< clé zellige

zellige | ancient sea | unmounted square

" x  " x  "

ancient sea

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a clé heritage tile

clé heritage are artisan tiles that carry the mark of a skilled artisan with each tile embodying variation in tone and surface. these tiles are to be treasured for their hand hewn quality and require a skilled installer.

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sample

$3.00/piece

full tile order

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$31.36/sqft

authentic, traditional moroccan handmade terracotta

the sequins of the tile world

if you love the prized and imperfect color and surface variation in clé zellige, our 2"x2" unmounted zellige will make you ecstatic. for more detailed installations with added texture and interest, consider these smaller squares. these are also great for curved surfaces.

searching for the most bright and vivid of cobalt glazes? our ancient sea glaze is highly recommended as a classic blue zellige for enthusiasts of the most traditional tile blue. there is a reason this shade of bright blue has been around since glaze was invented.

why we love zellige

clé has made it our goal to push the boundaries of surfaces by exploring tiles from around the world and introducing undiscovered materials that have been used in other countries and cultures, for centuries. probably the most defining characteristics of authentic moroccan zellige is its imperfections. its beautiful flaws and irregularities; its variation. most importantly, it is all created in the place that is the center of expertise for zellige craftsmanship where the art of chiseling the tiles to exact sizes, by hand has been passed down from generation to generation. every tile is hand-molded, hand-cut, and hand-glazed, which also means no two zellige tiles are exactly alike.

all zellige is not created equal

clé is committed to the craft of traditional ceramics and to the authenticity of the art form. we ensure that we always deliver a handcrafted, wood-fired product that embodies a true moroccan zellige surface. inherent color variations, surface marks and signature flaws (from olive pits exploding in the firing) are trademark characteristics of this ancient craft that we endeavor to maintain; in fact, it is a hallmark of true zellige that we believe is to be cherished. this is the reason why our clients seek out clé zellige above others. many manufacturers have opted for machine cut tiles as they are far less expensive to produce, however, the lack of artisanship comes through in the final installation. discover why we call zellige the “perfectly imperfect” tile.

product specifications

technical specifications

non freeze thaw resistant icon

non freeze thaw resistant

radiant heating compatible icon

radiant heating compatible

uv resistant icon

uv resistant

stove backsplash icon

stove backsplash

sink backsplash icon

sink backsplash

interior floor icon

interior floor

light residential icon

light residential

interior wall icon

interior wall

exterior wall icon

exterior wall

fireplace surround icon

fireplace surround

fountain waterline icon

fountain waterline

pool waterline icon

pool waterline

shower floor + wall icon

shower floor + wall

steam shower floor + wall icon

steam shower floor + wall

* see material guidelines guide for specific requirements

description
rating
surface type
glazed

finish type
gloss

level 3: medium

level 3: medium

level 3: heavy

level 1: will occur

level 2: prevalent

level 2: prevalent

dimensions
" x  " x  "
water absorption
avg. 22.9%; non-vitreous

dcof
avg. 25

Pieces per sqft
37.356 pcs/sqft

Weight per sqft
3.36 lbs

Pieces per box
400 pcs/box

read before you buy this tile

do i need to seal zellige tiles?

for exterior sealing, clé recommends stonetech heavy duty exterior sealer from laticrete.

for glazed zellige with visible crazing, unglazed natural zellige, or if using a contrasting grout, clé recommends sealing with stonetech heavy duty sealer from laticrete as a pre-grout treatment.

dry applications of glazed zellige do not require sealing as the final step of installation.

for all other sealing and protecting, clé recommends stonetech bulletproof sealer from laticrete.

for more information about sealing please see our zellige material guidelines.

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 (not suitable for unglazed zellige).

- if you have a painted surface next to your tile, you can choose to paint the outer edge of the tile to match the painted surface (not suitable for unglazed zellige).

- 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.

for more detailed recommendations about trim, please see our trim guide.

