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      TOPAZ PLASTER CO.   Quality Artisan Finishes

Tadelakt


Tadelakt - A waterproof lime plaster composed of carefully selected lime and limestone aggregates. Tadelakt is a natural finish option for wet areas, including, but not limited to countertops, sinks, showers, tubs, and back-splashes. This material is applied by hand and compressed using a very smooth stone, achieving what is usually a high polish. Tadelakt can be tinted many different colors using natural mineral pigments. Being that the mixture is composed of almost exclusively lime-based materials, a polished tadelakt surface has nearly all the properties of limestone. There is no Portland cement in the mixture. Tadelakt Gallery


Character - Tadelakt is a proven material and an ancient technique, the surfaces age beautifully and can last for a long time. A polished layer of tadelakt is soft and smooth, with an attractive variegated appearance, incredible depth, and richness of color. Small micro cracking is common and is a distinguishing feature of tadelakt. Regardless of the tiny fissures, it remains watertight. With time, the surface will become more luminous and will develop a unique patina from use. The reason for the luminosity is explained in terms of light refractivity. As the surface ages it will develop an unnoticeable clear layer of calcite. This layer refracts light causing the colors to appear brighter and to seemingly glow. The slow formation of calcite on a tadelakt/lime surface also occurs in the small fissures, steadily healing small cracks in a process called “re-knitting”. 


Maintenance - A tadelakt surface can last a lifetime with proper care. Maintenance requirements are minimal. Clean the surface using a mild olive oil soap and water mixture, and consider applying a thin coating of beeswax every 3 - 5 years. We will supply a container of soap for cleaning that is concentrated. Simply dilute the soap with water, wash the surface gently using a soft cloth, and rinse with clean water. The use of anything other than diluted olive oil soap for cleaning tadelakt is not recommended, and will void any warranty in place. To purchase more olive oil soap please contact us. In the event that the surface is damaged by physical impact, it may be repaired using the original tinted tadelakt mixture. Such repairs are rarely noticed and can lend to the character of the surface. The physical hardness of tadelakt is very similar to calcite, 3 on the Moh’s scale, and means tadelakt is not as hard as concrete. Care should be taken to avoid scratching a tadelakt surface with sharp objects or abrasives, particularly while still fresh. During the first year the material will gain noticeable strength and durability. A notable benefit of tadelakt over cement-based finishes is that large cracks seldom occur because it is less brittle, and has autogenous healing capabilities.


Things to avoid – Much like limestone, marble, and concrete, a tadelakt surface is vulnerable to acids and can be stained. Common acids include, but are not limited to vinegar, coffee, citric acid, and wine or beer. To lessen the effects of acids and stains in general, tadelakt is often sealed with natural beeswax that can be polished and removed if needed.


Having traveled to Marrakech, Morocco in 2006, we are proud to be one of a handful of companies in the U.S. to have learned tadelakt from a Moroccan artisan.