The first uses of terrazzo stone flooring date back to more than a half-millennium, when Italian architects and Venetian workers used marble scrap leftover from other projects as a decorative add-on to the clay they used in residences and terraces. While modern history credits Italians, there’s even some evidence that suggests Turkish architects were using similar floor designs more than 10,000 years ago.
Today, there are two primary methods used in terrazzo surface preparation – they are the epoxy resin system and the cementitious system. Terrazzo surfacing is common among flooring and wall treatments and while the Italians used marble in the early days, modern uses of terrazzo include granite, glass, quartz, and other materials.
Known as the resin system, the epoxy method provides great design flexibility for flooring designers who are looking to get creative with their terrazzo. It’s also known for its application speed—curing can occur overnight with the right conditions—which is especially beneficial to businesses who have to halt operations and pay for surface work by the hour.
An extremely light solution that will directly bond to the concrete substrate, epoxy resin matrix allows for the natural shimmer and colors of your chosen glass or marble to shine through in their beautiful, natural state.
For exterior applications and challenging surface areas, the cement terrazzo method will result in a thick, robust surface that can withstand heavy foot traffic, regular impacts, and intensive cleaning. The cement matrix in this method may include polyacrylate, rustic, sand cushion, and other systems. And while the cement method will not lend to as creative of a project as the epoxy method, contractors go with it cement for its flexibility in external and internal applications.
Benefits of Terrazzo Surfaces
Between an ability to withstand years of use and give designers a near-endless canvas of ideas, taking on a terrazzo project comes with serious benefits.
- This process provides tremendous aesthetic flexibility and opportunities for creativity. Your chosen aggregate may be installed as a mix of varying colors and stones so that your finished flooring has a kaleidoscopic or abstract ambiance.
- You may also choose to go with a mosaic surface, using parts of your glass or quartz to build a larger whole image that matches your branding or preferred imagery.
- Terrazzo not only enables you to let your imagination run wild, but its surfaces are relatively low maintenance, low in cost, and using the cement or epoxy methods result in an easy-to-clean surface that’s durable and long-lasting.
Necessary Equipment for Terrazzo Flooring Prep
Some of the equipment necessary for your terrazzo surface preparation will depend on whether you choose epoxy or cement in your approach, as the diamond tools will defer from one method to the other. Ensure that your contractor knows which system and, consequently, which items to use when prepping your flooring or other surfaces.
Other flooring preparation equipment to consider using includes:
- Auto scrubbers: For stripping, cleaning, scrubbing, buffing, and polishing needs, auto scrubbers are essential to the surface prep process. From portable, compact scrubbers to ride-on, industrial scrubbers, Runyon has auto scrubbers available for a wide range of jobs. Ask us about our rental options!
- Grinders: Depending on your need, the options available for surface grinding are quite extensive. Edge grinders, dual and quad floor grinders, and even heavy-duty, remote-controlled grinders are available via Runyon’s catalog.
- Diamond tooling: Ideal for terrazzo mixes, marble, granite, and other natural stones, most diamond tooling pads can be used over epoxy-mixed and cementitious flooring and even in wet use. Depending on the pad and your project needs, available grit comes in as low as 16 and as high as 8000.
Whatever your project demands, ensuring quality flooring starts with using the right equipment. Terrazzo may provide designers with an array of possibilities, but all of that is null if the contractors cannot do their job.
An Extensive Catalog of Surface Prep Products Available for Rent or Purchase
For years, Runyon has supplied contractors and businesses with the equipment and accessories necessary for surface prep solutions. Our team is dedicated to providing for businesses and contractors in need of concrete polishing, surface preparation, resinous flooring, and floor maintenance solutions.
Whether you are looking to establish terrazzo flooring or coat and polish concrete surfaces, our selection of grinders, pads, power trowels, and other tools will help you get the job done thoroughly and efficiently.
Give us a call or use the online form to reach out today.