Terrazzo is made in a very unique way and has been around for several centuries. It is a tile that was created out of frugal needs than anything. The creators, Venetian marble workers, took the left over marble chips that they had and mixed it with the concrete to pour out on their terraces. It had a beauty to it and allowed them to not waste any pieces of marble.
Terrazzo is one of the more uniquely installed tiles unlike some others natural stones. In the past several decades, the installation process has further evolved to include even a few more extra steps to deliver a different look and feel that someone is possible looking for. Also, to help and ensure that the terrazzo lasts.
Thin-set terrazzo is where either ¼” or 3/8” thick resinous topping is applied directly over the subfloor. Zinc, Brass, or plastic dividers are needed to be installed above the control joints in the subfloor so that the finish does not end up cracking along the joints.
Monolithic terrazzo is where ½” of thick cementitious finish is applied right over the concrete subfloor.
Bonded terrazzo is ½” thick cementitious finish is placed over a sand-cement mortar under bed that sits on the finished concrete slab.
Sand Cushion Terrazzo is ½” cementitious terrazzo finish that is set on top of a mesh reinforced mortar under bed, which is has an isolation sheet that separates it from the subfloor.
During the installation of any of these types of terrazzo tiles the contractor makes sure that the subflooring is both even and smooth.
What mainly causes cracks in the terrazzo tile flooring is if the subflooring is unevenly which causes the tile to eventually crack under pressure. Usually when terrazzo is being installed, the professional checks for this so this does not happen.
A couple other known issues have been the concrete slab that is the subflooring has been subjected to high levels of moisture, where it was set correctly, or it did not have the chance to fully bond.
If this does happen, the best way to fix this is to have a professional come out just in case there are other areas that this can potentially happen to. What they will do is remove the tile and fix the subfloor to where it is smooth and even before installing a new replacement tile.
Another thing that a professional may do is to patch up the crack if it is a small hairline crack. This is even something that can be a DIY project that you are able to do yourself. Keep in mind though that if you are not sure what exactly caused the hairline crack, that it could potentially end up being a bigger problem down the road and lead to larger cracks. Thus it may be a subfloor issues or moisture. To protect your investment, it is always best to consult with a professional.
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