Know Your Terrazzo Floors – The Different Types of Terrazzo

Know Your Terrazzo Floors – The Different Types of Terrazzo

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”.

1 thought on “Know Your Terrazzo Floors – The Different Types of Terrazzo”

  1. Diane Moraida

    I know nothing of the terrazzo in my home, other than it’s ugly, diirty & old. The stones in it are small & some are medium size. I think. How do I restore the floors? What product do I use to clean it , to be on the safe side? Be specific on product name, please.
    I guess it was white @ one time. Now it is dingy. Can it be restored or should we cover it w/wood floors or carpet? Can we just lay the wood floors over it or do we have to remove it? What is more cost effective thing to do?

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