Moroccan Tiles Installation & Care


  • Residue and dust from shipping are typical. Tiles should be cleaned prior to beginning your installation. Please see details below in regards to soaking all glazed zellige tiles in room temperature water for 1-2 minutes to remove any dust and residue from transportation. Do not soak Unglazed Natural tile.

  • Due to the inherent color variation of zellige, it is very important to blend the tiles from all boxes in your order. You should then lay out all tiles in the installation area to ensure any variation is evenly distributed before beginning your installation. You should be an active participant in your zellige layout to select color tones and optimal variation prior to installation.

      • For smaller format trapezoid and 2x2 tiles shipped on resin backing, tiles from multiple sheets should be separated and mixed as needed prior to grouting the surface so that variation is more evenly distributed across the installation.

  • To achieve a traditional zellige aesthetic, try to work with chips and pits and remember that grout will fill these perfect imperfections, giving you a more authentic installation. Lighting can drastically affect the overall look of zellige tiles. The more direct natural light you have, the brighter the tiles will look, and the darker or more shadowed your installation is, the darker your tiles will look.

  • Grout color is an important design decision - almost as important as the tile color itself. For a modern finish aesthetic, grout color should be matched as closely as possible to the color of the tile. For a traditional zellige look, explore neutral color grouts. 

  • It is essential that you communicate with your installer about the overall desired look of your installation. Prior to beginning your installation, ensure you and your installer have a clear understanding of your desired end result. Keep in mind that curation, layout and tile setting methods may vary slightly if you plan to achieve a more organic look that celebrates the inherent variation in zellige versus a more level, even installation that edits out this traditional aesthetic.



                For placing the tiles:

      • Sponge
      • Bucket
      • Tile leveling spacers
      • High quality medium-bed thin set mortar
      • Trowel with 1⁄4” semi-circular notches
      • Mapei Ultracolor Plus FA for glazed zellige
          • (!) for Unglazed Natural zellige only, use Mapei Flexcolor CQ
      • Grout float
      • Water-cooled tile saw with diamond edge blade

                For cleaning and sealing zellige tiles:

      • pH neutral cleaner such as Miracle Sealants Heavy Duty Cleaner (Acid Substitute)
      • Paint roller, paint tray, sponge and water bucket
      • Lint-free cotton cloth
      • For areas exposed to constant moisture like showers, pools, and spas, use 511 Porous Plus penetrating sealer after grout is complete.
      • (!) For Unglazed Natural Zellige only, apply 511 Porous Plus Penetrating Sealer prior to grouting. Once grouting is complete, apply the FILA Matte Wax Sealer; reapply periodically.


  • If cuts are required for your installation, all saw cuts must be made with a water-cooled tile saw.
  • The tiling surface should be well prepared and leveled by a licensed professional before placing the zellige tiles.
  • Soak all glazed zellige tiles in room temperature water for 1-2 minutes to remove any dust and residue from transportation and to ensure tiles properly adhere to tiling surface.
  • (!) DO NOT soak Unglazed Natural zellige, as soaking unglazed tiles can lead to efflorescence that is difficult to remove.
  • Evenly apply the thin set mixture to the install surface using a trowel. Butter the back of each tile with another layer of thinset making sure to apply the mixture in the same direction in order to prevent air pockets from forming.
    • For a more level installation, use more or less thinset on the back of the tiles to account for depth variation. Tiles should be leveled as they are placed.
  • Place tiles one by one onto wall substrate.
  • Particular attention should be paid to the application of the adhesive on the floor and back of the tiles to ensure perfect bonding between the tiles and concrete slab or flooring substrate.
  • A diamond disc can be used for exact cuts and mitered edges. Wedge spacers may be needed in areas to align naturally uneven edges. Grout open, uneven edges or gaps where they appear.


      • Place tiles one by one onto wall substrate.
      • Zellige tile can be spaced in several ways based on design preference. The traditional (and recommended) method for installation does not use standard grout joints; tiles are instead laid edge to edge OR with a 1/16” grout spacing if a specific grout line is preferred. Due to the inherent variation in zellige tile, it is recommended to level with wedge spacers to align tiles during installation.


      • The traditional size for floor installations is 2x6 zellige. With any zellige floor application, a minimum of 1/8” grout spacing is recommended and can be increased and/or layout can be staggered to increase the DCOF for flooring installations. Resin mounted zellige sheets of 2x2 and trapezoid shapes will have less grout spacing due to hand placement on the sheets and can be installed on the mesh sheets or removed from the mesh and placed individually.

