Sources of Terrazzo

Terrazzo is one of the most sought after materials for building flooring, walls, benchtop, furniture and etc. It is extremely durable and weather out any tough environment. This article we will discuss where this elegant material is being sourced by terrazzo suppliers in Australia.

Composition of Terrazzo

Portland Cement– there are two types of Portland cement being used for Terrazzo namely white and grey. This type of cement is used to match preferred colours and textures by clients. Portland cement are made from limestone. It is considered very tough and durable. Concrete produced from Portland cement is one of the most versatile construction materials available in the world.

Sand– sand being used for Terrazzo are clean, hard, natural. They are manufactured conforming with the S.A.A. No. A77 specifications for fine aggregate.

Marble Chips–  these are standard quarry products of sizes and colors necessary to match samples. Marble chips provide additional colors and textures for terrazzo tiles. They provide the prestigious look similar to marble tiles.

Sample Marble chips from around the world
Sample Marble chips from around the world

Mineral Pigments– are lime proof. They are composed of non-fading material or made up by synthetic pigment.  Mineral pigments provide the colors of the terrazzo tiles and cast. Their colors variation provide design flexibility for designers, architects and builders.

pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.

Many materials selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light. Materials that humans have chosen and developed for use as pigments usually have special properties that make them ideal for coloring other materials. A pigment must have a high tinting strength relative to the materials it colors. It must be stable in solid form at ambient temperatures.

miniral figments
mineral figments

Where does Terrazzo Australia Marble Source its materials?

Terrazzo Australian Marble Pty Ltd is a family owned company. The company has been running and serving Australians for over four decades.

The company pride itself in controlling the entire aspects of the terrazzo process. The company owns and operates 5 marble quarries in western New South Wales. It manufactures its precast elements in its factory in western Sydney. The factory has been equipped with the latest equipment from around the world. These include: tiles presses, 5 axis CNC processing machines, CNC edge polishers and saws. This enables the company to have the ability to produce material of higher degree of standards.

The company also installs all of its products with a team of tradesmen whose experience in terrazzo is without peer in the industry. The company is fully compliant with OHS and environmental standards, quality assurance, and is fully insured.

Proudly Made in Australia

Terrazzo Australia Marble is built to last. It follows strict standards and made up of high quality materials. Australian establishments can get the most cost-effective terrazzo tiles. The craftmanship is superb. The company has dedicated itself on perfecting its deployment of Terrazzo like an art.

History of Terrazzo Stone

Terrazzo stone is one of the most sought-after materials for architecture. It adds flavor and art to buildings, homes and other establishments. This article we will be discussing the history of terrazzo stone and how it shaped modern architecture as we know it.

Where the Terrazzo Word Came from?
Archaeologists have adopted the term terrazzo to describe the floors of early neolitic buildings, 9,000–8,000 BC in Western Asia(Turkey). It was constructed of burnt lime and clay, colored red with ochreand polished. The embedded crushed limestone gives it a slightly mottled appearance.

The use of fire to produce burnt lime, which was also used for the hafting of implements. It predates production of fired pottery by almost a thousand years.

In the early Neolithic settlement of Cayönü in eastern Turkey. 90 m² of terrazzo floors have been unearthened. The floors of the settlement of Nevali Cori measure about 80 m². They are 15 cm thick and contain about 10–15% lime.

Founders of Terrazzo

Terrazzo found its roots from Venice around 1500-1600 AD. This was used by construction workers as a low-cost flooring material for patios of their dwellings. The original terrazzo consists of clay, marble chips and goat clay.

Modern Progress of Terrazzo

Terrazzo production flourished in the 1920s. The introduction of electric industrial grinders improved the material. More establishments have started embracing it.

Artisans create walls, patios and floors by exposing marble chips and other fine aggregates on the surface of concrete and epoxy resin. The process is very much similar to their cement mason counterparts.

In the 18th century, the United States has adopted terrazzo. It usage flourished since the US has alot of marbles. Alot of the monuments and historical sites used terrazzo flooring. This include the home of George Washington in Mt Vernon.

In the 1970s, the chemistry of terrazzo evolved. The polymer-based terrazzo was first introduced. This was referred to as thin-set terrazzo back then. Initially polyester and vinyl ester resins were used as binder resin.  Today, most of the terrazzo installed are epoxy terrazzo.

The advantages of this material over cement terrazzo are the following: a wider selection of colors,  14 inch to  38 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 waterjet.

