The popularity of terrazzo flooring peaked in the 1950s and 1960s as an economical option for slab construction houses in quickly developing Sunbelt states. But this versatile, durable, customizable and easy-to-maintain material deserves its second act. Terrazzo is made of chips of marble or other aggregates suspended in a binder. It was created by 15th-century Venetian mosaic workers as a low-cost flooring material that used leftover marble scraps. The mixture was used on the terraces surrounding the workers’ living quarters. The name stuck, as terrazzo means “terraces” in Italian. Early Venetian recipes used marble chips pressed in clay and sealed with goat’s milk for sheen.
Modern-day terrazzo consists of at least 70 percent aggregate, and either Portland cement or epoxy is used as a binder. Divider strips, typically made of metal, are used as control joints and to separate areas of color. Several passes with heavy grinders and polishers with increasingly higher-grit disks create a smooth, sleek surface.
An extra kicker: Some terrazzo does not support microbial growth, which means it creates a naturally more sanitary surface and promotes a healthier indoor environment.
Durable, sanitary and unique, this bespeckled surface is a winner for floors, walls, countertops and sinks!