Spotlight: Zellige Tile

By Kate Riley October 26, 2017

Backsplash tile is always on my mind whether it’s a project I’m currently working on or one that’s coming up soon. The look that’s caught my eye lately is the one achieved with zellige tile.

Zellige tiles are made with terracotta and they originate in Morocco. Zellige (pronounced zill-eejh) acquires its coloring from the historic clay body that is a rich terra cotta, inherently forcing it’s hue through all the glazes. The tiles are formed from the earth and baked in kilns (source).

zellige tiles

I love how the subtle gloss surface highlights the flaws in these tiles and the imperfections are the attraction. The uniform shapes achieve balance with a grid or subway application. I ordered a few samples last week in blue hues for my studio kitchen, I’ve been meaning to add a gorgeous backsplash to that space for many years. I have high hopes one of them will do.

Meanwhile, take a peek at some of these zellige tile applications. These tiles look right at home in European or old world inspired spaces, but they are also a fresh alternative to basic subways tiles in modern kitchens and bathrooms.



surface x 2


milk decoration


cle tile


zellige tiles


cle tile



zellige tiles


cle tile


zellige tiles


le roch hotel


e mag deco


made by cohen



  1. I really was interested in seeing your photos of these tiles and applications, but your advertising (more and more often) keeps the photos from scrolling properly. And have you seen some of your ads lately? A bit much T&A for a design site I think. Not sure what has happened, but it’s just too much jumping around for me. Hope you can get a handle on it.

    • Most ads reflect the browsing habits of the computer user, unless you have that turned off and then it’s generic whatever.

  2. Cheryl’s comment triggered my reaction to many of the bloggers I’ve enjoyed following in the past. Apparently blogging has become slogging and they’re no longer interested. I used to look forward to opening up an email and sitting down with my morning cup of coffee reading, commenting, getting inspired and saving for future reference. These days, there’s not enough there to finish my cup of coffee and there’s not much point to commenting on a series of photos, especially when I’m not even asked what I think. Quite disappointing.

  3. Oh my goodness I never thought I would fall in total and all consuming love with ceramic tile!! Ha, exaggerated a little. Only a little. Is this more difficult to install for a DIY person like me??

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