Terrazzo in itself is already leaps and bounds better than all the other flooring systems out there. With its numerous advantages over its competitors, one would think that it has already reached its pinnacle and cannot be improved upon. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst the terrazzo tile, in its simplest form, already set the standard for all flooring system, improvements can still be done.
Seamless terrazzo for example, is an improvement or advancement that has many advantages over its simpler, more basic terrazzo predecessor. What are these advantages? Here are some of the more major ones.
All about the Aesthetics
With seamless terrazzo, your design is not limited by the shape of the tiles or hindered by grout. The possibilities for more intricate and complex designs are almost limitless. Additionally, terrazzo tiles are relatively thicker than seamless terrazzo and that eats into a room’s height. And furthermore, seamless terrazzo has a lower slip potential compared to terrazzo tiles.
Beyond the Beauty
Terrazzo in its basic form is still more durable when matched against all the other kinds of materials however; seamless terrazzo is known to have a higher impact resistance rating than basic terrazzo tiles. Also, seamless terrazzo has a higher hygienic rating because there are no grouts and crevices that could become breeding ground for bacteria. Furthermore, when it comes to maintaining and cleaning terrazzo, seamless terrazzo is very often easier to clean as it is less likely to need special cleaning reagents. With terrazzo tiles, some cleaning agents have to be checked before using in case some of the stronger chemicals could end up damaging the surface.
Greener is Always Better
When you choose to use seamless terrazzo, you are assured that 60% of the materials used are post-consumer. The materials used in terrazzo tiles often depend on the manufacturer. Seamless epoxy terrazzo emits little to no VOCs or volatile organic compounds, making it ideal to use indoors. Because of all these and more, terrazzo seamless epoxy can last up to 25 years with very minimal maintenance and repairs needed compared to terrazzo tiles which can only last from 10 up to 15 years. Still not bad however, seamless epoxy terrazzo clearly outperforms terrazzo tiles by a huge margin.
Set in Terrazzo – A Sign of More Optimistic Times
When an individual decides to build a business there is no room for pessimism. When a business is built, it is built with the intent to last, to get passed down the generations. Nobody builds a business thinking it has a shelf life- an expiration date. Optimism and the courage to face the great unknown future are what are needed by those wanting to build a legacy. Unfortunately, sometimes, even with the most optimistic mindset, businesses fail, buildings crumble, legacies fade away.
30 to 40 years ago, many of these brave men and women decided to build shops and storefronts with permanence and longevity in mind. They took the phrase “set in stone” to a whole new level. Entryways and walkways leading up to their establishments were emblazoned with intricate art deco designs made from this polished, speckled material. They believed so strongly that their businesses would last through the ages that they chose to mark their territories with terrazzo – a material known for its longevity and durability.
Terrazzo has been around for centuries. It was created when early Venetian workers discovered a new use for discarded marble pieces. They began using these uneven sized marble slabs to create different mosaic-like designs. As time passed, the process of perfecting the craft of terrazzo has been improved upon by gifted and dedicated craftsmen.
Many of the original terrazzo installations can still be seen today. They remain a testament to the longevity and durability of this amazing material. More recently, many architectural structures utilize terrazzo in more than just floors. With the help of technological advancements on machineries used in the construction and manufacturing of this material, terrazzo is now also used for 3D wall installations, stairs and risers, dividers and even outdoor structural furniture.
To use terrazzo for your home or your business establishments shows a commitment to last the tests of time and uncertainty. One thing is sure though, terrazzo is a material that can definitely withstand the passing of time.
Terrazzo has been around for hundreds of years, evolving from a classic design staple to a modern creative marvel. In more recent times, terrazzo can be seen in almost every major infrastructure in every major city in the entire world. Whether as flooring, wall installations, stairs, countertops, and other design elements, terrazzo has steadily become the preferred building material by designers, builders and architects.
Now, take terrazzo’s design flexibility and add to that the advent of technology that allows builders to make innovations and improvements on dated methods, then you’ve got limitless design potential on your hands. If you can conceptualize it, chances are, it can be done with terrazzo through the many advancements and developments in technology.
