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Unread 11-21-2020, 05:34 PM   #1
Marjan
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How important to have a special installer for Zellige tile?

Hi all -

I want this zellige tile in my bathroom and see that their guidelines are very specific for installation. I have also read, on Houzz, how some people are very disappointed in this specific tile's appearance. (Very natural looking, pitted, etc.). One post I read stressed how important it was to have a tile installer who was familiar with installing zellige tile. I've looked around and can't find any installer with this sort of mention, or even hand made tile mention. Some posts mentioned sanding every tile edge before installing it, some say no butt joints while others say no grout joints, etc..

Can anyone help me as to how important it would be to find someone who is familiar with this?


Thank you!! -
Marjan
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Unread 11-21-2020, 07:44 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Marjan.

I've added a link to your post that is the closest I could find to a manufacturer's site. Not sure it is, but if it's close enough to what you want we'll leave it.

In the ceramic tile industry in this country that would qualify as a Specialty Tile. As such, there are really no requirements, but the manufacturer can have the tile tested under various portions of the ANSI A137.1 protocol for ceramic tile and have his tile certified as having passed those portions of the certification for ceramic tile. I don't know how common it is for a foreign maker of that sort of Specialty Tile to have such testing done, but I think it would be rather rare. That said, all you can reasonably expect to be certain of is that whatever you find in the box is what you bought. If the manufacturer references any parts of A137.1, you would at least know the tile meets those portions, but not the entire certification.

I saw nothing at all on the site I linked that speaks to the installation or maintenance of those tiles. And given that they are a Specialty Tile, the installation would need to be specified by the manufacturer. Absent such installation instructions, you're mostly on your own.

Do you really need a professional tile setter experienced with that particular tile? Well, it always helps to have experience, but a good pro could likely figure it out. Best way to determine whether you need a pro at all would be for you to make up a test board or two or three and see what you think of the result. If it appears you can DIY, that's what I would recommend for an installation most closely matching your expectations.

Without knowing your intended application (like what part of your bathroom) the only general advice I would hazard is to use at least a minimal (1/16th") grout joint. Rarely ever a good idea to butt-join any sort of ceramic tile.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-22-2020, 01:16 AM   #3
Marjan
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Hi CX -

Thank you for your comments. And thanks for the link to the website. Their tiles are gorgeous. I didn't find any installation guides on that website but did find them at cletile.com, under the zellige pull-down and then under installation. (I couldn't get the link to work correctly...)

I'll keep searching for reviews that mention hand made tile...I hope I find someone!

Thank you again for your help -
Marjan
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Unread 11-22-2020, 08:28 AM   #4
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This is as close as I could come to an installation guide on that site, Marjan. No mention of bonding mortar or grout that I can see.

You'll be able to post your own links after you make one more post. It's an anti-spam measure the site has in place.

You have no interest in making this a DIY project?
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Unread 11-22-2020, 11:37 AM   #5
Marjan
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HI CX -

I can barely change a light bulb, let alone this...! I only even wonder about needing a special installer for the zellige bc years ago, when I wanted to have someone install some other hand made tiles, the installer I was recommended said to me that hopefully I did not pay too much for my tiles bc they were all uneven. I think he actually thought they were malformed, rather than made by hand. I got another installer to install them after the comment!!

Thank you again!!-
june
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Unread 11-22-2020, 11:45 AM   #6
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I think soon enough you'd be able to say you can barely change a light bulb and set specialty tiles.

Your first name is Marjan or June?
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Unread 11-22-2020, 03:00 PM   #7
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Hand made stuff can work you over if you obsess over everything. It's meant to be rustic and has to be installed with that in mind. I would use a 1/8" mostly because sizing probably varies piece to piece. Some joints will be a little bigger and some a little smaller. You have to just roll with it. The bigger the area the more I would consider a pro.
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