first 5 samples are free!
first 5 samples are free!

Zellige Tiles for the Chicago Designer

01 / 02 / 2020




Chicago is impossible to explain to people who’ve never visited, just like zellige tiles are impossible to describe if you’ve never seen them in person. We’re going to try our best to capture the unique beauty and distinct character of these one-of-a-kind tiles, but their true splendor lies in their striking appearance.


Chicago is a city of juxtapositions, from the rich history to the modern architecture popping up every day. Zellige tiles are a perfect match for this metropolis, because although they have had a resurgence in contemporary interiors, their history stretches back for hundreds of years. If you live in Chicago, you undoubtedly appreciate the growth and constant transformation of art and culture. You need materials that match your surroundings, which is why the story behind Moroccan zellige tiles is perfectly unique.




From Sunny Morocco to the Windy City



Zellige tiles are handcrafted with raw clay that is harvested in the Fez region of Morocco. Master craftsmen (known as maâlems) soak the special clay in water and hand filter the impurities. The whole process is super delicate, and it takes years to master. Hardworking Chicagoans will appreciate the level of diligence and work ethic. The tiles are dried in the hot, Moroccan sun. a weather condition you Chicago residents might not be familiar with…just kidding :). The tiles are then shaped and reshaped numerous times. Hey, Chicago wasn’t built in a day, and neither were zellige tiles. Once they reach their final stage, the tiles are hand-dipped in a natural glaze and then fired in an earthen kiln made from Moroccan olive pits. Finally, the tiles are complete and ready to be shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to your greystone.




Art Across Continents



The most distinguishable quality about zellige tiles is definitely their natural variation. Because they are made by hand, no two tiles look exactly alike. The hairline chips and small imperfections should be expected and celebrated. But if you live in Chicago, you already appreciate individualism and artistic eccentricity. For those looking for a one-of-a-kind surface to match your one-of-a-kind interior, you’ve come to the right place. Guests will immediately notice the difference between handcrafted zellige, and commercialized mass-produced materials.




Interiors, Exteriors, Commercial Spaces…Oh My!



High-rises, industrial lofts, brick townhomes…these are just a few of the buildings that populate the Chicago skyline. Each property requires a different kind of decor to reflect the energy of the space. Lucky for you, our zellige tiles come in 38+ colors and several different cuts, so you can find your perfect match. Choose from 4”x4” squares, 2”x2” squares, 2”x6” subway tiles, or 3.5” hexagons. Warm up your cozy interior with Amber and Rouge, or embrace cool tones with Arcadia Blue and Tidepool teal. Modernists will fall in love with Casablanca White, and vintage collectors will meet their match with Nana’s Lipstick pink.




Chillin’ in Chi-Town



We know no two design projects are exactly alike, especially in the diverse Windy City. If you’re wondering about the best place to install zellige tiles, we’ve got some good news! Zellige tiles can be installed practically anywhere. Their glazed surface and natural distressed look makes them an ideal option for a variety of spaces. They’re super easy to maintain, which makes them even MORE versatile. The only maintenance required is an occasional wipe-down with a pH neutral cleaner.


You can use them to cover your entire floor, or you can create your own accent wall mosaic. Let your imagination run wild, and we’ll help you make it a reality. Zia Tile is based on Los Angeles, but we consult with homeowners and designers all over the world, including Illinois. We love working with a diverse community of visionaries, and we’re always available to answer your tile questions. Give us a call at 310-870-6782 and our customer service team would be happy to help. Or if you’d rather shoot us an email, you can contact us at info@ziatile.com. Happy decorating!

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