Natural, exquisite, and almost sensual to the touch, Moroccan Tadelakt is the oldest and most prized, plaster material in the world. Fashioned from unique limestone deposits surrounding Marrakesh, this mesmerising lime render finish has been used for millennia throughout Northern Africa, examples being discovered in the great Pyramids of Egypt, ancient Roman baths and in the majestic, medieval palaces of Morocco.
These unique properties make Tadelakt the oldest and most natural alternative to tile for bathrooms, steam rooms,spas, sinks, countertops, and shower stalls. Though impermeable to water tadelakt is permeable to air, allowing the walls to breath, creating an earthly, calming ambiance. The slightly undulating, marble-like finish with it's subtle nuances is utterly hypnotic, and unsurpassed in its beauty and charm.
Literally translated, Tadelakt means to “caress” or to “kneed.” The material is hand-troweled for several coats and after a very specific drying time, the surface is compressed and polished with a smooth river-stone. Finally the finish is sealed with an olive-based, black soap which calcifies the lime, rendering the surface water-tight.
The ancient secrets and techniques of Tadelakt have been handed down by word of mouth by Berber craftsmen throughout the centuries. Even in Morocco today, these “Madlem” or “Tadelaktors” are revered in their communities for their skill and understanding of this ancient art form. We at Mirabilis Finishes, travelled to Morocco and studied with some of the most skilled and accomplished of these artisans, observing and practicing this masterly craft until we acquired the knowledge and proficiency to bring these time-honored techniques to the US where there is growing appreciation and interest among architects, home owners and aficionados of architecture and interior design.