Terrazzo is the combination of high-performance epoxy resin-based binder with marble, silica, or other minerals. The mixture is then exposed to the sun. Diamond sanding is a process that mixes the colors and creates the appearance of terrazzo tiles that produce a uniquely aesthetic coating.
Terrazzo reached its technical and aesthetic apogee in the 13th century in northern Italy, specifically in Venice and Trivento. Hence the name Venetian mosaic. It was definitely integrated into the architectural concepts of the buildings during this period.
Particularly, the capacity of terrazzo tiles to withstand wet environments has made it the main component of the floors of Venetian palaces such as the Doge’s Palace (whose Great Council room alone is 1,325 m2). , but also the Loredan Palace, Ca d’Oro, the Rezzonico Palace, the Grassi Palace, etc., still perfectly preserved 800 years after their construction.
In France, many floors, frames, and stairs were made of terrazzo in the 1920s and 1930s using this specific technique, more recently in the 1950s and 1960s. The material fell into disuse until it was rediscovered by architectural and decorative circles in the early 1990s.
Advantages of Terrazo tiles
Terrazzo offers the advantage of being a unique coating, full of character, very resistant to wear, easy to maintain, being at the same time like polished concrete, sensitive to expansion and contraction, which increases the risk of cracking. It is labor-intensive and can be costly. If you don’t want to risk your finances, go for terrazzo porcelain tile to achieve the Terrazzo “effect” on the floor.
Traditionally, terrazzo has been used as flooring in areas with a lot of wear and tear, therefore, it is a material with high resistance and durability.
It is also moisture resistant, making it a great option for any room, indoors or out.
These are some advantages:
- High durability.
- Resistant and non-reactive to fire.
- Easy maintenance.
- Low permeability.
- Adequately slip-resistant.
Advantages of Terrazo tiles
One of the disadvantages of terrazzo tiles is that they are a porous material that may not be 100% permeable and stain-free. It can be stained and dull. But it is something you can fix by polishing the floor every now and then.
The installation of terrazzo tiles can be very costly.
Most common uses
Terrazzo is a good alternative to tiles (kitchens, bathrooms…) and can also serve as a surface on countertops and tables.
One of the advantages of terrazzo, in addition to its durability and beauty, is that there is a variety of colors. You can adapt your terrazzo tiles to the decorative style you want.
This material can be used to cover floors and walls wholly, giving a unique look to the room. But if you want to go a little further, you can combine it with other materials such as ceramics.
Combining textures and colors will create a modern and minimalist look and a timeless design. Make sure it will last a lifetime. Combine tones to create a uniform style.
But if we talk about a room in the house that looks perfect with terrazzo, it is the kitchen. In this place, you can play with endless options. Some homeowners build terrazzo tiles bathroom to revamp their home interiors.
In general, kitchen counters are where terrazzo tiles are mostly used. This is because they are resistant, hygienic, and easy to clean. Not to mention that they create an elegant and stylish environment. They are the favorite of many.
If you like boasting about your home interiors, terrazzo style is intended for you. Don’t ever think terrazzo will saturate any room. Soften the room with neutral unicolor furniture and countertops. But if you prefer something more discreet, simply add a strong detail that can stand out from the rest of the materials without overshadowing them.
Another way to highlight this material is by placing it as a differentiating detail in a room like the case of a strip on the wall. The smooth and unicolor wall transforms the terrazzo into the centerpiece.
Mosaic and colors
You can adjust terrazzo to your preferences. For example, you can choose a mixture of various colors of marble, as well as other materials such as glass. The mixture of these materials allows creating unique combinations of colors and shapes. Therefore, terrazzo can be adapted to both classic interiors and more modern decorations. The color of the cement can also be customized. Installation can take several days or even a whole week on floors with a particularly detailed look.
In addition to the precautions while installing this type of coating, the surfaces where the terrazzo tiles will be laid must undergo a different process, especially if the installation is on the floors or walls.
This is not DIY construction material. Call a contractor to lay out the terrazzo wall tiles or outdoor terrazzo tiles.
Terrazzo porcelain tiles
Terrazzo porcelain tiles offer a great alternative and have plenty of applications that are simpler and much less expensive (€40 on average per m2). Install the slabs on a kitchen backsplash, on the wall of a bathtub or shower, on a staircase. For a more modern effect, opt for large slabs of 60*60 cm or more with extra-thin joints.
Are terrazzo tiles environmentally friendly?
They are much more ecological than the first cement-based systems, due to their low level of binder that consumes little CO2 and the possibility of using recycled aggregates.
Additionally, their lifespan, which is longer than traditional systems such as PVC and carpets, means that they can hold for several decades, whereas other tile types require replacement after some time.
Price of terrazzo floor tiles
Tons of factors determine the cost of terrazzo tiles: the project size, nature, and color. But for the most part, each slab costs 4 euros, although this depends on the region and contractor.
Terrazzo tiles are back in fashion after the 70s. Terrazzo has always been used on floors, but apparently this time, it is going further. Terrazzo tiles have become the most sought-after product by architects, designers, and decorators. And this is something that seems not to change. In addition, it is very easy to maintain and clean, since it does not require special care and, even so, it always shines.