You’ve heard of stucco, and perhaps Venetian plaster, but you may not know about the traditional Moroccan plaster technique, tadelakt. Tadelakt is a waterproof plaster originally used in the baths and sinks of historic Moroccan homes and palaces, or riads, and its word origin, which means "to rub" in Arabic, hints at its labor-intensive application. Typically comprising three elements (lime plaster, natural soap made from olives, and sometimes marble or limestone sand as aggregates), the mixture creates a chemical reaction that produces a waterproof barrier. The paste is applied to surfaces and then polished by hand with a stone or other hard object, creating a beautiful, seamless surface that can form just about anything you can imagine, from undulating curves to sharp, tight corners. The finished product has a lovely, subtle texture and is a durable surface that, if treated properly, can last year after year. Below, we round up some applications spanning bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms.
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