Terrazzo was invented many decades ago in Europe when it was discovered how to use up old and unwanted marble chips. During that time marble tiles and slabs were used extensively to lavish upscale projects on walls and floors. The scraps and off cuts of marble were then set into concrete, the surface polished, and terrazzo was formed. Back then, this flooring option grew in popularity not only due to its inexpensive cost but also for its aesthetic qualities.
Our love for concrete look and natural stone tile have been evolving over recent years and rapidly making their way into our homes. For this reason, the comeback of terrazzo is not surprising. Terrazzo tiles are extremely versatile lending themselves to many different design styles including industrial and modern to mid-century and traditional. It’s hard to beat terrazzo’s unique character and charm and with its effortless style can be easily interpreted to suit most homes.
Tiles or Slabs?
Nowadays terrazzo continues to be a popular flooring option and tiles rather than slabs are increasing in demand. Tiles are a more convenient option compared to a slab as they are less labour intensive to install. When terrazzo slabs are set in place, concrete is poured over the surface, chips inserted and then left to dry. It is then polished in-situ which can create a large amount of dust and flying particles throughout the home. It’s a messy process and for this reason most people avoid when possible. Terrazzo tiles provide a great alternative and can be simply installed by a tiler with disruptions to the home greatly minimised.
Selecting the Perfect Tile
When it comes to selecting a terrazzo tile for your home, we are certainly spoilt for choice as there are many beautiful options out there. Terrazzo tiles come in a vast array of colours and material inclusions. The textural effect will vary greatly depending on the material included in the concrete with the popular choices being marble, quartz, granite and even shards of glass. Chunkier inclusions will create a bold look while small pieces in a neutral colour will create a subtle look.
Caring for your Terrazzo Tiles
As with all natural stone products, caring for your terrazzo is important. Terrazzo is incredibly hard-wearing and durable but it still needs to be protected from spills and stains. It should be sealed with a high-quality product and sealed again after a period of time. The time between sealing will depend on how hard working the tiles are, for example, high traffic areas may require regular sealing than say a bathroom that is used only a few times a day. Spills should be cleaned up right away and it is not a good idea to place hot products directly on the terrazzo
Another Reason to Choose Terrazzo (as if you need one..)
Terrazzo is considered to be one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly flooring materials available. It’s typically made with all natural aggregates, recycled glass and held together by natural concrete or resin.