A Brief History of Terrazzo Floors

terrazzo installation early days

terrazzo installation early days

A Brief History of Terrazzo Floors

Where terrazzo originated

Terrazzo coined from the Italian word terraces was discovered hundreds of years ago in Europe when Venetian workers uncovered a whole new use for abandoned marble remnants. Ever since its discovery, terrazzo has turn out to be a reasonable and handy option for beautiful floor design. The elegance and overall flexibility of terrazzo provides today’s architects and designers a modern hard surface flooring alternative.

The workers during the Roman era had oddly shaped fragments of marble left after their jobs. They would place the little marble rocks in clay and crush them smooth for a better walking surface area. The workers made use of a device referred to as a Galera which enabled them to crush the marble fragments, while standing in an upright position. They learned that terrazzo wouldn’t reveal it’s brightest colors unless it was damp, until workers found out the milk of their goats did the trick as a finish to made it possible for the terrazzo to show its actual color.

In the late 1700s, terrazzo started being used in the American colonies. Soon, American terrazzo was manufactured from the abundance of marble in the United States and additional state-of-the-art techniques of production were eventually developed. This made terrazzo materials more readily accessible for all kinds of hard surface floor design ideas of construction. Some contractors created a technique of utilizing wood strips to split various colors of marble. Most of these strips would be taken out leaving empty spaces that could be filled with an alternative material. These contractors learned that putting marble dust to this material resulted with many different colors.

Terrazzo Floors Today

In 1924, the Galera was upgraded to electric grinding equipment for a finer end result. Not long after, white-colored Portland cement was brought into the industry. Portland cement could be dyed all kinds of colors and shades, permitting an indefinite selection of terrazzo.

Consequently, they were able to now formulate a design with this material. In the following years 3/4 inch bright colored marble cubes were created, known today as Mosaic Tesserae, were utilized as the division strips for splitting up colors. These tiles turned out to be a long-lasting portion of the floor as well as additional visual aesthetics. Major architectural buildings immediately started making use of terrazzo, for example; George Washington’s home in Mt. Vernon.  It was also used for sidewalks, pools, stairways, walls, patios etc.

In the 1970’s, polymer-based terrazzo was introduced that was is called thin-set terrazzo. This style of terrazzo grew in popularity and is what you see today in many commercial.

Today, most of the terrazzo installed is epoxy terrazzo allowing for a wider range of colors and designs.  It is however important to note that although terrazzo floors are among the longest-lasting floors currently out there, it does not make it indestructible. There are numerous methods to repair terrazzo floors.

However before trying to repair your terrazzo floor by yourself, it is strongly advised to seek advice from a terrazzo restoration expert. They will be able to assist you to determine which technique of repair is suitable.

Looking for a terrazzo repair company?

If you’re looking for an expert to repair or restore your terrazzo floors in Indianapolis, contact Young Final Finish, LLC.  With their many years of experience and beautiful craftsmanship, they can ensure your terrazzo floor repair is fixed beyond your expectations. In addition to the repair of your floors, YFF will also top it of with their patented BRILLIANT Terrazzo Finishing Process to give it that extra polished shine without messy wax.

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