Terrazzo is an Italian word and Terrazzo flooring is made out of marble, granite, onyx and glass chips embedded in cement. The terrazzo is then cured, polished and cut into tiles. Terrazzo flooring is a type of mosaic flooring; it can also be used on walls, primarily in kitchens as a backsplash.
Not Just For The Rich!
Terrazzo, once used only by the affluent, is now widening in terms of popularity for flooring purposes. It is most often used in entryways, kitchens and public and commercial buildings. Due to its extreme durability, many homeowners are willing to pay more for terrazzo because they know that it is probably the only floor they will ever have to buy.
Terrazzo is quite unlike any other flooring. Because of the unique way that terrazzo flooring is made, every terrazzo floor that you might see will be different. There are no two floors that will be exactly alike, so there is no need to worry that your floor will look like your neighbors!
Terrazzo Floors can be heavy – always check the load bearing capacity of your sub-floor if you are fitting flooring above ground level.
Terrazzo is made from a combination of marble or other stone pieces and a sand/cement mix. Its all-natural materials are one of the reasons that it lasts so long. Terrazzo is totally recyclable, making it environmentaly-friendly.
Terrazzo is hypoallergenic and is water, (as long as it is sealed) and bacteria-resistant. For these reasons, it is most often used in kitchens, bathrooms, entryways and as flooring in commercial buildings.
Terrazzo tends to be very cold and hard underfoot. That is one reason that it is used mainly in commercial buildings and in places in residential homes that don’t require too much standing. It is a perfect recipient for underfloor heating.
Do-It-Yourself – Or Not!
Terrazzo flooring should only be installed by a professional. Terrazzo is made, poured and cured at the point of installation. The specialized installation process requires years of training to be able to perfect. There are a few companies that do sell a synthetic type of terrazzo tile, but it is not nearly as beautiful as the real thing. The synthetic versions are for homeowners that want the look of genuine terrazzo, but want to save on the high cost of installation.
When looking for a company to install your terrazzo, you should get several estimates. Below are some questions that you should ask when interviewing potential contractors:
1. How much will it cost?
2. How long will the installation take (actual installation + time to cure)?
3. Do you specialize in installing terrazzo?
4. When will I be able to walk on the floor?
5. What kind of guarantee do you offer?
6. What kind of warranty do you offer for repair?
A Terrazzo floor is one of the easiest types of flooring to maintain. You will need to lightly sweep the floor to remove visible debris. You don’t need to use harsh or abrasive cleansers to clean the floor; if you do, you run the risk of scratching any marble pieces. Simply use a damp mop to clean. If the floor is sealed properly, the water will not damage it.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Terrazzo Flooring