In an effort to avoid using tiles for the bathrooms and showers we chose to plaster these surfaces using a method called Tadelakt. Tadelakt is a waterproof plaster surface used in Moroccan architecture. It is made from lime plaster, which is rammed, polished, and treated with soap to make it waterproof. It is also beautiful, almost every day I find myself running my hands over the plaster when I shower, appreciating the texture. The novelty never wears off.
Tiles have quite a considerable footprint. Most of them are imported from China and require large amounts of energy and heat to produce. With Tadelakt, you are using lime, local sand and/or marble dust (waste product) to plaster which is a huge improvement on this as well as the fact that waterproofing is achieved simply by using soap!
The technique and art of applying Tadelakt is not for the faint-hearted though and I spent many hours practicing before getting it right. Timing is crucial and understanding when the plaster is at just the right phase for the next stage. If you are up for watching countless youtube videos and DIY’ing. It is certainly worth it!house. Again, aesthetics is important to me to make environmentally sound choices sexy and not always seen as compromises.