Design by Room Bathrooms

I Could Have Sworn These $40-Per-Pack “Tiles” Were Actually Zellige

Turns out, they’re an easy DIY.
Lydia Geisel Avatar

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green kitchen backsplash
Courtesy of Smart Tiles

When we recently saw the founder of a tile company cover his own kitchen walls in zellige tile, it proved to us that this trend really isn’t going anywhere. Personally, I get why so many people are drawn to the raw texture, the slight imperfections, and the color variations of Moroccan tiles, but as a design editor who sees a lot of the same materials play out in homes (zellige backsplashes being one of them!), I’d be nervous to commit to it myself. But a temporary, affordable, DIY-friendly version? That I can get behind. 

While scrolling TikTok the other day, I was served an ad for Smart Tiles (the brand also has an Amazon store). I’m familiar with the products, thanks in part to Alexandra Gater, the serial rental renovator who has used the company’s peel-and-stick tile in a number of her projects. (She once broke down for me how she installed the brand’s pink Metro Ava option in her tiny kitchen.) But what I saw on my screen wasn’t the typical white subway or patterned antique tile I’m used to seeing from adhesive-geared brands. The Morocco Sefrou tile in green looked a whole lot like actual zellige. 

Smart Tiles Morocco Sefrou Green Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

Sefrou Green Peel and Stick Backsplash (5 Sheets), Smart Tiles ($38)

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For starters, Smart Tiles has the tonal range you’d expect to see in Moroccan tile (because the real things are made individually by hand, no two are ever exactly the same). The sheets also have a slight gloss to them, which appears to help them shine when the light hits just right—not unlike zellige. So what do they look like in situ? Designer Shelby Eanes covered (most) of her bathroom walls in them and they look pretty legitimate, especially with the walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Peale Green

On the company’s website, the tile has a 4.8-star rating and around 1,600 reviews. A customer in Australia raved about how quickly it arrived and another said their only learning curve was cutting the tile to fit around switch plates and outlets (a sharp X-Acto knife will do the trick). The imagery on the website mostly shows the tile applied in a vertical stack, but you can orient the 12-by-9-inch sheets in a horizontal fashion, too. 

There are fewer reviews on Amazon, but we did happen to find them in design blogger Kiva Brent’s “storefront,” aka the place where she saves her top-recommended products. If green isn’t your color, here are a few more faux zellige tiles we’re eyeing.

More Smart Tiles Peel-and Stick-Backsplashes

Rabat Pink Peel and Stick Backsplash (5 Sheets), Smart Tiles ($38)

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Morocco Tangier Peel and Stick Backsplash (5 Sheets), Smart Tiles ($55)

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Orange Safi Peel and Stick Backsplash (5 Sheets), Smart Tiles ($38)

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Beige Oia Peel and Stick Backsplash (5 Sheets), Smart Tiles ($38)

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