Rise of Terrazzo

The Rise of Terrazzo

2016 was a good year for terrazzo. Interior designers fell in love with the materials, using the material in ways that go beyond just flooring. Architects use terrazzo for their projects as well, developing a space that meets green building standards. While 2016 put terrazzo back into the spotlight, and 2017 will no doubt continue the trend, terrazzo has progressed well over the years to become a leading flooring material for institutional, commercial and residential projects.

The Origin Story

Terrazzo has a unique backstory, one that demonstrates that materials can be reused to create beautiful results. Back in the Mid-16th Century, Venetian stone and mosaic workers stumbled upon a great idea. They saw that instead of discarding marble pieces, they could put those pieces to good use. Soon, this technique involved the workers rubbing the surface with tools to get the more even surface.

Expanding Overseas

Today terrazzo brings out the beauty of some of our schools, hospitals, hotels, and other buildings around the world. But how did it get to all these places? Well immigration of course. The terrazzo trade was passed down through generations. So when the Italians started migrating to the United States around the late 1800s, terrazzo was introduced. Even today a lot of terrazzo based companies are family-operated, with each passing generation taking over the business. But you can’t talk about terrazzo in the USA without talking about George Washington. The first President of the United States admired terrazzo and had the material installed in his home at Mt. Vernon. Even though the material is luxurious in nature, today it is available to anyone. In fact, terrazzo is the most cost effective flooring on the market today, agreed upon by flooring experts.

A valued material

Terrazzo began to steadily incline in popularity over the years. Architects loved the terrazzo floors for many reasons. One reason was its great design potential. The other reason is its low cost, which bode well during the Great Depression era. But after the 1920s, business started picking up for terrazzo. Soon better methods for applying terrazzo were introduced. The electric grinder was invented in 1924, which allows any construction worker to achieve a beautiful floor in a quicker fashion.

This day and age

Epoxy terrazzo is taking over traditional terrazzo systems as the flooring of choice. Much thinner and much lighter, thin-set epoxy terrazzo is durable, aesthetically beautiful and low maintenance. Terrazzo can be applied almost anywhere. So it makes sense for architects and contractors to consider terrazzo as a material of choice for it’s impact on the environment but also it’s durability and design. Well-known establishments have already started to make the switch to terrazzo, with more buildings to come in 2017 and beyond.  There is no better time to learn about terrazzo. If terrazzo interests you, do not hesitate to contact us at info@terrazzco.com. We would love to answer your questions.

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