Tadelakt is a traditional Moroccan plaster finish for water-resistant surfaces, often used as an alternative for glazed tiles for covering bathroom walls, floors, basins, baths as well as worktops, creating unique finishes. Tadelakt’s unique glowing finish creates a fascinating and alluring look. The surface’s tactile qualities are especially impressive. Tadelakt is something very elusive and original in nature. Its surface is burnished with a small stone, creating a slightly wavy, lively and naturally glossy finish.
The colour of the plaster creates an uneven look unlike other plasters. It depends on the surface treatment—stronger burnishing of the material will result in a darker, deeper colour. Tadelakt’s surface colour will appear different depending on lighting conditions. Working with tadelakt requires above average crafting skills. The powder is mixed with cold water, resulting in a thick paste. The mixture can be tinted with all lime-resistant pigments.
The plaster is applied in two layers approx. 2 mm thick. When the surface has solidified, it is smoothed with a spatula, burnished and polished with a polishing stone in small circular movements. A suitable polishing stone is basalt, agate, granite or some other dense and non-porous rock. Tadelakt must harden before it can be polished. The right time for polishing depends on the absorbency of the base surface and its moisture content. This may vary greatly. After 24 hours (at least), the surface is covered with olive oil soap and polished again with a stone. This results in a light silky matte suitably water-resistant surface. A reaction between the soap and fresh lime creates a water-resistant, yet water-vapour permeable surface. Afterwards, the surface is regularly maintained with olive oil soap and a soft cloth.