Earthaus Tadelakt is inspired by traditional Moroccan Tadelakt, a burnished-smooth water-repellent finish created naturally from the chemistry of olive oil soap being rubbed into lime plaster (“Tadelakt” is Arabic for that process). Earthaus Tadelakt beautifully transforms showers and bathrooms, kitchens, and fireplaces with its organic elegance and elevated yet grounding feel.
Showers must be waterproofed prior to Tadelakt Finish application using tile backerboard, waterproof membrane, and thinset. Details can be found in the Tadelakt Finish Application Guide.
Prepare the substrate for non-shower Tadelakt Finish by applying a water-based PVA or latex primer with added Primer Grit.
Size: 32 lbCoverage: 50 ft²/ bag (two coats)Cost: $110Step 2Base Plaster: Two Base Coats
The first 1/8" Base Plaster coat is applied filling the notched thinset (shower substrate), or applied over the primer + Primer Grit (non-shower substrate). After drying, a second 1/8" Base Plaster coat is applied over the first base coat.
Size: variesCoverage: 1 Pack/ bag of Tadelakt PlasterCost: variesStep 3Color: Mineral Pigment
Mineral pigment is blended into water before the powdered Tadelakt Plaster is mixed in.
Size: 32 lbCoverage: 100 ft²/ bag (four coats)Cost: $140Step 4Tadelakt Plaster: Four Finish Coats
Four 1/32" coats are applied in succession, totaling 1/8". 1/32" is the thickness of a credit card.
Size: 1 quartCoverage: 175 ft²/ quart (three coats)Cost: $30Step 6Olive Oil Soap Sealer: Three Coats
Three coats of diluted Olive Oil Soap Sealer are appled then burnished into semi-dry Tadelakt Plaster.
Size: 1 QuartCoverage: 75 ft²/ quart (2 coats)Cost: $45Step 7Beeswax Protective Sealer: Two Coats
After a curing period, two coats of Beeswax Protective Sealer are applied over the water-repellent Tadelakt seal.
Tools: Hawk and Trowel
Technique: Ability to apply plaster evenly.
Timing: Knowledge and understanding of when to execute steps based on drying and ambient conditions.
*Understanding of the technique and timing skills needed for Tadelakt's intensive application should be acquired through practice and experience before beginning a project.
Aesthetic VariationsTraditional Tadelakt is both the method and result of natural materials applied by hand. Myriad factors can impact the aesthetic continuity of a traditional Tadelakt finish, from obvious ones like the experience of the applicator to less obvious ones like the structural movement of a new house settling. While some people experience these aesthetic variations as character and wabi sabi, others experience them as flaws that are aesthetically unacceptable. When Tadelakt Finish is applied correctly, aesthetic variations will have no effect on the water repellent functionality of the finish.
• Obsidian Specs : pumice is a key ingredient in Earthaus Tadelakt and tiny black specs of obsidian can be present in the pumice and may show in the Tadelakt Finish.
• Microfissures : extremely fine and light-colored web-like cracks that are distinctive features of authentic traditional Tadelakt. Microfissures are superficial and do not pose a risk to the water-repellent functionality of the Tadelakt Finish. The existence of microfissures has been used to authenticate traditional authentic Tadelakt.
• Darkening when Wet : It is common for Tadelakt to darken in areas of heavier water exposure and lighten again as it dries out. This is normal and not problematic as long as it dries out. Ensure that your Tadelakt Finish is properly maintained with annual waxing. A bead of clear silicone caulk on the joint between Tadelakt and other materials should be installed to prevent water/liquids from wicking up into the Tadelakt Finish and causing discoloration.
Potential Variation Outside an Applicators Control
• Hairline Cracks : very fine, long and linear cracks in a Tadelakt finish that occur some time after Tadelakt application. Hairline cracking can indicate structural movement in the substrate but usually the functionality of the finish remains intact. However, aesthetically, hairline cracks can absorb water and darken the surrounding Tadelakt until it eventually dries back out.
• Tonal Variation : Depending on the burnishing technique, darker Tadelakt colors are susceptible to higher tonal variation in depth and intensity of color. Tonal variation in darker colors is usually the result of some areas being more burnished than others. Tonal variation is less of a concern with light colors.
Plan for PracticeTraditional Tadelakt is a timing sensitive, multi-material, and multi- step finish. To acquire the specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities for the best possible Tadelakt Finish outcome, several rounds of practice is recommended before embarking on an actual project.
Project Consultation with an Earthaus Tadelakt expert is available for unique project questions and concerns. Consultation is available in 15 minute increments.
Horizontal SurfacesTraditional Earthaus Tadelakt is formulated for vertical surface application. The following horizontal areas are at higher risk for damage from staining, etching, and chipping.
Bathrooms : shelves, vanity tops, basins, floors,
Showers : benches, shelves, niches, floors, & curbs
• Tabletops : dining tables, coffee tables, end tables, vanity tops
• Seating : chairs & benches
• Shelving : stand alone & built-in
Floors : bathrooms, showers, etc.
Damage from staining, etching, chipping, and nicking may result in compromised Tadelakt functionality and aesthetic continuity. Users assume all risks for Tadelakt in horizontal areas.
Earthaus Tadelakt Finish requires mixing and application tools. Follow link to view and purchase individual recommended tools. The tools listed are recommendations only - similar tools may also be suitable.