Terrazzo is a flooring finish made of marble, granite, glass, or other natural or synthetic aggregates and fillers, mixed with cement and/or resin binder, seamless, poured on-site, grinded, grouted and polished to shine.
It descended directly from simplified forms of centuries-old styles of marble mosaics used in Venice by the mid-16th century.
Terrazzo was created when resourceful Venetian mosaic workers discovered a way to reuse marble remnants. With off-size chips, they began to build terraces around their living quarters.
Terrazzo was green before green was trendy!
Until 1920, techniques for leveling and grinding terrazzo surfaces progressed from rubbing with a stone by hand to the development of a long-handled, weighted grinding stone, called a galero.
The first sealer for terrazzo was discovered when workers noticed that a coating of goat milk brought out the rich colors and sheen of the marble.
Furthermore, the invention of the electric grinder in 1924, brought about a finer finish, greater speed and accuracy contributing to the spread of terrazzo became a flooring of choice overtaking and replacing the use of marble mosaics.
In more recent years, new matrix developments with epoxies, polyesters, latex, and acrylics have continued to make terrazzo ever more cost-effective, high functioning and versatile.
The spectrum of colors is now unlimited, a very wide range of natural and synthetic aggregates are available and, especially for the new thin-set and epoxy-based terrazzo, the design limits are all about the designer imagination.
Terrazzo is anti-microbial, non-porous and easily cleanable with damp mop and neutral cleaners. Unlike tile grout or carpet, terrazzo does not support microbial growth nor allow moisture to accumulate which greatly contributes to a mold-free environment.
Terrazzo is comprised of zero VOC materials and exhibits little to no off-gassing over the life of the cured floor.
Today’s highly evolved terrazzo is an environmentally friendly material combining extraordinary design potential, highly traffic wear resistance and low maintenance in a life of the building time service expectancy.
Terrazzo is the lowest-cost flooring material available based on its life cycle.