What is Tadelakt
Renowned as one of the most ancient and valued plaster finishes, Moroccan Tadelakt is a unique product which is growing in popularity with interior designers across the world. The traditional materials are found in the Marrakech Plateau. The artisanal techniques that produce the Tadelakt finish have been modernized, and the resulting product is now frequently installed in high-quality residential and commercial properties.
While photographs demonstrate the obvious beauty of Tadelakt, it is only through touch that you can come to truly appreciate its unique finish. The surface has been described as soft as silk and as hard as stone, and this combination of gentle and sturdy is a reflection of the way it beautifies and strengthens the spaces of which it is a part.
Bold. Tadelakt excels as a finish across large surfaces, such as interior walls, kitchens, fireplaces, seats, shelves, vanity units, washstands, baths, pools, spas, shower cubicles, wet rooms and steam rooms. You can use Tadelakt on floors as well, but we recommended it for use only in areas where you will not wear hard shoes, as grit and small stones can easily scratch the surface.
Colour. You can colour the product with natural earth pigments or with synthetic pigments to offer a broader range of choices. You then polish the surfaces to a shiny finish, with a slight variation in colour. Due to its unique composition, Tadelakt will develop both a patina and very fine cracks with time, which only serve to add to the exotic appeal of this ancient finish.
Style. Tadelakt provides a stylish alternative to traditional tiles in bathrooms, and the water-resistant plaster is applied seamlessly with no grout lines. The uniform application allows the creation of bespoke features while maintaining a timeless appeal.
Waterproofing. Tadelakt creates waterproof features through both its inherent properties and its application technique. Rubbing olive oil soap into the surface of the product chemically reacts with the lime to form calcium stearate, which results in a surface that resists both water and scratches and is also hard and durable.
Tadelakt has been used for centuries, only recently making its debut on the world stage. It was first used by the Berbers of Northern and Western Africa to waterproof earthen cisterns for the hygienic storage of drinking water. Residents of the area used it decoratively in the manufacturing of small drinking vessels, the construction of public bathhouses and eventually, in private bathrooms in Morocco. Artisans also applied Tadelakt to solid, absorbent structures, such as earthen, lime, or cement walls.
Today, Tadelakt continues to be used in its traditional manner in addition to creating beautiful modern features with a classic, rustic feel. It is now applied frequently to a variety of surfaces including well-framed wood, brick and cement blocks. The surfaces you choose for a Tadelakt finish should be sturdy structures with minimal give to best support the application of the product. Otherwise, large fissures can develop. However, small imperfections over time are not uncommon, but they don’t harm the finish and can add another layer of aesthetic appeal.
Tadelakt not only offers a beautiful finish, but it also contributes to a healthy environment.
- You can clean the waterproof plaster with water alone, as it is sealed with an olive oil soap solution. Regular recoating with the olive oil soap solution ensures that the Tadelakt stays in excellent condition for years to come.
- The smooth surface also resists dirt and mould, making for a cleaner, low-maintenance area that has a positive impact on the environment and your health.
- This product is formulated with natural materials and, if you must dispose of it, Tadelakt is biodegradable and is recyclable by crushing it for making new mortar.