                FOR ZELLIGE IN WET AREAS:

      • If installing on a flooring surface in a wet area, slip resistance can be increased by increasing grout joint size, installing using a staggered or herringbone layout, and/or applying an anti-slip product after installation is complete. Always consult with your licensed installer on slip specific questions prior to installation and note that glazed zellige has a DCOF rating of 0.16. See attached zellige spec sheet for additional information.
  • Lay zellige in accordance with the drying time required for the thin set that you used. Press the tiles into place. Using the palm of your hand, press the tiles into the thinset to ensure thorough contact. Level the tiles as necessary to achieve the desired look for your installation – for a more even look, you should level the tiles as you go.

  • (!) For Unglazed Natural zellige, place in small sections, no larger than 2’x2’, at a time. Immediately wipe off any residual thin set from the surface of the tiles. Thin set can be incredibly difficult to remove without damaging the tiles if left too long.

  • After the tiles have been laid, allow the thin set at least 48 hours to cure before sealing and grouting.

(!) PRE-GROUT SEALING: For Unglazed Natural Zellige ONLY

  • For Unglazed Natural zellige ONLY – we recommend using 511 Porous Plus Penetrating Sealer prior to grouting with Mapei Flexcolor CQ grout.

  • After laying the tile and prior to grouting, apply penetrating sealer in thin layers until the tiles become fully saturated, wiping off any excess sealer before it dries. Do not over-seal as thick or excessive application of sealant can dry unevenly and result in an undesirable waxy film on the surface of the tiles. Allow sealer to cure, typically 48 hours; always follow the sealant manufacturer’s application instructions.

  • Do not proceed to grouting unless your sealer is fully cured!


  • We do not recommend dry stacking zellige in any wet or dry application as grout is required to protect the edges of the tile over time.
  • Using Mapei Ultracolor Plus FA grout fill in all spaces, gaps and any surface pits, chips and cracks using a rubber spatula.
  • Carefully remove the excess grout with a damp sponge. Do not leave any grout to dry on the surface of zellige tile as it is very difficult to remove after the grout has fully cured.


  • Completely clean and dry the tiles, removing any residual mortar or debris. Never leave spills, drips, footprints, or any other marks on the tiles prior to sealing.
  • (!) For unglazed zellige ONLY apply Fila Matte Finish Protective Wax in thin layers until the tiles are fully coated, wiping off any excess sealer before it dries. Do not over-seal as thick or excessive application of sealant can dry unevenly and result in an undesirable waxy film on the surface of the tiles. Allow sealer to cure, typically 1-2 days before using the space. Always follow the sealant manufacturer’s application instructions. DO NOT use Fila Solutions Matt Wax in outdoor applications as UV rays can cause discoloration over time. For outdoor applications, please re-seal after grouting with the 511 Porous Plus Sealer.

                ZELLIGE IN WET AREAS:

      • Glazed zellige tiles are commonly used in swimming pools, shower walls, fountains, spas, and bathrooms. Ensure that the surface of each area is stable and waterproof prior to starting the installation. Use adhesive cement and grout appropriate for use in wet areas. Installers should fully seal tiles and grout lines that are exposed to continuous moisture with 511 Porous Plus Penetrating Sealer after grout is complete.


      • If you wish to seal your grout, do so in accordance with the grout and sealant manufacturer instructions.  


  • We recommend installing zellige from floor to ceiling or bringing drywall flush with the finished surface of your tile to eliminate the need for trim.

  • If you have an exposed edge with your design, we recommend mitering your tile. Your experienced installer should be familiar with cutting the edges at a 45-degree angle to create a corner out of two tiles. This will mimic a finished trim piece and can easily be done on site to get the finished look without ordering custom trim.


Over time, zellige tiles can wear like a natural stone product, which is part of the appeal of this old-world tile. Clients should expect natural wear, fine lines on the tile surface (also known as crazing) and patina to occur to the finish over time.


  • Vacuum or sweep tile regularly to remove abrasive material that can scratch the surface.
  • Glazed zellige may be cleaned like most types of glazed ceramic tiles. Neutral pH products are recommended for cleaning. For regular cleaning, we recommend Miracle Sealants pH Neutral Tile and Stone Cleaner.
  • Promptly clean up any spills, especially oil and grease on unglazed zellige. Un-cleaned spills can cause stains.
  • (!) If you purchased Unglazed Natural zellige, reference the grout and sealing notes above. Stains on unsealed unglazed zellige may be permanent so it is important to follow the sealing process AND expect patina, natural aging, and wear of unglazed natural zellige over time.


  • Unglazed Natural zellige and zellige in wet areas should be re-sealed at least every 1-2 years, or as often as needed depending on traffic and wear. For areas exposed to moisture, you may need to re-seal more often. Always re-seal in accordance with sealant manufacturer’s instructions.


  • Installers should always wear protective face and eye coverings when working with building materials including tile, mortar, sealants and grout.

  • California Residents: Prop 65 warning