Terrazzo Can Be Laid In Geometric Patterns
of Your Choosing
Terrazzo is a flooring treatment that you can use to cover a concrete floor. It is a covering material, just like ceramic tiles, stone, linoleum, carpets, hardwood, or many other materials that can be used to cover floors and make them easy to clean and maintain. It can be laid in geometric patterns that can give unique identity to each floor and is a material that is very durable. Check out this Terrazzo Flooring company to learn more about Terrazzo floors.
Where Did It Begin?
Terrazzo can be seen even in the ancient mosaics seen in many monuments in Egypt. But, what you see today is a development from thefloors made by workers working on buildings in Italy in the 1600s, who took scrap material from their work, mixed it with a binder, and ground and polished them to give lustrous and durable floors. Its durability has never been in doubt, because even today, you will find many palaces and monuments all over the world that date back centuries, and still have their terrazzo floors intact.
What is Terrazzo?
Terrazzo is a combination of marble chips, aggregates and a binder, which can be cement, lime, cement lime mixtures, or epoxy. These are all combined in various proportions and laid in thicknesses of 1/2" to 3/4" over a base of concrete. This is then cured and allowed to set. Once it has gained the desired strength, often requiring a month or a couple of weeks, the surface is ground and polished, with rough material, and with finer material in subsequent operations, that again need to be spaced out for curing, till the final desired lustrous finish is obtained.
The use of epoxy in terrazzo started in the 1970s after these petrochemical compounds were developed. The major advantage of epoxies is that they cure and harden in a day, and thus greatly reduce the time for completing the final product. Epoxy terrazzo also requires a lesser thickness. The main disadvantage of using epoxy is that it deteriorates when exposed to ultra-violet rays from the sun, and this prevents it from being used outdoors; a restriction that traditional terrazzo does not have.
Terrazzo will expand and contact with variations in temperature and this can cause cracks in it. To prevent this, it is necessary to cast the terrazzo in panels not exceeding 1500mm by 1500mm. Dividers are used to separate the various panels to ensure this.
Dividers Help to Create Patterns
Dividers in terrazzo can be made from aluminum, copper, brass, steel, plastic, and even glass. These are first fixed in place on the base floor, and the resulting mold made by the base floor and the dividers are used to cast panels of the shape and sizes formed by the dividers. As a result, any combination of geometric patterns can be made to give each terrazzo floor its unique character. By adding color to the binders, or varying the mix of marble and aggregates, different design can be created. This gives any terrazzo floor the freedom to act as a canvas for the artistic imagination of its creators. The dividers themselves, can add to this by being used in different thicknesses or colors to further accentuate the geometric patterns so created.
To create the desired geometric patterns in terrazzo, it is important that the entire floor in any enclosed or open space be seen as a whole, and the designs conceptualized by the designer. The designs are then broken down into panels, differentiating them by color, shape, and size. The restriction of panel size has to be kept in mind while doing this. The dividers are then laid in place as per the indicated geometric pattern, and each panel individually filled with the colors or suggested mix of marble and allowed to set.
Terrazzo is a form of flooring or finish (it is even done on walls) that is highly labor intensive, but the final product is always worth the efforts that are put in.