Terrazzo has been having a major revival lately, and we couldn’t be happier! With a lot of history behind this material, terrazzo is one of the most unique, customizable products available.
What is terrazzo?
Terrazzo is a manmade material consisting of an aggregate chip mixed in a cement or epoxy binder. From here that are a number of finishes available—polished and sealed or vitrified being the most common choices.
What aggregates are available for me to use?
There are a number of aggregates readily available on the market for both commercial and residential terrazzo projects. Some of the most commonly used aggregates are: granite, marble, glass, and mirror. These are available in a bountiful color range. Some more specialty aggregates are: mother of pearl, art glass, and silver-coated glass. Lead time and availability can vary depending on your aggregate selection; as such you would want to get in touch with our estimating department to review your specific project timeline.
What size are the chips?
Terrazzo aggregates come in a number of different sizes, most commonly sizes: #0, #1, #2, and #3. Do keep in mind that there are a number of alternate chip sizes available, from recycled glass to creating your own personal Palladiana floor.
What color is the binder?
Terrazzo binder, which can be epoxy or cement based, can be
custom tinted to your project needs. Most often we request clients use a Sherwin Williams fan deck to select a color, but any other fan deck/color chart would work just fine!
How is terrazzo made?
Terrazzo can be precast in our shop or poured on site, depending on the project needs.
The majority of terrazzo projects are installed floor systems, which are poured on site over a suitable substrate. This process helps create one of the most durable, aesthetically pleasing finishes for commercial floor use. But not all terrazzo floors have to be commercial. Popular in the US throughout the 20’s-40’s, residential terrazzo flooring is having a major resurgence. Basements, garages, playrooms, and more can all benefit from this easy-to-clean, earth-friendly flooring.
For those project aspects that cannot be poured on site, we have a precast division in our fabrication shop. Stair treads, wall base, countertops, wall panels, furniture pieces are all created first in our facility before they are brought to the job site.
Would I have seen terrazzo before?
If you’re not sure that you’re familiar with terrazzo, think back to any time you’ve walked in an airport, mall, or school. As one of the most durable finishes on the market, terrazzo is the ideal solution for heavily trafficked spaces. In fact, some say the terrazzo floor system outlasts the building itself!
What designs can I create in terrazzo?
As both a poured or precast option, terrazzo lends itself to endless designs.
For poured flooring systems, terrazzo utilizes aesthetically pleasing divider strips, which can be obtained in a number of different finishes. Stainless steel, chrome, brass, and more can all be bent and contorted to create geometric designs, floral patterns, wildlife scenes, company logos, or family crests on the floor.
As a precast option, terrazzo and be poured and shaped into endless options—a custom undermount or vessel sink, curved countertops and bench seats, even a delicate jewelry box!
The designs are only limited by one’s imagination and the laws of physics!
Isn’t terrazzo expensive?
While the up-front cost of terrazzo is more than some alternate
floor finishes, the life cycle cost wins out in the end. With an impressive durability and easy maintenance, a terrazzo flooring system properly maintained can stay looking like-new for years to come. If that wasn’t enough, terrazzo can also be re-finished should any areas be exposed to damage; why replace the entire floor when you can touch-up only a portion?!
How does this finish impact the environment?
Terrazzo is a “green” product that can even score you LEED credit on commercial buildings. Many of the aggregates mixed into this finish are recycled—to take it a step further you can even work with a local glass recycling company to select your aggregates from right in your own community! Combining the recycled content, amazing product life span, and easy maintenance make terrazzo one of the top eco-friendly commercial finishes available.