The Rediscovery and Modernization of Terrazzo
Terrazzo was first discovered around the mid-15th century by Venetian artisans. They saw that they could reuse discarded marble fragments left over from crafting opulent marble floors for the wealthy. They did this by using the leftover marble slabs to surface the terraces around their dwellings. These fifteenth century artisans set the marble slabs in clay to help anchor them in place then rubbing the entire surface with hand stones to smoothen out the area making it easier and more comfortable to tread on. And thus terrazzo came to be.
As the years progressed, so did their terrazzo craftsmanship and know-how on better, more improved techniques. The use of terrazzo spread slowly but surely into other countries as a more affordable but still beautiful and long lasting option compared to marble. The more gifted terrazzo artisans were able to improve their technique in showcasing terrazzo’s almost limitless design possibilities.
Today, terrazzo has made a comeback, with better installation techniques, more design options and more cost-effective solutions for terrazzo flooring systems. Builders, homeowners and designers alike have rediscovered the beauty and durability of terrazzo floors making it one of the most preferred choices for floors and other installations such as benchtops, countertops, stairs, risers and many more.
Alongside the improvement of craftsmanship and methods for terrazzo installation, modern technology has significantly helped propel its popularity and enhancements. Add to this the fact that despite all the improvements, terrazzo remains as one of the most environmentally friendly flooring systems in the market today. These days, the addition of post-consumer materials such as glass bottles adds to the uniqueness and overall aesthetic appeal of terrazzo as a building material.
Terrazzo has truly stood the test of time and technology, and will continue to be improved upon by those that enjoy perfecting their terrazzo craftsmanship. What better testament to its timelessness than to visit and see ancient terrazzo floors that are still in existence all over Venice, Italy.