As a specialist supplier of polished plaster finishes we find Tadelakt is one of our most requested services. We’re regularly called upon to advise on and install specialist tadelakt finishes for home owners, interior designers and architects across a wide range of buildings in and around central and South London. Our most common installations are in kitchens on surfaces and splashbacks and in bathrooms and wetrooms where it can be used on walls and ceilings for a beautifully smooth and characterful surface. If you’re condisering tadelakt for an interior design project in your home, you may find it useful to review some of these most frequently asked questions.
What is Tadelakt?
Tadelakt is an ancient form of lime plaster dates back centuries. Moroccan tadelakt was originally used to coat waterproof cisterns in Morocco and is still common in hammams and buildings throughout North Africa today. This decorative plaster has the versatility to look fantastic anywhere in your property. Mostly used on walls, it is a wonderful alternative to tiles, especially in wet-rooms and bathrooms. Tadelakt is a highly polished finish, which leaves a smooth and seamless grout-line free surface.
How much does tadelakt cost?
A small bathroom around 20-30 m2 costs approx. £120-£140 per m2. This is the cost to install polished plaster across the walls of the bathroom. Obviously the costs vary according to the complexity of the work. Read our blog post for more detailed information on how much it costs to install polished plaster
How is tadelakt plaster applied?
Tadelakt is actually a Moroccan word meaning: ‘to knead’ or ‘massage’, which is perhaps a not-so-subtle hint towards the technique used to create the tadelakt effect. The word tadelakt actually refers to the technique used to adhere the lime plaster to the surface, rather than a specific plaster product. To create this artisan polished plaster, an unusual application process is used.
Applying tadelakt can take many hours, so it is important that the lime plaster is applied by someone with an expertise in the technique. We follow a traditional method of application of tadelakt which involves rubbing in olive oil soap to the multiple layers of the lime plaster, and then burnishing the plaster with a stone into the walls to seal the finish. It is this particular technique in coating the surface, that gives the tadelakt finish its smooth and soft features.
Is tadelakt waterproof?
Due to the textured appearance of tadelakt, it is easy to assume that the plaster would be susceptible to damp. However, tadelakt is actually well known for its waterproof quality. The unique application used to create the tadelakt, specifically rubbing in the olive oil, ensures that the surface of the plaster is waterproof. This is what makes the tadelakt an ideal material for bathroom floors and walls, or even a finish to coat the inside of a bath or shower.
Does tadelakt crack?
Unlike other finishes, such as microcement, tadelakt does develop some small cracks over time. Though with other surface finishes this may seem unwanted, cracks in tadelakt simply adds to the charm and character to the lime plaster.
Where can tadelakt be used in the home?
As a waterproof plaster the most common applications are in bathrooms and shower rooms. However the soft and characterful surface has many applications, from coating a full room or feature wall, to smaller decorative surface areas.
A waterproof plaster for bathrooms
Water resistant, tadelakt is the perfect finish for use in bathrooms, swimming pools and even your bath or shower. Used to replace many a bathroom tile, the waterproof qualities of tadelakt, created by rubbing the olive oil soap into the lime plaster, combined with the sleek plaster finish, free of grout lines, creates an ideal finish for a wet environment. Tadelakt can also be applied directly over existing tiles in showers and kitchen splashbacks, eliminating the need to remove them. To find out how to use tadelakt lime plaster in your bathroom, follow our guide here.
Using lime plaster to decorate
Tadelakt plaster creates beautifully textured surfaces and can be tinted using natural or synthetic pigments to create earthy soft, natural hues that mimic the Moroccan origins of the plaster, or more modern contemporary colours. The luxuriously textured tadelakt finish, formed without grout lines, creates the perfect backdrop for fixtures and fittings and for decorative purposes. To find out more ways that tadelakt can be used to make your home more unique, take a look at our blog ‘5 Places Tadelakt can be used in your Home’ here.
What maintenance does tadelakt require?
As tadelakt is a traditional technique that uses natural materials, the lime plaster does not need harsh chemicals to keep it clean. Additionally, tadelakt can be used to coat walls without the use of grout, making it a lot easier to clean with its smooth and seamless surface. Simply using a natural soap and warm water, you can maintain the soft, statin appearance of tadelakt over time.
Carl did a brilliant job and my Tadelakt bathroom looks fab. I couldn’t be happier with his work and have no hesitation in recommending C Ferri Interiors.