Flooring Showdown: Terrazzo versus Hardwoods

Flooring Showdown: Terrazzo vs Hardwood

Terrazzo Versus Hardwoods

Welcome to the first installment of

Flooring Showdown

This week, we’ll be exploring two highly popular flooring options that have stood the test of time. First up, we have the classic and charming terrazzo, which has been a staple for commercial buildings for centuries. And in opposition, we have the modern favorite, hardwood floors, which have also been a popular choice for quite some time.


It’s terrazzo versus hardwoods, and both contenders have their strengths. I’m here to provide you with the pros and cons of each, making it easier for you to decide which flooring option suits you best. Let’s get started!

Comparing Hardwoods to Terrazzo

Let’s examine further shall we?


What is Terrazzo Flooring?

Terrazzo floors combine a mix of crushed aggregates in either epoxy or cement binder. When polished, the floor looks amazing. You’ll find terrazzo in high-end residential or commercial settings like schools, hotels, and government centers.

Suffolk Municipal Center Terrazzo Flooring

Cost of Materials and Installation for Hardwood Floors and Terrazzo

Terrazzo is a flooring system worth investing in. While there are high initial costs and require a professional installer, the flooring system has lifelong benefits. Wood flooring, on the other hand, is not quite as inexpensive initially and can be installed by homeowners and contractors fairly easily. However, when considering the number of repairs and refinishing for hardwood floors during its lifecycle, terrazzo becomes more tempting to use solely on the fact that when well-maintained it remains in great condition for decades.

The Durability of Hardwood vs Durability of Terrazzo

Both hardwood and terrazzo are durable flooring options. Thinset epoxy terrazzo is 3/8″ in thickness yet it is one of the most durable flooring materials in existence. That is why you will find terrazzo in high-traffic areas like airports and lobby areas. With great impact resistance, fire resistance, and stain resistance, terrazzo floors have a lot to offer.


While hardwood floors are durable, they are more prone to damages. Scratches and dents are bound to happen over time. And the last thing you want is your hardwood floors coming into contact with water or flames. We’ll give terrazzo the upper hand in this round.

Terrazzo Versus Hardwoods: Which Floor has the Best Maintenance?

All floors require general maintenance care. When selecting terrazzo, you know you’re getting a low-maintenance flooring system. Cleaning a terrazzo floor is simple. All you need is a mop, a neutral cleaner, and water to remove any residue. The floor occasionally needs resealing but that is easy to handle as well.


Hardwood floors require a bit more attention. Wooden floors tend to get worn through the years which requires contractors to come in and periodically sand and strip the surface. As a result, you can expect maintenance costs to be higher than if you were to select another flooring material like terrazzo.

Terrazzo Flooring

Terrazzo Versus Hardwoods: Which Floor Looks the Best?

Both hardwood floors and terrazzo have different style options to choose from. Wood comes in a variety of material options including oak, cherry birch, maple, and hickory, their colors all adding warmth around interiors. Hardwood flooring styles include pre-finished and site-finished options. Pre-finished hardwood flooring is a finish that comes ready for installation with no sanding required. Site-finished hardwood flooring comes in raw conditions and is sanded by the contractors. Site-finished hardwood flooring looks more beautiful overall. Hardwood flooring also comes in a variety of different dimensions with most planks and boards supporting 3/4″ or 5/16″ thickness.


Now with terrazzo flooring, the design capabilities are endless. And the look is impressive with a high polish and sheen. Artwork can be designed with terrazzo as well. You will see certain installations consisting of unique art displays or a logo. Most terrazzo floors use standard aggregate sizes, but Venetian (larger chip sizes) are trending today. The larger aggregate easily captivates the eye making the floor a focal point of any room.

Things were neck-in-neck there for a while, but it looks like this time the winner is going to be:


Terrazzo’s slip resistance and design flexibility really helped to pull it through this time.

Thanks for visiting “Flooring Showdown: Terrazzo versus Hardwoods”. Check back next month for the next Flooring Showdown: Terrazzo will be taking on the ever-popular laminate flooring!