Many people may not know about terrazzo because they are not so popular in many countries. However, some homeowners who know about these materials’ capabilities know that these will make their homes beautiful. This is an excellent alternative to wood or tiles.
If you are wondering about the terrazzo as materials, you can think of them as a composite that is used for countertops, stairs, base, walls, floors, and stair treads. They can consist of glass, shell, quartz, granite, marble, and all the others out there suitable for the home. The binder used to glue all these together can be an epoxy matrix or cement.
There are metal strips on the surface that guide the transitions of colors. The decorative logos and patterns that you may see on the terrazzo floors allow for the mitigation and cracks to create a beautiful design in one’s room. Divider strips often consist of aluminum in epoxy varieties, brass, zinc, or plastic, but they are never made from steel.
History of the Material
The roots of the terrazzo are fascinating as it has a lot of history in many nations across the globe. It goes back for more than 500 years in Italy, where marble was always the primary material that homeowners have chosen.
The workers in Venice would scrap the fragments of marble, and they would save it for their own home projects and save them resources when it comes to upscale buildings. The materials were placed next to each other, and they were set with clay for the workers’ residences and terraces.
The process is also related to the technique known as a seed or “seminato,” where the workers would toss polished and larger pieces of marbles into wet cement. They will then polish the mixture, and it will result in portions of stones that are bonded in cement beds. This method may be traditional to the Italians, but many archaeologists have found that some ruins in Turkey were dating more than 10,000 years ago.
About the Thin-Set Systems
There are many varieties that many building owners or homeowners could choose from. One of them is the thin-set systems where polyacrylate or epoxy resin is added as a matric. Polyacrylate is a type of cement that creates more compression and higher resistance against impact. It may also allow various transmissions of vapor in many forms.
The overall process is installed in the same way as a regular monolith of terrazzo, but the overall thickness is about 3/8″ minimum. There’s also the epoxy resin matrix that is often combined with thicker slabs of concrete.
When one combines the resin and the concrete, the result is a moisture mitigation system that prevents cracks from appearing on the floors. Additionally, the contractors may also install a vapor barrier for all slabs regardless of their grade application. Today, the epoxy variety is one of the popular systems when it comes to commercial buildings.
One of the benefits that many homeowners can love about the thin-set systems is the various color choices. There are endless colors available like pearl aggregates, greys, deep blue, white, and other solid colors out there for a minimalist design.
Others can choose higher strengths and lighter-weight slabs that have 3/8 of an inch thick in the finish. One of the benefits of getting the floors with a PSI rate of over 10,000 is the faster installation that is durable. In general, the floors won’t be too susceptible to cracks, and they can have impermeable finishes even after several years.
One of the disadvantages of getting the epoxy varieties is that they only have the interior but not the exterior application; if you own an old property that does not have vapor barriers on each slab, your contractor should not consider installing the slabs.
This process includes installing the Monolithic Terrazzo, where the topping is directly attached to an existing concrete slab. The panels are then directly bonded and poured within the divider strips with angles.
One of the cementitious systems out there is a sand cushion terrazzo where the mixture is reinforced over a 2 1/2″ to 3-inch mud bed. While this mud bed is in its initial stages, the strips of metal will be embedded in the soft surface for a specific color change.
Under this mud bed is about 1/8″ sand dusting that creates a floating floor, allowing changes and horizontal movements in a building. Thus, the possibility of getting cracks can be safely eliminated, but the floors should be required to have at least 3″ on recessed slabs for more elevation.
At the beginning of the trade for terrazzo, there was a time where granite and marble were abundant, and they are typically the best choice out there. Read more about terrazzo on this site here. The abundance of quarries contributed to marble’s popularity, and the materials were also naturally sourced from the nearest local cities.
There were also improved designs where pearls, pebbles, corals, and shells were used in different regions, and the introduction of the epoxy material has strengthened the binding of the aggregates. However, regardless of if the materials come from the quarry, recycling centers, or the ocean, all of them are ground and crushed to regulate their sizes through a screening process.
Epoxy resins are the materials that can be combined with any type of color suitable for the home décor. The tints can be clear blue to represent the ocean, and there are marble chips that can include a mix of granite chips and marbles.
The chips can sometimes represent corals, and there are shells where the Mother of Pearls can reflect the lighting off the floors. Some have glass chips that are often vibrant and colored in black against a blue backdrop to make them stand out.
If you are considering terrazzo as your next material for the flooring, you can always feel free to discuss the designs that you have in mind with the experts. This way, you can get a unique and beautiful floor that will be the envy of friends and families.Tags: Terrazzo Flooring