Terrazzo Flooring

Terrazzo Flooring

Many older historic homes have terrazzo as their original flooring. The good news is that if this is the case, working with Marble Doctors can enable you to restore the terrazzo floors like new again, even if there are multiple layers of other floors on top of the original terrazzo.

In some situations, your terrazzo may simply need repair or polishing. Terrazzo is one of the oldest types of sustainable floors and is typically defined as composite material poured in precast or in place. Usually it involves aggregates or marble chips put together within a binder material.

Today terrazzo covers a wide range of colors and is known for being sustainable, flexible and durable, even to fit the most complex of floor design needs. From serene bathhouses to royal palaces, to international airports, schools, universities and hospitals, terrazzo is a flooring option with numerous possibilities.

History of Terrazzo

This term is derived from the Italian word for terrace and has been referred to for centuries as a type of mosaic flooring. Practical, strong and elegant, terrazzo was originally used in the 15th century by construction workers in Venice who used marble chips to create low cost flooring that had a stunning appeal in their own homes.

The concept of terrazzo came to the United States in the late 18th century. As just one example, Mount Vernon, home to George Washington, was one of the first homes and buildings in the U.S. to feature this type of flooring. Materials quickly became available for all types of American construction.

Terrazzo today can consist of multiple types of durable building materials like quartz, granite, marble, or recycled glass aggregates. These materials are mixed with epoxy or cement and then polished to generate a smooth, sustainable, and uniformly textured surface. Either precast or poured, terrazzo gives architects and designers a great deal of flexibility to create gorgeous designs.

Sustainable Flooring Design

Since terrazzo is quite durable, it fills a wide range of sustainability requirements. The performance and economic value of this commercial flooring system contributes prominently to its role in LEED Certification. A terrazzo flooring system installed with epoxy two decades ago could still look as beautiful today as one that has been recently installed. This is why terrazzo is an essential part of many landmark buildings today.

More than 1500 years ago, individuals in Italy first learned about the benefits of mixing marble scraps in order to generate beautiful flooring designs. Being able to reuse these materials is still important today as it was centuries ago. Since sustainable architecture and green efforts are increasingly important, the characteristics of terrazzo and the user recycled materials continues today. It works well for projects that need the certification of LEED.

Terrazzo makers have taken liberties today to replace cement with epoxy resins and supplementing marble with metal, glass or other materials for gorgeous works of art on your floor. You can use terrazzo to generate a custom and stunning design for your institution, making an impact on everyone who visits. One of the most important aspects of terrazzo is that it is very durable. A lot less maintenance is required when compared with tile or carpeting, which is why terrazzo floors have been able to last for generations. Some floors installed up to 80 years ago look like they were created recently.

Terrazzo Repair

In the event that you do need repair or polishing for your terrazzo, Marble Doctors can assist you with this. There are several different ways that we can help you with this process.

New Surfaces

If your terrazzo is looking somewhat worn, we can use 120 grit metal honing disks to grind the floor on counter spinning heads. This takes the top layer off a dull terrazzo floor and gives new life to the material.

Hand Grinding

Typically, after initially grinding the floor, the corners and edges are ground by hand in order to generate a consistent surface.

Cracks and Chips

If your terrazzo has cracks or chips, Marble Doctors can drill out the holes and refill them with matching marble chips so that the patch matches the rest of the floor.

Stain Removal

If your floors made of terrazzo are severely stained, we use an optional peroxide treatment that can assist with the restoration for an additional charge. You can learn more about it during your free terrazzo consultation.

Step Polishing

After the original surface of your terrazzo floor has been exposed and any existing damage has been fixed, we then polish your floor with progressively finer diamond resin honing disks.

This process ensures that your floor is polished down to the basic level, leaving no dirt to collect on the floor surface. With a damp mop you can maintain this polish for years.

It is important to remember that patching or cleaning terrazzo is an art that can take years to master. You should never entrust this to a subcontractor for a flooring company. No two floors are the same. Many binding agents and stones are used to generate terrazzo.

Attempting to patch terrazzo with an inferior binding agent or a different stone may mean that it does not match your existing floor. The expert from Marble Doctors who polishes your floor will be able to evaluate and look at the exact stones used in your original floor in order to match those. A bad patch job can lead to serious problems with your terrazzo floor. The six steps of the polishing process include:

Step 1: The entire floor surface is grinded with 50 grit honing disks of diamond resins.
Step 2: The entire floor surface is then ground with 120 grit honing disks.
Step 3: 220 grit honing disks are used.
Step 4: 400 grit honing disks are then used.
Step 5: 800 grit honing disks are used.
Step 6: A compound polish is used to achieve a high gloss.

Seal and Protect

The next stage of your polishing project may involve an impregnator sealer for stain protection. Our team then thoroughly removes the protective plastic and cleans up the project. The only thing brighter than the shine on your terrazzo floor could be the smile on the face of the homeowner when they see just how stunning the results are.

You have our promise and guarantee that our terrazzo care restoration team does not take shortcuts, and that we never use crystallization waxes or other harsh chemicals that could damage your floor. The final results will be slip resistant, smooth, shiny, and beautiful.