Terrazzo Cleaning & Restoration
Terrazzo is a very common choice for newly-constructed commercial properties and can also be found in older homes built from the 1930s through the 1970s. It is even making a comeback in newer contemporary residences in the form of tiles and with unique forms of aggregate, such as seashells, glass, and other hard materials. Generally speaking it is unique in its colors and inlaid randomized patterns.
Terrazzo is a composite material that was originally made from a bed of Portland cement and marble chips of random small sizes that were inlaid into it — then flattened into a floor covering material.
Newer terrazzo can still made with a Portland cement base, but can also be formed with an epoxy-based binder bed instead — making it non-porous and non-absorbent. This epoxy-base allows for a new spectrum of colors and design.
Terrazzo was originally developed in the late 15th century by Venetian mosaic workers who started using small marble remnants and chips left behind from their stone jobs and began laying them into the surface material around the terraces of their homes.
The word “terrazzo” is derived from the Italian word for “terraces.” Due to its resemblance of marble, terrazzo became the material of choice for construction of memorials and ornate buildings. In the early 18th century, European craftsman brought this material to America, where it became very popular. It is still considered to be a very reliable and resilient surfacing material.
Terrazzo is commonly used for lobby flooring in public buildings, such as school and government offices. Many homes in Florida that were built in the 1950s and 1960s used terrazzo flooring due to its constant cool temperature and resistance to mold and mildew. Recently terrazzo is being used in new construction and decorative homes for staircases, walls, and counter-tops. It is relatively easy to clean, but does need periodic professional maintenance.
Just like any hard surface material, terrazzo floors should be swept and dust-mopped regularly in order to remove grit and other matter, which can act as an abrasive and damage the polished surface. Harsh chemicals and products containing alcohol can also damage the finish — just like marble and limestone. Only neutral pH cleaners should be used in between professional servicing.