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product line - essaouria lustre blend

the latest addition to our zellige collection is the ultimate neutral: gold and platinum. we took rustic handcrafted clay tile and hand painted it with a layer of 24 karat gold and platinum respectively to create a rich, molten, metallic finish. to be used discerningly - a little glimmer goes a long way. 


what grout joint size, type, and color do you recommend?

zellige is traditionally set without the use of any grout. in morocco the installations are done with a butt joint and no grout whatsoever–and they have withstood the test of time. however, at clé we recommend a slightly larger grout joint of 1/16, with mapei flexcolor cq grout.

note that the gold / platinum areas of your mixed zellige installation should be finger grouted. we recommend working in small areas and carefully finger grouting to keep grout in the joints and off the surface of the decorative tiles. you may find it easiest to employ this grouting method by using a grout bag for applying the grout into the joint and finalizing the grout finish with your finger or a soft, microfiber cloth.

we do not generally recommend using a contrasting grout color with zellige, as it will highlight the thin hairline cracks/crazing found on the tiles, and fill in any pits, and/or chips. if you choose to use a contrasting grout (i.e. white grout with black tile) please order 20-30% overage in order to cherry-pick the tile of the imperfections that are standard to zellige. additionally, you must make sure to apply a penetrating sealant or grout release prior to grouting in order to minimize the possibility of the contrasting grout curing in the inherent hairline cracks, pits, and/or chips.

grout color selection is always up to our client and/or their design professional. however, clé is often asked for our opinion on best grout selections for our tiles. and due to the large array of grout colors that are now available, clé would like to offer this general guideline on a foolproof grout color selection for any of your clé tiles.

  • first, have your professional tile contractor complete your tile installation, except for the grout portion.
  • next, when ready to grout, ask your contractor to bring ALL grout color charts from his preferred grout manufacturers, for your review.
  • lastly, choose a time of day when you are most pleased with the lighting in your space (either natural lighting, installed lighting or a blend of both). during that lighting and time of day, select the grout color that best matches your tile selection.

note that the full mapei flexcolor cq color catalogue contains 40 colors to choose from. visit the mapei website to view.

for more information about grouting please see our zellige installation & maintenance guide and gold & platinum installation & maintenance guide.

do i need to seal a mixed glazed, unglazed and gold & platinum installation of zellige tiles?

due to the unglazed zellige tiles' extremely porous nature, they must be sealed before grouting to avoid staining.

IMPORTANT: if glazed zellige tiles are being grouted with a contrasting grout color vs. a matching one, then you should also seal before grouting because many tiles may have crazing without it being visible to the eye and would only come out with the grouting of the tiles as the invisible crazing absorbs the dye from the contrasting grout.

backsplash installations should be sealed as the final step of installation. If the essaouria lustre blend is installed on a busy kitchen backsplash we recommend applying the clé top coat kit instead of using miracle 511 porous plus in order to be cleaned easily.

for more information about sealing please see our zellige installation & maintenance guide and our gold & platinum zellige installation and maintenance guide.

do you offer trim for your zellige tile?

at clé we follow the international model of no trim and highly recommend our clients to do the same. below are the trim alternatives we recommend for this collection.
- if your project needs to turn a corner either inwardly or outwardly, mitering the tiles to meet seamlessly in a corner gives it the cleanest, crafted finish.
- another way to complete your tiling is to run a bead of caulk or grout along the exposed tile edge.
- if you have a painted surface next to your bejmat tile, you can choose to paint the outer edge of the tile to match the painted surface.
- like with any of our tiles, you can also build out the sheetrock so that the surface of the finished sheetrock is flush with the surface of the tile.

how do i take care of my zellige tiles?

over time, a natural patina will occur on floors as they are maintained and naturally wear. this inherent traffic pattern is a highlight of using zellige and should be both anticipated and favored.

mild, pH neutral soaps and a sponge should be sufficient for most cleaning for unglazed and glazed tiles —test before general use, whereas you should make sure to ONLY use a very soft cloth and water to softly clean this surface the gold tiles. soaps and anything abrasive can remove the finish. do not use paper towels on gold tiles as they may scratch the surface of the tiles.

avoid using coarse materials, harsh chemicals and acidic or alkaline cleaning products. grout lines can be cleaned with warm water and a soft small bristled cleaning brush. immediately clean up spills—do not allow liquids to sit on the tile surface.

topical sealants on unglazed zellige and on areas of visble crazing on glazed tiles (but not gold / platinum) will require periodic stripping and re-application of sealant—please refer to a professional for this.

