What is Terrazzo
Aug 03, 2016

Terrazzo is a composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of marble,quartz, granite, glass or other suitable chips, sprinkled or unsprinkled, and poured with a binder that is cementitious, chemical, or a combination of both. Terrazzo is cured and then ground and polished to a smooth surface or otherwise finished to produce a uniformly textured surface.

Today, most of the terrazzo installed is epoxy terrazzo. The advantages of this material over cementitious terrazzo include a wider selection of colors, 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch installation thickness, lighter weight, faster installation, impermeable finish, higher strength, and less susceptibility to cracking. The disadvantage of epoxy resin based terrazzo is that it can only be used for interior, not exterior, applications. Epoxy based terrazzo will lose its color and slightly peel when used outdoors, whereas cement based terrazzo will not. In addition to marble aggregate blends, other aggregates have been used such as mother of pearl and abalone shell. Recycled aggregates include: glass, porcelain, concrete and metal. Shapes and medallions can be fabricated on site by bending divider strips or off site by water-jet cutting.

When the terrazzo is thoroughly dry (or cured in the case of thin-set terrazzo), helpers grind it with a terrazzo grinder, which is somewhat like a floor polisher, only much heavier. Slight depressions left by the grinding are filled with a matching grout material and hand-troweled for a smooth, uniform surface. Terrazzo contractors then clean, polish, and seal the dry surface for a lustrous finish.


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