thick, 10.76 square feet per box (400 tiles)
Tidepool glazed terra-cotta Moroccan zellij tile from Zia Tile

 

 

 

 

Looking for Your Own Zellige Shower Tiles? Call us.

 

To learn more about our perfectly imperfect Moroccan zellige shower tiles, contact our Zia Tile design team. And if zellige mosaics are your thing, we can help you to create customized patterns and designs that will best match the layout of your shower. Zia Tile also ships 5 free sample tiles so you can see all of our gorgeous zellige tiles for yourself! Call us at 310.844.1170 or shoot us an email to info@ziatile.com

 

 

 

 

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