Terrazzo is reclaiming its place in contemporary design, and it’s easy to see why. The material’s wide range of custom looks and durability make it an excellent choice for a variety of spaces.
Originally a way to recycle marble scraps in sixteenth-century Italy, terrazzo gained popularity after the invention of divider strips and electric grinders. These dividers, which are often made from brass or aluminum, contain the poured-in-place terrazzo’s color.
Authentic terrazzo is extremely durable and resistant to heat, scratching, staining, moisture and more. It’s also nonporous, so it doesn’t harbor allergens or molds. This material is a great choice for homes with radiant heating.
This flooring style is available in a wide range of colors and styles, and it can be custom-designed to match any design aesthetic. For example, if you like the look of modern stone, you can incorporate a variety of different colored glass, marble, granite or shells into your terrazzo mix.
In addition to the variety of color options, terrazzo can be poured in place or set into precast shapes. Poured-in-place terrazzo is often found in commercial spaces, but it can be used to add visual texture and design in residential projects, too. For example, this incredible renovation of an old bank building features a luxurious floor-to-ceiling terrazzo installation in the bathrooms and bar area. It uses traditional sand-cushion cement terrazzo with large Venetian aggregates and metal expansion and divider strips to reduce cracking.
Easy to maintain
Terrazzo is one of the most durable flooring options. Its strength and longevity make it ideal for busy commercial spaces like offices, airports, and hotels. It is also easy to maintain. Just sweep regularly and mop with a neutral cleaner such as Lithofin EasyCare. This will keep your terrazzo looking clean and new. Avoid using oil-based cleaning products and stain removers as they can discolor your terrazzo.
Another great feature of terrazzo is that it is environmentally friendly. The chips are made from recycled glass and stone, and the epoxy binders do not emit volatile organic compounds, making it an excellent choice for sustainable flooring.
It is also non-porous and resistant to microbial growth, and it prevents moisture vapor transmissions, which makes it an excellent option for radiant or hydronic underfloor heating. In addition, it retains warmth well and does not require the use of a separate vapor barrier. It is also non-slip when properly sealed and can be used in high-traffic areas without the need for a mat.
Terrazzo is a beautiful material that can be installed in a variety of ways. It is often used as a flooring material, but it can also be installed in walls, furniture and other decor accents. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, it is also an eco-friendly choice because it uses zero VOC resins.
It can be poured in place or cast into molds to create panels and tiles. It can be polished or washed, and it comes in a variety of colors. These colors can work to establish a tone and create a unique atmosphere for the space.
When terrazzo is poured, it is separated into sections to prevent cracking. The areas that are most likely to crack are delineated by metal expansion or divider strips. These strips are usually made from brass, plastic or aluminum and are placed on the floor prior to laying the terrazzo facing. They are then wetted to ensure adherence.
Terrazzo can add a subtle stylistic strength to any space, and its versatility is making it popular with designers. It can be applied to walls, seating areas panels, columns, and more. It can also be poured in place or precast, and can include different aggregates and color options.
The material is made from small chips of durable stone or other materials, like marble, quartz, glass, and shells, combined with a cement or resin binder. It can be cast in place or precast into panels, and it can feature divider strips for a sculptural effect.
This 2018 NTMA Honor Award winner features terrazzo wall panels that are both a functional and decorative element. The terrazzo panels clad the entire structure, creating a unified appearance that complements the flooring. The terrazzo’s textured surface is easy to clean and will look aesthetically appealing for years to come. In a modern kitchen with flat-front cabinets, terrazzo’s texture helps bring in visual interest and contrasts with the sleek materials of other elements.