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 should be sufficient for most cleaning—test before general use. for all other maintenance, clé recommends laticrete cleaning products.

see our zellige material guidelines for more information.

what type of finish should i expect with this collection?

all tiles in our zellige collection have a glossy glazed finish with the exception of charred cedar which is glazed but with a textured satin finish rather than glossy, and natural zellige which is unglazed and has an unfinished porous surface.

how much variation should i expect?

zellige tiles are created from natural glazes, pigments and clay, are fired in handmade kilns using olive pits, and chiseled by hand into desired shapes and sizes. because of the natural materials and the artisan production methods, there will be noticeable variations in thickness, size, shade and color. there may even be differences in the same color across different sizes of zellige. if you want a uniform looking glazed tile, zellige may not be right for your project!

due to the natural materials and production process of zellige tiles, there will be degrees of variation in color, shade and size in your order, therefore it is 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.

please note that it is impossible to guarantee a perfect color match across different size tiles in the same zellige glaze, which may affect your layout. it is expected that there will be variation across the different sizes, due to the handcrafted nature of the tiles. If you wish to have your tiles made-to-order for optimal color continuity, please email contact@cletile.com to inquire.

variation and imperfection ratings:

our zellige tiles, with a few exceptions, are rated 'level 3 medium' for color variation, 'level 3 medium' for texture variation, and 'level 3 heavy’ for size variation. the exceptions are unglazed natural which is rated 'level 2 slight' for color variation, and shattered pearl and tea ceremony that are rated 'level 4 heavy' for color variation.

glazed tiles: our glazed zellige tiles are rated ‘level 2 prevalent’ for both pits/chips and cracks/crazing, with the exception of argan brown, battled armor, charred Cedar, midnight port and scribes’ Ink that are rated 'level 3 heavy'. For iron spots all glazed tiles are rated ‘level 1 light’.

unglazed tiles: unglazed (natural) zellige tiles are rated 'level 2 prevalent' for pits/chips, and 'level 1 light' for cracks.

see illustrations in the technical specifications section above, and read more about the ratings in our tile variation & imperfections guide.

are there best practices for sampling zellige?

due to the high variation in color of our handmade zellige tiles as well as the variation in texture of each tile (pits, specks and chips from the wood-firing process) we strongly encourage sampling more than one piece to get a better sense of what the tile has to offer.

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 of zellige?

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

dust and shipping residue are to be expected and should be cleaned prior to installing.

do your 2"x2" zellige come mounted on sheets?

2x2" zellige can be made to order mounted on sheets of sixteen pieces measuring 8"x8" overall. with this option unglazed natural zellige 2"x2" tiles come back, mesh mounted, while glazed zellige tiles have a plastic sheet on top of the tiles to hold the tiles in place. individual pieces can be taken off the sheet and moved around in order to blend.

should you be interested in this option, please see our zellige material guidelines for more details and reach out to our sales team for ordering information contact@cletile.com

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 shipping breakage, or future repairs. Please note that due to the production process including the firing methods and raw materials used to create glazed clay tiles, your order of Zellige will have a percentage of tiles greater than 15% with cracks, iron spots, crazing, chipped edges, and pitting.

Please note that pits and chips may be more prevalent on 2" x 6" bejmat tiles compared to other zellige sizes, especially in darker glaze colors, with the corners and edges being the areas most affected.

If these imperfections do not fit your project’s needs we recommend ordering 20-30% overage to allow your contractor to cherry-pick tiles.

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

due to the handmade craftsmanship of our tiles and the variety of materials used, there will be degrees of variation in color, shade, size and texture across production lots or batches. this means that your sample may not be a perfect match with your actual order, and that your add-on order may not be a perfect match to either. 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.

grout

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.

collection dimensions

square - 4”x4"x3/8"
square - 2”x2”x3/8"
hexagon - 3 1/2”x4"x3/8"
bejmat* - 2”x6”x3/4”

*bejmat actual measurements tend to be closer to 1 3⁄4"x5 1⁄2".

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

material guidelines