Know Your Terrazzo Floors – The Different Types of Terrazzo
Terrazzo floors have become quite popular with builders and designers because of its design flexibility and ease of customization. Depending on the stone chips and other aggregates that are mixed into the cementitious base, designers are able to manipulate the aesthetic outcome to perfectly match it with an existing colour scheme or have it complement the design elements surrounding it. Because of this, virtually no two terrazzo floors are alike. What’s more is that as new technologies in improving manufacturing techniques come out, terrazzo as a building material has the potential to be even more design-flexible and also cost-effective.
There are different aesthetic types of terrazzo which can be determined by their appearance:
Standard terrazzo is made from moderately small stone chips. Typically this type of terrazzo is ground and polished.
Venetian is similarly ground and polished however the stone chips are larger than that of the chips compared to the standard terrazzo. Additionally, smaller sized stone chips can also be mixed in with the larger stone chips.
Rustic has a uniformly textured finish with the stone chips slightly exposed which is accomplished by spraying the surface before the binder has fully set.
Palladiana has more of mosaic finish, characterized by very large stone chips, the joints between slabs infused with standard terrazzo.
Terrazzo can also be categorized based on construction methods or project specifications.
Thin-set terrazzo is characterized by a thick resinous topping typically at ¼” or 3/8” that’s directly applied over a subfloor which is made from concrete for its stability although in some cases, the use of plywood subfloors is considered a good alternative provided the plywood is properly installed.
Monolithic terrazzo is characterized by a thicker cementitious finish at ½” which is typically applied directly over a concrete subfloor. Once the subfloor is smooth, a bonding agent is applied to ensure that the finish adheres properly to the concrete.
Bonded terrazzo also has a ½” thick cementitious finish however unlike monolithic terrazzo, it is applied over a sand-cement mortar underbed which then sits on a finished concrete slab. The benefit of this kind of terrazzo the sand-cement underbed absorbs any variations in the concrete slab provided there is a slab depression of 1.75” to 2.5”.