Three of the more prominent technologies being used today in terrazzo installation and construction are the Waterjet technology and the Screed Pump. Two of these technologies are utilized in the uniform shaping and cutting of terrazzo and one is used to help in the installation of terrazzo in those difficult to reach areas.
Waterjet and CNC Technology
Waterjets are tools capable of cutting and shaping a wide variety of materials using a very high-pressure jet of water. Essentially, what Waterjet technology does for the terrazzo industry is that it allows terrazzo to be cut and shaped to a specific shape or design. The same goes for CNC machines. A computer converts any complex design into numbers which are considered coordinates of a graph which then controls the movement of the cutter in producing more complex shapes of terrazzo. Typically, CNC machines utilize CAD (Computer Aided Design) software to produce the designs the terrazzo will be cut into.
Screed Pump Technology
Not every installation area is easily accessible. During times when terrazzo needs to be poured in situ and the area is one of those difficult to access areas, installation sans screed pumps tend to utilize more resources and could potentially cost more. With screed pumps, this installation problem has become a thing of the past.
By the looks of it, terrazzo will still be around for a long time and with technology making leaps and bounds in innovations and improvements, the possibility of terrazzo’s design flexibility will literally be endless.
European culture over the years has spread out and influenced so many countries especially when it comes to architecture and design. Many countries all over the world have imbibed some form of European culture into their own lifestyles, most often resulting in a kaleidoscope of great art and form. Such is the case with terrazzo.
Terrazzo, the Italian word for terraces, is a type of flooring made of different sized chips of marble or granite set in concrete and later polished in order to achieve a smooth surface.
Sometime during the mid-16th century, Venetian workers discovered a new use for discarded marble remnants. They observed that the marble they tossed out onto side streets have, over time, been packed in and smoothed-out by passing foot and vehicle traffic, resulting in very unique and durable pathways. As it is with every discovery or invention, intentional or otherwise, ways to improve upon and perfect the terrazzo craftsmanship were made. Most of these terrazzo craftsmen and artisans traveled across the world, bringing with them their expertise.
These terrazzo craftsmen, more commonly known as terazzeri, closely guarded their secrets and techniques, only handing them down their families, from father to son until today. With the modernization of terrazzo, more methods have been created to further improve on the craft. Centuries later modern terrazzo artisans have learned to embrace technology as a means to continually expand and upgrade their craft.
More and more countries are now steadily being introduced to the classic beauty and elegance of terrazzo. Designers in Australia and all over the world recognize the flexibility and creativity of terrazzo. In fact, the terrazzo trade is booming in some of the most key cities in Australia, as it is recognized not just for its design and artistry but for its durability and resilience. Once often touted as flooring only for royalty, modern terrazzo has grown leaps and bounds, becoming more and more available to everyone.
Many an article has been written about the pros and cons of both terrazzo and hardwood floors – but not a lot of side by side comparisons that tackle the important details like cost, durability, upkeep and general aesthetics.
Making the choice between these two flooring systems also depends on other variables – if you’re remodeling, starting from the ground up; the allotted budget, the availability of materials, whether you’re going the DIY route or leaving it to the experts. To make things hopefully a little easier, here’s a very basic run through of how one flooring system compares to the other.
Overall Cost: Materials and Installation
|Terrazzo floors cost more compared to most of the flooring systems available these days. This is due to the following factors:
- prior to installation, a concrete-based sub floor is required
- installation is labor-intensive, time-consuming and more often than not, a professional involvement is required
|Compared to terrazzo floors, hardwood will definitely be the more practical choice. This is because:
- installation and materials are less expensive and labor intensive
- most times, DIY-ing hardwood floors can still give you great results
- any kind of sub flooring is suitable
Durability and Damage-Resistance
|Durability is one of the stronger selling points of terrazzo. Point in fact, most of the earlier terrazzo installations are still in existence today. This is the reason why terrazzo is the preferred flooring system when it comes to places that have higher foot traffic like airports, shopping centers, hospitals and even campus buildings. Additionally, terrazzo is waterproof, fireproof, scratch and impact resistant.
||Between the two flooring systems, hardwood doesn’t even begin to match up against terrazzo. Hardwood is easily scuffed and scratched by shoes and heavier furniture often leaves grooves or indentations. Unfortunately, hardwood is not waterproof even when treated with a special sealant which is why it has a tendency to warp and rot.
