Flooring Terrazzo is a marble style of flooring which originated in northern Italy. From the traditional design of a grand Venetian entryway to the unique, artistic patterning of the Hoover Dam terrazzo, this flooring style is an ancient practice that has been adapted to meet today's flooring needs. Terrazzo workers can create anything from walkways to patios and a great continuum of custom-made flooring.
Flooring Terrazzo systems are classified as either traditional or modern. The marble-chip flooring style from the Italian tradition is valued for its high-gloss appeal and artistic grandeur. The modernized version, a polymer-based terrazzo originating in the 1970's, is more cost-efficient. This style is also known as "thin-set terrazzo" due to its minimal installation thickness, which is only 1/4 "to 3/8" thick as opposed to the much thicker marble flooring.
In addition to the minimal thickness, the polymer versions have other advantages. First, more color choices are available, which means that more artistic flexibility can be achieved. These polymer floors also have a faster, more lightweight installation process. Finally, the thin-set version is less likely to crack over a number of years.
Since the afternoon of machinery, the traditional flooring terrazzo have streamlined installation processes. This means that the awe-inspiring beauty of the original Venetian marbled flooring can be achieved in less time and with less labor than ever before. Still, the process is quite involved, with three stages. First, a very thick layer of concrete is scattered as the base foundation. On top of this 3-4 inch slab, another inch of sandy concrete is added. Next, metal strips are laid for coloration and design purposes; these are glued to the concrete to act as channels predetermined by the designer. Then a blend of marble chips and aggregate is added as the final layer. The process, though, does not stop there. A machine is used to grind the surface, and any air pockets are then filled with grout. The surface is then polished and a sealer is used. If the traditional terrazzo is maintained well, it will produce the glossy finish that is the trademark of the classic marble terrazzo.