Terrazzo and Marble – A Comprehensive Comparison

Terrazzo and marble have been around for decades when it comes to preferred building materials by architects, engineers and even designers.  They are both often mistakenly interchanged with each other but they are very distinctly different when it comes to so many attributes.

Marble is a popular choice for sculpting and construction. It is a metamorphic rock made up mostly of recrystallized carbonate minerals like calcite and dolomite and often refers to metamorphosed limestone in geology, however, it can also apply to non-metamorphosed limestone in stonemasonry. Terrazzo on the other hand is a poured-in-place or precast composite material used for floor and wall applications. It’s made up of remnants or chips of other materials such marble, quartz, granite, glass, or others that have been combined with a cementitious binder for chemical binding, a polymeric binder for physical binding, or a mixture of the two.

So, which is the better building material between terrazzo and marble?  Here are a few key points to consider when choosing between terrazzo and marble:

Design Range

When it comes to color combinations and, more significantly, application, terrazzo offers a greater design range than every other building material including marble. Terrazzo may be utilized for a wide range of projects, including flooring, art installations, and practically anything in between. When it comes to terrazzo and its design possibilities, there are nearly no bounds. While both terrazzo and marble are regarded attractive, terrazzo has the edge in terms of variety.

Longevity and Sustainability

Choosing between terrazzo and marble when it comes to durability and strength is made simple by the fact that across the board, terrazzo is a more durable alternative than marble. Terrazzo can endure up to 75 years with minimal maintenance due of its toughness. With marble there is a real concern with chipping at the edges which is both difficult and expensive to fix.  With terrazzo, any kind of damage, minimal or major, is easily fixable and can even be DIY-ed which also makes it more affordable.

Environmentally Ideal

Because terrazzo is made from recycled materials, it also comes as no surprise that between terrazzo and marble, terrazzo is the more environmentally ideal material. Furthermore, since terrazzo is a composite material, this means that it contributes to the preservation of the Earth’s natural resources. Terrazzo does not have any kind of volatile organic compounds, which helps to improve the quality of the air we breathe. In comparison, marble is a scarce resource that takes a significant amount of carbon footprints to manufacture.  

Terrazzo and marble are two of the most preferred building materials for many reasons however, terrazzo definitely has the advantage over marble.  If you’re looking for quality, longevity and unparalleled aesthetic without wanting to break the bank then clearly, terrazzo is the obvious choice.  Many building and design experts agree that terrazzo is the better choice whether it is to be used for interior or exterior applications and will definitely add value to your property- residential or commercial.