Maintenance and Upkeep
|Terrazzo floors do not require periodic cleaning or special cleaning solutions. Once installed, it takes very minimal upkeep to preserve its newly-installed look.
||Hardwood floors need to be periodically sanded and stripped. And to retain its newly-installed look, it needs to be completely refinished. This type of maintenance is very costly.
General Aesthetic and Design Flexibility
|Terrazzo is the most flexible type of flooring system as it can be customized to suit the surrounding architecture or existing furniture. Furthermore, terrazzo lends its surrounding a more regal, more expensive appearance.
||Hardwood floors are not so flexible in design and often only match certain type of architecture or surrounding. However, it brings warmth and character to its location, making it appear less utilitarian and severe.
Are you thinking of finally building that backyard patio you’ve always dreamed of? Maybe you’re contemplating on sprucing up the driveway; perhaps adding a pathway that cuts through the front lawn from the garage to the front door. Whatever outdoor improvements you’re planning on doing, consider using terrazzo external pavers instead of any other flooring system.
Terrazzo external pavers have the following advantages, compared to what’s currently available in the market:
The fact that Terrazzo was originally used for outdoor installation and with most of the original terrazzo pathways, terraces and floors still in existence, speaks volumes of terrazzo’s durability. This is why terrazzo is the preferred choice of many landscapers as it is specifically built with the ability to withstand heavy foot traffic and harsher weather elements.
Terrazzo external pavers can be manufactured to match or complement existing outdoor furniture or structures. They can also be cut to take the shape or size of a surface area. Furthermore, since terrazzo can be made with different kinds of aggregates, you can be sure that your terrazzo floor does not look like anybody else’s floor.
Terrazzo is the original green flooring system. This is because it is made from all natural materials. In some cases today, homeowners who are advocates of green living can choose to include post-consumer products such as colored glass and stone scraps along with the more commonly used aggregates such as stone chips, granite, marble, river pebbles and quartz.
Yes, installing terrazzo may cost more initially, however, because it is durable and low-maintenance, you are able to save more in the long run. This is especially true with external pavers. Maintenance is as easy as weekly washing with just soap and water. There’s no need for special cleaners or appliances. Upkeep is minimal as terrazzo external pavers are built to endure harsher every day wear and tear.
The last thing you need is somebody slipping on your pathway or patio during rainy days. Terrazzo external pavers can be specifically made to have anti-slip surfaces. This ensures that your pavers are safe to walk on even during the rainy season or right after you’ve watered the garden.
Whether you’re having your terrazzo floors professionally installed or going the DIY route, you still need to know the basics that go into terrazzo installation. This is because each step is as crucial as the next and any mistakes or overlooked details could result in lengthy, difficult repairs.
This step sets the entire balance of the installation process. This process serves to prepare the subflooring to bond strongly with the terrazzo. Improper surface preparation could result in post-installation problems that would definitely be costly to amend. This is done by shot blasting the surface to give it the proper Concrete Surface Profile that will accommodate the particular terrazzo flooring system you will be installing.
This procedure is done to ensure that cracks or fractures do not move upwards into the terrazzo installation. This is achieved by using a flexible epoxy to fill and top cracks that are found after surface preparation.
This procedure is done if you’re planning on customizing your terrazzo installation with logos, artwork or any other kind of design. This ensures that your artwork is carefully laid out thereby avoiding costly mistakes.
This is done to achieve a strong bond between the substrate and the terrazzo installation.
This process is done once the floor has cured over 24 hours. This is done to ensure that a brilliant and uniform surface is achieved. Once this has been done, grouting can be done to further ensure that a non-porous and even terrazzo installation is achieved.
Polishing and Sealing
This step is done especially as there are a few different finishes available for terrazzo installation such as the standard Sealed Polished Finish, the Machine Polished Finish for low traffic areas and the Honed Anti-Slip Finish.
Terrazzo installation, when done properly will ensure that your floors come out flawlessly and can endure as long as you want it to. With proper maintenance and upkeep, your terrazzo installation will definitely be worth the cost of choosing it over all the other flooring systems.