Planning Terrazzo Artwork for Your Building Design

Planning Terrazzo Artwork for Your Building Design

Planning Terrazzo Artwork for Your Building Design

Epoxy terrazzo has become a cost-effective flooring system commonly installed in commercial and institutional buildings. It’s also one of the most versatile building materials that an architect can specify today.  If you are looking to design terrazzo artwork for a future project, Concord Terrazzo Company will guide you in learning how to do so.

Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center

One-of-a-kind Flooring System

Terrazzo brings a level of durability, sustainability, and design that can’t be found with many flooring systems. It’s truly one-of-a-kind. Terrazzo is a great medium for artists and architects to incorporate a logo or a creative masterpiece for the building they are designing.

 

To best describe what designing with terrazzo is like, think of a blank canvas. You have control of the outcome as there are no limitations to what you can do when you work with epoxy terrazzo. As a result, artists are able to turn their ideas into reality with terrazzo and thus create a highly-engaging space within universities, hospitals, airports, and other commercial spaces.

George Mason University
Terrazzo Design - Letterings

Matrix Design

An epoxy terrazzo matrix binder can produce virtually any color. In addition to the epoxy color, designers have plenty of options in selecting aggregates. Aggregate ranges from marble, glass, Mother of Pearl and granite chips, varying in color. It’s possible to blend together marble and glass chips or use them separately in crafting a terrazzo floor design.

 

A designer can collaborate with a terrazzo specialist to form samples to review. This is a great way to evaluate the colors and materials before the installation stage. Once the design is approved, you are one step further in creating a masterpiece with terrazzo.

Terrazzo Layouts and Waterjet Designs

So how do terrazzo installers transition your artwork into a creative terrazzo design?

 

Divider strips are used to aesthetically form custom designs and patterns with terrazzo. Want a geometric design or curved pattern that flows seamlessly through the building? An installer can easily bend divider strips to form a pattern on the construction site. Divider strips serve primarily to control joints but also indicate a transition between matrix colors. Upon completing the floor layout, an installer will pour the terrazzo in place.

 

If you are seeking to design custom lettering or a complex logo with a terrazzo floor, then a waterjet cutting machine is a great solution to accurately design the artwork.

How a Waterjet Helps Create Terrazzo Artwork?

When you send a design file to a terrazzo manufacturer, that file is uploaded to a waterjet that uses a high-pressure stream of water mixed with an abrasive to cut through the material. A waterjet can cut through metals, foam, and even terrazzo.

 

The waterjet will move at different angles to accurately cut each design. It can handle any design that is uploaded from linear shapes to complex curves. One of the advantages of a waterjet is its consistency. If you have a project that requires multiples of the same image, then a waterjet can produce those images without miscues.

Waterjet Programming

Installation Details

A waterjet design is produced at the manufacturer’s facility, packaged and delivered to the construction site for installers to place and install terrazzo. There are several fabrication methods that you can consider:

One of the most common methods is to supply a design template cut by the waterjet. At the job site, the design template is placed in the specified area by the installer. Concord Terrazzo Company can provide custom cut divider strips for a project, and for some projects, an installer has the freedom to easily bend and control the divider strips on site.

How Terrazzo is Installed
River of Fire Terrazzo Design

Example: For this design concept, the installers had control of how the divider strips are cut and bent to form the different curves and lines this artwork called for. As you can see, the divider strips are laid out across the entire room, and at one color at a time, the terrazzo mixture is poured and troweled evenly between the divider strips.

American-Legion-Waterjet-Template
American Legion Stencil
Waterjet Terrazzo Logo
American Legion Terrazzo Logo

Example: For this project, the terrazzo contractor is installing a logo design. The waterjet cuts out a template which the installer will set in place. Soon after, the contractor can create an outline of the design pattern. With an aluminum sheet, the waterjet had cut out the framework of the logo. Each piece of the logo is placed in its exact spot and afterward the contractor will pour epoxy terrazzo between each section of the logo and along its border.

