Before we divulge into what terrazzo tiles look like, let’s take a look at the history and where it came from. Knowing a bit more about its history and how it came to be can help us get a better idea of terrazzo.
Though some archaeologists have found some evidence of terrazzo tiling being used for floors in some old ruins in Turkey that date back about 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, we still say it originated over 500 years ago in Italy by some Venetian marble workers.
The word “terrazzo” comes from the Italian word “terrace”. It is a beautiful mosaic type material that was created out of frugality. The Venetian marble workers decided to create this due to not being able to afford marble for their own terraces.
What terrazzo tiles are made out of are chips of marble mixed in with either concrete and then left to set. Though they first realized that it was a little rough and hard to walk in, they tried to rub the surface with a stone that would make it more smooth and pleasing to walk on.
Now-a-days you can even find glass, quartz, and granite along with the chips of marble in the terrazzo tiles to create different effects. They have also changed from using concrete to using an epoxy resin with colored chips which is called a thin-set terrazzo. This allows for a faster installation process as well as a larger range of color choices.
One of the final steps is using a dry grinder on it and filling any holes to accomplish the smooth surface. It is then cleaned, polished, and then sealed, which all leaves a shiny and lovely finish.
Though the creation for this tile flooring was because it was cheaper to choose than marble, today it actually costs more than granite and marble does. Though this may be because of the actually cost for installation than just the cost to make the actual tile.
So after finding out a bit more about terrazzo’s history you get a bit more of the idea of what terrazzo looks like. It first was a mixture of concrete with marble chips and has evolved to marble, glass, granite, and other aggregates being embedded in either concrete or epoxy resin. The concrete can be tinted to certain colors, and with being able to place chips of different colors opens up the color range more.
Terrazzo has been used in many different famously known areas such as Michelangelo’s mural in St. Peter’s Basilica or in George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon. And from there it evolved to being used in other designs all the way to floors.
One of the big beauties of terrazzo tile floors is that you can do multiple different designs and colors to make it unique for your home.
When in doubt contact a professional, contact us today to schedule your appointment to polish your natural stone flooring or if you have any questions.
Floor ReNew Houston
Natural Stone Restoration
4530 W. 34th Street Suite C
Houston, TX 77092