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Terrazzo Floors Squares up Against Ceramic Tile Floors and Hardwood Floors – A Point by Point Comparison

Terrazzo Floors Squares up Against Ceramic Tile Floors and Hardwood Floors – A Point by Point Comparison

Terrazzo has been used as a building material for floors for centuries.  The methods used for installation, maintenance and customization have vastly improved over the years.  These days, more and more builders and designers recommend and choose terrazzo over all the other available flooring systems in the market today.  Compared to the two other more popular flooring systems – ceramic tiles and hardwood, terrazzo looks to have edged both in popularity because of its characteristics.

Below is a point by point comparison between terrazzo, ceramic tiles and hardwood – their individual characteristics and the advantages and disadvantages of using one flooring system over the other.

DURABILITY Terrazzo floors are known to last a lifetime given the proper upkeep.  Point in fact, most of the earliest known terrazzo installations are still around these days. This type of flooring material, despite the improvements made to its manufacturing are still prone to chipping and is therefore not the ideal or preferred material for high foot traffic areas. Hardwood floors have so many “enemies” such as water, sunlight, dirt build-up and mould growth that contribute to its short lifespan especially compared to terrazzo floors.
COST Terrazzo floors, compared to the other two types of flooring discussed, come out to be the more cost-effective as it outlasts and outperforms both.  It may start off costly due to installation fees however because terrazzo floors are very low maintenance without jeopardizing durability and strength. Compared to terrazzo and hardwood, ceramic tiles often come out as the more affordable flooring system.  However, costly repairs and high maintenance needs often times add up resulting in more money spent. High quality hardwood floors are not exactly cheap but still more affordable than a terrazzo flooring system installation.  However, high maintenance and repair costs end up making hardwood floors a more expensive option especially for commercial spaces or larger residential homes.
MAINTENANCE Terrazzo floors are very easy to maintain. Additionally, with proper maintenance, repairs are almost never needed. Easy to maintain but because ceramic is not known for its durability, repairs are needed quite often. Hardwood floors are very high maintenance.  Repairs are costly as you can’t necessarily remove or replace just one floorboard.
DESIGN FLEXIBILITY Terrazzo is the most highly-customizable flooring material in the market today.  With virtually limitless colour combinations, design executions and installation methods, terrazzo edges out all the other flooring materials design-wise. Customizable to a point however the actual shape of tiles hinders what can be done design-wise. Very limited when it comes to design possibilities. Aesthetically still very impressive however hardwood floors are mostly recommended for small area installation and not ideal for large commercial spaces or residential homes.

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