Remodeling 101: Terrazzo Floors
Terrazo is a highly versatile solid surface material invented by Venetian mosaic workers in the 15th century. Traditionally, terrazo is comprised of marble chips embedded into a cement base, then ground flat and coated with a topical sealer. Although modern terrazzo can be made from a wider range of materials and polished without coatings, the craft of installing terrazzo pretty much remains the same.
Today's terrazzo is made with either Portland cement or epoxy as its base, then combined with some type of aggregate to provide its unique speckled look. Although marble is still the aggregate of choice for most applications, terrazzo can also be made from recycled glass and metallics, as well as natural aggregates, such as mother of pearl. Terrazzo can also be set into precision-cut forms to create logos, medallions, text, or any abstract pattern imaginable.
Advancements in technology have provided methods for finishing terrazzo without the use of coatings and sealers. Modern terrazzo is polished to a high-shine without using any chemicals. For this reason, terrazzo is also environmentally-friendly and requires very little maintenance.
Reaching a peak in popularity in the mid-20th century, terrazzo is often associated with mid-century contemporary design. During the 1970s and 1980s, terrazzo lost popularity, but has made a tremendous comeback due to the demand for solid surface flooring that is not only easier to maintain, but provides a much healthier environment. Terrazzo is also preferred over tile flooring because there are no grout lines to clean, or crevasses that trap dirt. More importantly, terrazzo is a permanent flooring solution that can be customized to suit any desired look.
Terrazzo has been rediscovered by contemporary architects and designers because of its timeless beauty and versatility. Not only does terrazzo make an impressive floor, but it can also be used in the fabrication of counters, bars, table-tops, and vanities. Terrazzo is a substance that can be molded and created into anything imaginable.
Summary of Benefits:
Solid surface natural stone flooring.
Unique appearance that can be customized to suit any decor.
Extremely durable, out lasting all other flooring materials.
Sustainable, environmentally friendly and can qualify for LEED.
Greatly reduced maintenance costs, eliminates need for topical sealers and floor replacement.
Least expensive flooring option over life span of floor