What is Terrazzo?
Terrazzo, a popular flooring material, invented by 15th-century Venetians, comes from a combination of marble, granite, quartz, and various stone chips. We mix it with cement or epoxy resin binder before pouring it into a mold or directly onto floor surfaces for a smooth and shiny appearance. Terrazzo flooring, used for centuries, was originally developed in Italy to reuse leftover marble chips from building projects. It’s become popular in the United States in recent decades thanks to its durable and affordable properties. Terrazzo also works well for walls, countertops, and other decorative home or business applications.
What are the benefits of using Terrazzo?
You can depend on Terrazzo for durability, maintenance ease, beautiful aesthetics, and longevity. It’s also a sustainable product (from recycled materials) and has many hygiene advantages (less vulnerable to mold and bacteria).
What are examples of Terrazzo applications?
The most popular use of Terrazzo involves flooring for areas like kitchens, hallways, lobbies, and even outdoor patios. You can use it to enhance countertops or for wall cladding, stairs, furniture, tables, and other exterior functions.
What is the difference between Terrazzo and Precast Terrazzo?
We install Traditional Terrazzo in place, by mixing or pouring it directly onto the floor or other surface. Precast Terrazzo is made in a factory or workshop prior to installation. The latter is normally larger, has a greater variety of usages, and can conform to many shapes and sizes.
How is Terrazzo installed?
We typically do installation work in five stages: 1) Surface Preparation, 2) Formwork (edges), 3) Mixing, 4) Grinding & Polishing, and 5) Final Sealing. This can be very complex and time-consuming and requires a skilled professional for optimal results.
What is the curing time for Terrazzo?
It depends on a few factors - the specific materials, the temperature/humidity indoors or outside, and the size and complexity of the task. This may take several days to several weeks to cure.
What types of finishes are available?
These are the six most popular finishes we offer. Polished Finish: The most common approach; involves grinding and polishing for a high shine to achieve a smooth, glass-like surface. Honed Finish: Similar to a polished finish, but with a more matte or satin-like appearance. Brushed Finish: A more rustic and natural-looking finish; more smooth and reflective than a polished or honed finish. Sandblasted Finish: A sandblasted finish for a more rustic or industrial look. Acid-Washed Finish: Uses an acid solution to etch the surface of the terrazzo, creating a slightly rougher texture and a mottled, variegated appearance. Custom Finishes: Then there are customizable finishes that can be tailored for specific design and aesthetic goals. We also offer a high gloss look if desired.
What are the types of strips used in Terrazzo flooring?
You can create beautiful Terrazzo sections with strips made from metal, plastic, glass, wood, and Precast Terrazzo. The choice of strips will depend on design, aesthetics, and functional requirements. Metal is the most common choice.
Can designs be integrated into Terrazzo flooring?
Yes, there are several ways to include aggregates, divider strips, waterjet cutting, inlays, and dynamic colors to enhance Terrazzo flooring.
What colors are available for Terrazzo?
Terrazzo flooring comes in a wide range of gorgeous colors: natural tones (like marble, granite, or quartz), or synthetic options (from dyes, pigments, and staining). Most manufacturers offer many standard colors and custom colors upon request.
What are some available pattern options?
We can produce Terrazzo flooring with several patterns: plain, speckled, Venetian, geometric, and even by incorporating brand logos.
How do you maintain Terrazzo flooring?
It’s easy to maintain Terrazzo floors with regular sweeping/vacuuming, mopping/drying, avoiding abrasive chemicals, applying a high-quality sealer, and using mats/rugs for protection. Proper care and maintenance help keep it in great shape for decades.
What is the cost of Terrazzo?
The cost depends on several factors, such as the project size, design complexity, and specific materials. On average, the cost of terrazzo flooring can range from $100 to $145 per square foot installed. This includes materials, labor, and any necessary subfloor preparation.
Can you use Terrazzo outdoors?
Yes, but it’s important to use the right materials and installation techniques to ensure durability. We always use high-quality materials that are resistant to moisture and UV rays, such as granite, quartz, or glass chips for outdoor purposes. You should also guarantee a proper slope for proper drainage to avoid water damage. Finally, it’s vital to seal and protect against moisture penetration and staining from dirt, leaves, and debris.
What is Rustic Terrazzo?
Rustic Terrazzo has a more natural, organic look. It comes from larger aggregate chips and a more irregular pattern than traditional terrazzo, creating a more rustic or "earthy" appearance. It is an excellent choice for outdoor settings.
How long does Terrazzo last?
Terrazzo can last for decades or even centuries with proper upkeep. Longevity depends on material quality, proper installation, and the level of foot traffic and wear and tear you experience. In general, a well-installed and properly maintained terrazzo floor can last for 50 years or more.
In which states is Terrazzo most popular?
Some states have a rich history and tradition of using terrazzo for architecture and design. Those include New York (art déco buildings), Florida (especially Miami and Sarasota), California (especially Los Angeles), Texas (commercial areas in Houston and Dallas), and Illinois (Chicago).
Which kind of architecture involves Terrazzo?
Terrazzo is outstanding for a wide variety of traditional or modern architectural styles. However, it is perhaps most associated with mid-century modern and Art déco architecture, most popular between the 1920s and 1960s. In Art déco, they often used terrazzo in decorative applications, such as intricate mosaics, murals, flooring, and walls. Art déco buildings often had bold geometric patterns and bright, contrasting colors.
Which buildings are known for beautiful Terrazzo floors?
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. features a stunning terrazzo floor in the Grand Foyer. The UNESCO headquarters in Paris, with its large circular terrazzo floor in the main entrance hall. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi features an intricate terrazzo floor with a floral and geometric pattern, including over 30 different marble colors. The Sydney Opera House in Australia features a terrazzo floor in the Concert Hall. The TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport in New York City, which includes a striking terrazzo floor in the main terminal.
Which architects have promoted Terrazzo floors?
Antoni Gaudí: The renowned Spanish architect known for colorful, mosaic-like building designs, often involving intricate terrazzo floors. Frank Lloyd Wright: He was a pioneer of modern architecture, and often used terrazzo in his designs for durability, versatility, and beauty. Eero Saarinen: The Finnish-American architect best known for iconic designs like the TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, both including striking terrazzo floors. Jørn Utzon: The Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House, with a stunning terrazzo floor in the Concert Hall with over 100,000 individual pieces of marble. Richard Meier: This American architect is known for minimalist, modernist designs, many of which utilize sleek, polished terrazzo floors.
Is Terrazzo eco-friendly?
Terrazzo can be an eco-friendly flooring option, depending on specific materials and installation methods. That’s because it’s made with recycled materials, like glass or stone chips, which have a minimal environmental impact during installation. However, some terrazzo materials, such as cement and epoxy resins, may have a higher carbon footprint because of energy-intensive manufacturing. Additionally, some installation methods may require chemical sealers, which emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It’s always important to use locally sourced materials with a low carbon footprint, by working with a professional installer who uses sustainable practices and non-toxic sealers or coatings.
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