Why You Should Avoid Trendy Zellige Tiles In Your Bathroom

Even if you've never heard the term "zellige tiles," you've probably seen these Moroccan pieces on the internet. What makes them so appealing to many is their inherent imperfection. Traditionally, these solid-colored tiles were made from rough clay, giving each one a unique texture and shade. In other words, no two zellige tiles look the same. When used in the bathroom, this material adds movement without needing a loud pattern. However, they come with one problem: They can be challenging to clean.

"Those imperfect zellige tiles, I get it, they're very trendy right now, they look super cool, but I want you to think about the water and the grime build up in your shower ... you're going to hate cleaning them, so I would avoid them at all costs," says TikToker Phoenix Gray, also known as Design Daddy. Because each tile has a unique texture, getting into every groove and crevice can make cleaning day a hassle. Further, since this material is porous and delicate, you can't scrub it extremely hard, which limits the types of cleaners and tools you can use to get the job done. 

The best and worst places to use zellige tiles

Because zellige tiles are difficult to clean, you should refrain from using them to cover a large surface in the bathroom. For instance, adding them to shower walls is just asking for mold, mildew, and grime to build up in the tiny crevices. Another poor choice is installing them on the floor, whether in the shower, bathroom, or kitchen. This can be a problem because dirt will get caught in the textured surface and the grout, requiring more hand-scrubbing than most people can stomach.

Instead, if you want to use this material in the bathroom, try adding it to a smaller area, like behind the sink or around the vanity mirror. Another option is adding these tiles to your kitchen backsplash, as this is a much smaller area that's easier to wipe down. Finally, if you really want to make a statement, try adding zellige tiles to your entryway, so guests can see them as soon as they walk through the door. 

The easiest tiles to clean

Instead of covering your bathroom floor or shower walls in zellige tiles, plenty of other options are much easier to clean. The key is deciding upon flat tiles that require a relatively minimal amount of grout. For this reason, larger tiles are almost always preferable to smaller ones when designing a stylish bathroom that is easy to clean. Perhaps the best size options would include pieces that are 24 inches by 40 inches or 30 inches by 30 inches, but you could also choose smaller ones, as long as you're willing to scrub them when necessary. 

If you're trying to decide upon a suitable material, focus on non-porous options, as they won't break down easily or stain. Because of this, glass might be ideal since it won't harbor mold or bacteria and cannot be stained. However, it will show every fingerprint, which is essential to keep in mind. Porcelain is also an incredible option that's extremely easy to wash, and ceramic and vinyl offer similar (but cheaper) alternatives.