Terrazzo Frequently Asked Questions
What is terrazzo?
“Terrazzo consists of marble, granite, onyx, or glass chips in Portland Cement, polyacrylate modified Portland Cement, or resinous matrix binder. The Terrazzo is poured, cured, ground, and polished. Terrazzo is typically used as a finish for floors, stairs or walls.”
— The National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association
What is the typical thickness of terrazzo flooring?
Epoxy terrazzo can be poured at a thickness of 3/8” or as little as ¼” thick. Cement terrazzo requires a minimum depth of 2 1/2″ including setting bed.
What if my concrete subfloor has cracking?
If there is cracks on the concrete subfloor, a crack suppression membrane with an embedded fiberglass mesh can be installed to alleviate any horizontal cracking.
Can you install custom terrazzo colors?
Yes, terrazzo can be a very customizable floor with almost any color available to choose from.
Can I choose the glass or marble that goes in the terrazzo?
Yes, one of the great features of terrazzo is the ability to customize it. We can help you pick from different marble or glass pieces to fit your preferences. Give us a call (800) 557-0833 or contact us to schedule an appointment at our showroom.
Do you do project walks and onsite estimates
How should I clean my terrazzo floor?
Use a scrubbing machine with a 16” to 20” diameter brush. Place a soft-type pad on the brush to aid in holding a 3M-type screen mesh pad. It should be emphasized that these mesh pads should only be used two or three times annually.
The grit of the screen mesh pad can be one of the following: #60, #80 or #100. (The lower the number the coarser the grit.)
Using a neutral cleaner and water as lubrication, scrub the floor surface. After several passes in different directions, you should recognize the removal of all foreign matter from the surface. The cleaning cycle program should be regulated by the amount of foot traffic.
As the terrazzo floor ages the maintenance requirements are lessened.
Are samples available upon request?
Standard samples are not available as each job is a custom order to your specifications. Slight color variations in chips occur depending on geographical areas in which they were obtained. It is recommended that a sample, per your specific project, be requested for final color approval.
Where can I use terrazzo?
Terrazzo is used in both interior and exterior applications. Portland Cement and Polyacrylate Matrix Terrazzo can be used for both interior and exterior applications, however. Epoxy Resin Matrix Terrazzo is not recommended for exterior use.
When optimum slip-resistance is desired for an exterior Terrazzo surface, Rustic or Acid Washed Portland Cement Terrazzo can be used. After grinding and before final polishing and sealing, a mild acid solution is applied t hat will dissolve the Portland Cement matrix until neutralized. This process leaves a slight depression in the matrix causing the marble chip surface to protrude slightly and provide the added slip-resistance. Upon final sealing, the Terrazzo appearance is similar to polished Terrazzo without high gloss.
What are terrazzo types advantages and limitations?
Portland Cement Sand Cushion & Bonded Acid Washed Terrazzo
- Can be used for interior or exterior use
- Can be acid washed for added slip resistance in exterior use
- Topping thickness will accommodate the largest (#7) chip size
- Is breathable and not affected by moisture vapor transmission
- Sand Cushion system can accommodate substrate defects
- Requires minimum 2” depression for system installation
- Vibrant colors are very limited with Portland Cement
- Glass chips have limited use in Portland Cement
- Design flexibility due to size of panel limitations
- Lengthy cure time to achieve final appearance
Epoxy Resin Matrix Terrazzo
- System thickness of 3/8” total, can be used over concrete or wood substrate
- Virtually unlimited range of vibrant colors available
- Glass chips can be used in epoxy resin Terrazzo
- Design flexibility due to minimal divider strip requirements Accelerated chemical cure allows for faster installation due to significantly decreased cure time prior to grinding
- Color uniformity on large installations due to sophisticated manufacturing process for resin
- Most cost effective system for interior use
- 3/8” total thickness requires high flatness tolerance of ¼” per 10 sq.ft. in the substrate.
- Not recommended for exterior use.
- System not breathable, moisture vapor transmission barrier may be required for slab on grade applications.
- Maximum chip size that can be used is #2.
Polyacrylate Modified Cement Terrazzo
- System thickness of ½” total, can be used over wood substrate.
- Glass chips can be used in polyacrylate matrix Terrazzo.
- Can be used for exterior applications.
- System is breathable and not affect ed by moisture vapor transmission.
- Can be acid-washed for added slip resistance in exterior applications
- ½” total thickness requires hi gh flatness tolerance of ¼” per 10 sq.ft. in the substrate.
- The most vibrant colors cannot be achieved with polyacrylate matrix.
- Maximum chip size that can be used is #2.