Terrazzo Floor Restoration- DIY vs Pro

Terrazzo floors are known to last a long time and, in some cases, have outlived the structures that they were installed in.  Part of the reason for terrazzo’s durability is the way it is made.  Terrazzo is a composite material made up of discarded marble, quartz, granite and sometimes glass mixed in with a cementitious binder.  The result is a building material that is as durable as it is aesthetically ideal.  However, terrazzo is not indestructible and over time may need some restoration done.  

Ideally it is best to have your terrazzo floor restoration done by professionals to ensure that the restoration does not give way to bigger problems but one could also go the DIY route.  However, if you choose to do-it-yourself, there are a few things to consider before undergoing the actual restoration.

First, make sure that your terrazzo floor has been thoroughly prepped for the restoration.  Remove any adhesive residue, sweep or mop the floor to get rid of any dust or dirt, and then with a non-abrasive cloth, meticulously go through every inch of the surface area.  Make sure that you only use a neutral-based cleaning solution mixed in with warm water.  By doing this any leftover sealant covering your terrazzo floors will be completely removed.

Secondly, when DIY-ing your terrazzo floor restoration ensure that you are using proper equipment such as grinders.  Consult with professional floor restorers on what kind of grinder is best used and how to use it correctly.  It is important to grind terrazzo floors accurately to bring out their original color and luster.  Some might think this step could be skipped but if you’re looking to achieve the best results, make sure that this step is done and done properly.  

The next step is to go through every inch of your terrazzo floor to spot every single crack or hole.  Fill these out with a dry-set mortar and then once dry, go over the patched areas with the grinder to even out the surface.  Absolutely do not skip this step as unpatched cracks can get bigger especially if the terrazzo floor is used in an area where there is constant and heavy foot traffic. 

Once the entire surface of your terrazzo floors has been thoroughly ground, it is time to polish.  This step will make your terrazzo floors look and feel as if they were newly installed.  Repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the sheen of your floors.  Once you’re done polishing, you can finally apply the seal over your polished terrazzo floors to complete the restoration process.

Terrazzo floor restoration can definitely be a DIY project especially if the floors were properly and consistently maintained.  Ideally, having it done professionally would lessen the risk of making irreversible errors.  And furthermore, when done by terrazzo floor experts there is an additional assurance that the job will be done well with the proper equipment and methods.  It may be costlier than doing the terrazzo floor restoration yourself but the long-term payoff is definitely worth it.