Cement tiles are made by hand, one at a time, using mineral pigments, cement, a mold, and a hydraulic press. The individual patterns are made by manually applying separate pigments, one by one, in a handmade brass mold. Cement tiles are not fired; there is no glaze layer on the surface of the tile. They derive their durability from the combination of finely dehydrated cement and a coarse sand and cement layer. The pigment layer is hydraulically pressed into the surface and becomes a part of the tile.
Proper installation and protection of cement tile is key. Please ensure that the tile is laid by an installer with experience installing cement tile.
Moroccan zellige (zellij) requires true craftsmanship. Historically used in geometric and floral shapes in the most beautiful palaces, zellige tile is now becoming more widely available.
Our craftsmen start with raw clay, which they soak in water and hand filter for impurities. At this point, the clay becomes a soft, malleable substance that can be placed into various molds. These pieces are then placed side by side and left to dry in the bright Moroccan sun. Zellige tiles are flattened and shaped by hand and left to dry further. Each piece of zellige is hand dipped in glaze and then methodically placed in an earthen kiln. Heat is distributed unevenly throughout the kiln which gives zellige its incredible variation.
Every zellige tile is an expression of the artisan’s work that day—beautifully imperfect and unique. Lastly, the tiles are glazed and cut to perfection. Each tile is a piece of art in its own right.