When the terrazzo is thoroughly cured, 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; it is then cleaned, polished, and sealed

Historical sites using Terrazzo

Terrazzo Australia: Ceramic Tiles versus Terrazzo Tiles

There are two types of tiles that architects and home builders consider for their project. These are ceramic tiles versus terrazzo tiles. Each of these tiles have their own advantages and disadvantages. We will be discussing the differences so you can be enlightened for your next projects.

Differences:
* Pricing – ceramic tiles are cheaper than terrazzo ones. Ceramic tiles can cost 2 USD below per square foot. Terrazzo tiles costs $10 USD and up.

The winner when it comes to budget and pricing is ceramic tiles.

* Installation– ceramic flooring comes as tiles. It is very easy to install compared to terrazzo. Terrazzo requires a team to construct the tiles on site. They run different finishes to polish up the installation of slabs, floorings, and skirts. This is one of the reason the cost increases.

The winner when it comes to ease of installation will be ceramic. But if you don’t intend of installing the tiles by yourself, you might want to consider terrazzo on this.

* Design– this is where terrazzo truly shines. Ceramic comes in tile shape. You can have square or basic geometric designs. Terrazzo on the other hand is more customizable. You can have more flexibility in shape and design.

With terrazzo in-situ you can have seamless floor. No visible lines and gaps can be seen. This allows home builders to create artistic flooring that cannot be achieved by ceramic. You can even create emblems to add a more unique feel for your flooring.

terrazzo ceramic tile
Classic example of emblem design flooring using terrazzo in-situ

Terrazzo Australia: Ceramic Tiles versus Terrazzo Tiles

Artistic design using terrazzo insitu. This type of design is not possible with ceramic tiles

The winner for design is Terrazzo. If you are looking for more artistic design, the tiles can do the job.

* Durability – Both ceramic and terrazzo are durable tiles. However, if you drop a heavy object, ceramic tiles can be damage. It is more prone to cracks and dings. There are cases wherein soil within your house moves. This happens when land settles in. This causes cracks to ceramic tiles.

Terrazzo tiles are tougher. The materials used are cement, stone and marble figment. Terrazzo can also withstand pressures of the elements. Terrazzo pavers are so tough it used for outdoor environment (even those with extreme heat, rain or cold).

The winner for this is Terrazzo tiles. The materials are very strong making it even cheaper in the long haul should you need to replace tiles due to damages.

Maintenance and Upkeep– You can use water and mop to clean these floors. The main disadvantage of ceramics is grout. A grout is a mortar or paste for filling crevices, especially the gaps between wall or floor tiles. Stain often attached to these grout, making it hard to maintain and clean.

Example of grout stains in ceramic tiles
Source: http://www.carpetcleaningnorfolkva.net/tile-grout-cleaning-norfolk.html

Terrazzo on the other hand has a smoother area. The seamless design makes it easier to clean stain. In the long run, if you are running a large establishment, Terrazzo can help save in manpower maintenance.

The winner for  this round is Terrazzo. If you are looking for less maintenance material, this will do the job for you.

Conclusion

Given the differences between this two tiles, what is ideal for you? It depends. If you are tight on budget and are ok with standard square designs, ceramic will do the trick for you.  If you have the budget and would like to have a long-lasting flooring, we recommend terrazzo.

If you want to have a unique and exquisite design for your project, terrazzo can give you the edge on this. Terrazzo may be expensive at first but in the long run it will be more cost-effective than tiles.

Mid Year Assessment – 2017 Terrazzo Trend You Should Look Out

Terazzo was first invented by Venetian mosaic workers in the 15th century. It was composed of mix marble, quartz, granite, glass and other material chips, all embedded using cement or epoxy.  Then it is cured on the ground and smoothly polished to produce this elegant textured surface. It became very popular during the mid 20th century, it is often associated with contemporary design during that era.

Lately, terrazzo has been gaining traction in a lot of construction projects. Malls loved this material. High end residences use it as core materials for their projects. Terrazzo is considered one of the most durable tiles in the market nowadays. It has beaten it stone rivals.

On this article, we will introduce a new texture for terrazzo that will surely make an impression to you. Marvel Gems are the next big thing this mid 2017 to 2018. You can gain new design inspirations from these:

Marvel Gems

marble gems

Source: National Tile

Marvel Gems came from Atlas Concorde (Italy). It is a collection of ceramic tiles that combine the look of Venetian Terrazzo with pearly look of porcelain and white body wall tiles. It is a complete range of floor and wall tiles.  These tiles give an impression that is magnified through shards, inserts and fragments. It replicates marble. It creates an atmosphere of fascination to those dwelling on living and commercial areas.

