Brief 

Tadelakt is a lime-based plaster finished to form a durable, waterproof surface with a distinct appearance. Find out more about its uses with this handy guide.

 

Insight

Tadelakt, sometimes referred to as Moroccan plaster, is a traditional plaster indigenous to the Marrakesh region of Morocco that can be used as a stylish wall covering and alternative to tiles in bathrooms.

By plastering walls with tadelakt, you’re able to create a solid, waterproof surface that is seamless, has no grout lines and is resistant to mould, which perhaps explains why this traditional plaster style has become so popular in contemporary, minimalist homes.Find out more about this unique wall covering with our expert guide.

 

What is Tadelakt?

Tadelakt is a waterproof and decorative plaster with a distinct, mottled appearance. It is a natural, lime-based plaster and it can be tinted to almost any colour, meaning that it can be used to create colourful surfaces that don’t require painting. Tadelakt has a subtle but luxurious sheen that creates a finish that’s reminiscent on natural stone.

 

How is Tadelakt Applied?

Tadelakt is applied in several coats and finished using a special technique. “The final stage of polishing is done by using a plastic trowel, Japanese trowel or a traditional Moroccan application which requires a special polishing stone,” explains Ian Kozlowski, Founder of Decor Tadelakt.

However, it’s the final stage of applying tadelakt that makes the resulting surface waterproof. “This lime plaster is made waterproof through both its inherent properties and its application technique,” continues Valentin Tatanov, manager at Tadelakt London. “The olive oil soap that is rubbed into the surface of the product chemically reacts with the lime to form calcium stearate.”

 

Is Tadelakt Hard Wearing?

This reaction results in a surface that is water and scratch-resistant, hard and durable. However, it’s not always recommended for use on floors. “We recommend it for use only in areas where you will not wear hard shoes, as grit and small stones can easily scratch the surface,” says Valentin.

 

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