A waterjet can also cut an entire logo framework out of sheets of aluminum or brass. At the job site, the installer will pour the appropriate colors in each section of the logo, ground, and polish to its finish. The overall design can even be entirely metal itself and installed with terrazzo surrounding its border.

Terrazzo Map - Waterjet Template
Terrazzo Map

Example: Some projects only require a small area of space for artwork. This is common for logos located at a building entrance, but there are some projects where the design can cover the whole span of a lobby or hallway. A waterjet template can speed up the process for contractors in creating a layout for large-scale artwork. For this map design, the waterjet cuts out the metal framework. The template is labeled to help installers know where each piece goes in the overall design. Once the layout is established, the installer can fill the spaces between the metal sections with epoxy terrazzo.

Waterjet Design - Terrazzo Flooring
Terrazzo Floor Design with Sea Creatures

Example: In some cases, the artwork can be entirely made of brass or aluminum. The artwork is packaged and delivered to the construction site where an installer will set the piece in place and trowel epoxy terrazzo surrounding the design.

Instead of cutting a sheet of metal, it is possible to cut through terrazzo to form components for your logo or artwork. Compared to the other methods, this fabrication will not require divider strips. At the job site, an installer will coordinate the precast terrazzo pieces of the logo design, and pour in place epoxy terrazzo that will bind together with the precast terrazzo once cured. Afterward, the installer will ground and polish the terrazzo floor to achieve a custom floor design.

Precast Logo Waterjet
Custom Terrazzo Table with Company Logo

Example: For this finish, the waterjet cuts through terrazzo to form the logo. Instead of using a metal sheet, precast terrazzo is presented. As we mentioned before, a waterjet can piece through any material using a high-pressure stream of water. The logo is accurately cut and is packaged safely for delivery. The precast terrazzo logo is then assembled at the job site. The installer will pour another color of epoxy terrazzo in between the letters and around the border. As the material cures, the precast terrazzo logo and epoxy terrazzo floor combine to form a uniform section that can be ground and polished. Because this was done with precast terrazzo instead of metal, there is no divider strip present where the two colors are joined.

How You Can Get Started on Creating Terrazzo Artwork For Your Project?

The creative terrazzo floors you see today in airports, hospitals and universities are often commissioned by Art in Public Place programs where artists around the world bring their ideas to life. But you don’t necessarily need to be an artist to plan a unique flooring design with terrazzo.

 

1.Locate a file or draw up some inspiration

The great thing about working with terrazzo is that any design that is submitted over to a terrazzo contractor can be translated to the floor.

 

If you have a brand logo, any design file of that image whether it be jpg or png, or even the Photoshop or Illustrator file can be sent over, which can be turned into an Autocad file that can be read by the waterjet machine.

 

Any original design can be sent over as well to be discussed with a representative. You can even turn to your graphic designer or marketing coordinator to help plan out the design, or reach out to local artists in your area that can assist as well.

Drafting a Terrazzo Logo

2. Decide on colors

Speaking with a representative will help you determine the necessary colors and aggregates needed to bring your terrazzo design to life. A representative can help discuss recycled options or suggest materials that can stay well within your budget range for the project.

3. Approve Artwork

Once the floor artwork is approved, the terrazzo manufacturer will set everything in motion to perform the waterjet cut. Once the waterjet is programmed with the design file, the waterjet accurately cuts the design based on your approved outline.

 

4. Installation

When the waterjet finishes the design, the materials are shipped to the job site for installation. Completion of the project is dependent on the size of the project and the complexity of the design. A professional terrazzo installer will bring the design to life down to its finest details, creating an impressive feature to your building space.

National-Institute-of-Health-Police-Department-Logo

Terrazzo flooring offers decades of style and durability. If you are looking to reinforce your company’s brand with a floor logo or create a high-engaging space that improves a visitor’s experience, then contact a Concord Terrazzo representative at info@terrazzco.com to help assist you in bringing your ideas into reality.