These are raw samples of the Marble Gems collection.

Here are sample textures that you might want to take a look for terrazzo. These are raw samples of the Marble Gems collection.

Luxury Showroom

Combining the porcelain look with terrazzo stone connotes luxury and sophistication. The durability of terrazzo helps ensures that this set up will last for decades. It will require minimal cleaning. Cement grey was used as a neutral color and the honed smooth finish is used as a superb background for product display. The designer used contrasting colors on the floor, tabletop and shelves. Gold finish trims (Schluter Systems), lamp shades and other accessories where used to project the splendor of the shop.

Hotel Bathroom

Source: National Tile

We love the way this bathroom was designed using Marvel Gems. The white mirror effect mosaic applied on the wall gives it a stunning luxurious effect.  Using lamps and gold finish trims makes the ambience look serene and luxurious. This design can also be applied to wellness and even high end salons.

Lounge Bar

Source: National Tile

Looking for an elegant inspiration for a lounge bar project? Check this! This project utilized 75 x 150 cm and 8.5mm thick extra large format terrazzo tiles. This is a fusion of Marvel Stone Bianco Dolomite and Marvel Gems Pearl. Polished brass was accessories and equipments were used blending well with the terrazzo stone.

Residential Bathroom

Source: National Tile

If you are looking for something fresh, this bathroom design might interest you. Blue mirror mosaic achives was used as the shower room wall. It created this luxurious feel. Wood was used as flooring of the shower room and furniture. White Marvel Gems were used as flooring and well for the rest of the bathroom. The combination of natural elements plus terrazzo stone gave it a modern look like no other.

Hotel Hall

Are you looking for something really stunning? Take a look at this hotel lobby design. The 3D art décor is composed of grey, black and porcelain white terrazzo tiles. The textures of the terrazzo stones gave more visual depth and modern look on the design.

Terrazzo Tiles: Why Choose Terrazzo Tiles

So you are planning to your construction project. You already have an idea on the theme of your next home or commercial establishment. When it comes to materials for flooring, bench tops, pavements and other essential parts of your project, we suggest you explore Terrazzo Tiles. We believe you can get great value from this material, making it stand out from the rest.

terrazzo tiles

What are Terrazzo Tiles?
This material is made up of Portland Cement. This is combined with sand, marble chips and mineral pigments. This composition gives the exquisite textures and durability not seen with other materials like wood, ceramic, etc.

Why Choose Terrazzo Tiles
Durability– Terrazzo tiles are very sturdy. It is sturdier compared to ceramics. The marble chips and cement mix makes it as tough as concrete. You can use it as pavers for outdoor requirements like walkways, gardens, etc. These tiles can weather any climate (extreme warm or extreme cold).

Less prone to Catch Fire– the composition of Terrazzo is less likely to catch fire. Similar with ceramics,  the materials are not combustible.  Wood can be exquisite but can catch fire easily. These fires may be caused by faulty electrical wiring and other combustible materials.

Easy to maintain– cleaning Terrazzo Tiles is extremely easy. Unlike wood, you need to apply varnish and paint. You can simply mop floors made with Terrazzo. It will have the same gloss and shine, as if it was newly installed or delivered straight from the plant

Exquisite Colors and Textures– these tiles come in different colors. You can have black, white, neutral or colorful textures. The marble chips and mineral pigments used gives a better texture that compared to ceramics or wood.  We recommend to explore the colour center for more info.

Flexibility in Design– with a wide range of colors to choose from, you can fit terrazzo tiles to any theme you wish. If you are leaning towards a modern home interior design, you can select from white, neutral and black. If you are leaning towards an urban design, neutral and black will work very well.

Different Finishes– these tiles offer a wide array of finishes to suit your taste and design preferences. You can opt for a Sealed Polished Finish. A protective sealer is applied to make it shiny, similar to its original state from the day it was delivered. You can also opt for a Machine Polished Finish making it glossier than the other finishes.

You can also opt for Honed Anti-Slip Finish. A non-slip additive is applied to the tiles. In Situ tiles offer seamless finish. No lines are visible on the tiles. It is as though you have a marble floor that is smooth all throughout. In Situ tiles, can also be designed to have an antiquated look. It helps create a unique blend of modern and old feel for your projects.

Warranty Guarantee– The terrazzo contractor shall furnish a written guarantee against defects due to improper and/or defective materials and/or workmanship for a period of one year following substantial completion of the terrazzo installation. This ensures you get the high-quality post-installation  support for your projects.