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, and using mapei flexcolor cq grout for all zellige and all applications other than pool and waterline installations that require mapei ultracolor plus fa grout.
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.
if you are working with highly color-variegated tiles or a combination of tiles, we recommend that you follow the above recommendations—but match your grout to the color in your installation that you would like to accentuate.
important: 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 Stonetech Heavy Duty Sealer from Laticrete as a pre-grout treatment to minimize the possibility of the contrasting grout curing in the inherent hairline cracks, pits, and/or chips.
are there any cases where you recommend a grout joint size larger than 1/16"?
in order to increase dcof in wet area applications of 4”x4” zellige (especially shower floors), we recommend broadening the grout joint size on the setting of the pan tiles, vertical staggering of the tile layout or cutting the tiles into 2”x2” squares. for hexes we recommend at least a 1/8” grout joint for shower floors.
for more information about grouting please see our zellige material guidelines.