IMPORTANT: please be aware that over time the surface, especially of the gold / platinum tiles, will eventually wear down with any type of friction (even from light foot traffic, furniture, etc). for floor installations, non-slip mats or area rugs should be placed inside and outside entrance ways to remove abrasive materials that can scratch and dirty the tile surface.

if the application is on a residential floor we recommend people remove their shoes completely to avoid further friction on the gold tiles.

see zellige installation & maintenance guide and gold & platinum zellige installation & maintenance guide for more information.

what type of finish should i expect with this blend?

all glazed tiles in the essaouria lustre blend have a glossy finish. the natural zellige tile is left unfinished which makes it more porous than the glazed tiles.

how much variation should i expect?

zellige are created from natural glazes, pigments and terracotta clay. every one of these natural materials is completely unfiltered allowing for maximum variation and irregularities. plus, zellige tiles are fired in hand made kilns that are fueled using olive pits. all of this handcraft is what makes zellige so magically varied - tile to tile. please enjoy the extreme variation of color, shade and surface texture.

what does this mean to you?

your zellige order will contain the following: noticeable variations in thickness, size, shade and color. if you want a uniform looking glazed tile we do not suggest purchasing zellige.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SIZES OF ONE COLOR: it is impossible to guarantee a perfect color match ​across different sizes of the same zellige glaze if installing them together - some variation is to be expected between sizes. if you wish to have your tiles made to order for optimal color continuity, please email to inquire.

IMPERFECTIONS: you can also expect your tiles to be affected by cracks, chipped edges, pitted glaze surfaces, crazing and iron spots. once installed properly and grouted, the above issues will bring you the varied zellige look that is so treasured by the design world. if the above irregularities differ from your expectations, clé highly recommends you select another tile that will yield more surface regularity.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BLENDING: due to the noticeable color and shade variations, it is very important to blend the tiles from all boxes once they arrive and place them in their installation area to ensure you have the layout you want before installing. do not install without blending tiles from all boxes.

glazed zellige tiles are rated 'level 3 medium' for color variation, 'level 3 medium' for texture variation, and 'level 3 heavy for size variation.
unglazed (natural) zellige is rated 'level 2 slight' for color variation, 'level 3 medium' for texture variation, and 'level 3 heavy' for size variation.
gold / platinum zellige is rated 'level 2 slight' for color variation, 'level 2 slight' for texture variation, and 'level 3 heavy' for size variation.
read more about the ratings in our tile variation guide.

what's crazing, and should this be expected with zellige tiles?

all our zellige tiles are made by hand and can show visible crazing. crazing refers to the hairline cracks which may occur in the glaze surface of tile after firing and is common in handcrafted tile.

how will my zellige samples compare to my actual order?

as noted in the variation and add on orders sections of our faq, color and size variation between batches (kiln loads) of zellige, in addition to variation from tile to tile, is to be expected given the handcrafted nature of the product. this makes it unlikely that your sample will be a perfect match with your actual order.

if you want a uniform looking glazed tile we do not suggest purchasing zellige.

what should i expect with my order

zellige tiles travel a long distance and are in the traditional way packed with sawdust to protect the tiles from breaking.

dust and residue from shipping should be cleaned prior to installation. this is typically done as tile is being set with a quick dip of each tile into a water bath.

note that the twenty gold bejmat 2"x6"x3/4" tiles included in each essaouria lustre blend will be packaged individually and will ship separate from the rest of the order.

why do you suggest i order at least 15% more than my measurements?

industry standard suggests adding at least 15% overage due to tile cuts, potential breakage, or future repairs. note that due to the firing methods and raw materials used to create glazed clay tiles, your order of zellige tile will have a percentage of tiles greater than 15% with cracks, crazing, iron spots, edge-chipping and pits through the glaze to the clay body.

clé WARNING: having an installation with tiles that experience any of the above imperfections is the traditional look for zellige installations. any editing of these naturally occurring imperfections from your tile shipment will greatly reduce the traditional appeal of your installation. if these imperfections do not fit your project’s needs we recommend ordering 20-30% overage. this allows your contractor to cherry-pick these imperfections from your order.

is it possible to purchase more of the same material after my initial order (i.e. place an add on order)?

color and size variation between batches (kiln loads) of zellige is a normal occurrence and to be expected given the handcrafted nature of the tile. please keep this in mind when calculating your order, and be sure to purchase enough material.

for more information related to ordering and shipping, please be sure to visit our shipping and returns and delivery information resource pages.


bejmat* - 2”x6”x3/4”
*bejmat actual measurements tend to be closer to 1 3⁄4" x 5 1⁄2".

disclaimer: please note all dimensions are nominal. additionally, dimensions between tiles can vary +/- 1⁄4 inch.


interior wall, interior floor (light residential foot traffic), fireplace surround, sink backsplash, stove backsplash