Why Install Terrazzo Floors?
Terrazzo flooring systems offer endless design flexibility and a service life that will generally exceed the life of the building they’re installed in. Created over 500 years ago as a way to recycle marble remnants, Terrazzo Floors are the original eco friendly flooring solution.
- Endless Design Flexibility
- Indoor and Outdoor Installation
- Long Service Life
- Environmentally Friendly
Why Choose Craftsman Concrete Floors?
Craftsman Concrete Floors specializes in Terrazzo and Decorative Concrete installation throughout Texas. As a contractor that services both residential and commercial projects, we’re able to accommodate terrazzo jobs of all sizes.
- No Square Footage Minimums
- All in-house, W-2 labor
- Servicing Texas since 1999
What are Terrazzo Floors?
Terrazzo is a composite material that combines aggregates with a binder to create an extremely durable flooring material. While this sounds technical, terrazzo is a common sight for all of us, being commonly installed in buildings such as schools, airports, and courthouses. Terrazzo floors offer striking visual aesthetics, extreme durability, and low maintenance, making them one of the most popular flooring options for these types of high traffic installations.
The aggregates in a terrazzo floor are carefully chosen, as they’re exposed in the finished floor and have a dramatic impact on its appearance. As we will discuss in more detail later, marble and granite chips are most commonly used, however other types of aggregates are available as well. While most modern terrazzo systems use epoxy as a binder, cement may be used as well. Both binders have pros and cons, which we will discuss later in this article.
Another distinctive feature of a terrazzo floor are the embedded metal transition strips. Traditionally made of zinc, these strips are used to divide the floor into sections that are manageable by the installation technicians, as well as separate different colors or provide a design. Zinc strips may also be used to subtly direct foot traffic, such as by creating paths to building exits or checkout counters.
Want to Learn More About Terrazzo Flooring?
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Terrazzo Flooring Installation Guide – Types of Terrazzo
There are two types of Terrazzo Flooring – Epoxy and Cement Based. Epoxy Based is generally more popular and widely used.
- More Popular
- Thinner Installation
- Faster Cure Time
- More Color Flexibility, Design & Style Options
- Low Maintenance: Less Likelihood of Cracks
- Plastic Resin and Hardener are mixed to form Epoxy Matrix.
- Marble Dust and aggregates are added to the mix before troweling onto concrete.
- May be seeded with additional aggregates after being hand troweled.
- Generally power troweled to flatten floor.
- Ground and polished the following day
Cement Based (Cementitious Terrazzo)
- Less Common
- Thicker installation
- Slower Install Time
- Less Color Options
- High Maintenance: More Likely to Crack
- A mixture of concrete and marble dust form binder matrix
- Binder is troweled on floor and seeded with aggregates
- Floor is flattened with weighted rollers instead of a power trowel
Terrazzo Flooring Aggregates
There is a wide range of composites to choose from:
Marble | Granite | Glass | Shell | Mother of Pearl | Recycled Concrete
- Marble chips are the most commonly used due to their natural appearance.
- Recycled aggregates are often used and increase environmental benefits of terrazzo
Mother of Pearl
Terrazzo Flooring Grinding
The grinding process for terrazzo flooring is unique and allows for the floor to achieve higher level of reflectivity.
- Terrazzo is progressively ground with finer diamonds, like polished concrete
- Grinding is performed wet to reduce smearing of metal strips and pop out of aggregates.
- Floors are grouted with epoxy to reduce porosity.
- Typically sealed with an acrylic sealer or urethane sealer.
Importance of Sealers
- Sealers are required to achieve high levels of reflectivity and protect the floor from staining.
- Sealers deepen the color of aggregates and improve the overall look of floor
- Water-based sealers are used to eliminate VOC’s and reduce environmental impact.
Where is Terrazzo Flooring Commonly Installed?
With its versatile nature, high durability and style quotient, Epoxy based Terrazzo Flooring is widely used in most public places with a modern appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions about Terrazzo Flooring
Terrazzo is widely used for floors but there are plenty of applications including stars, countertops, benches and walls.
Epoxy Terrazzo Systems typically range from 3/8″ to 1/2″.
Most terrazzo flooring projects cost between $40 and $150 per square foot. The amount of footage and type of aggregate have the highest impact on the overall price per square foot.