From the bustling corridors of schools to the glamorous foyer of high-end hotels, terrazzo flooring has made a substantial comeback. Its captivating beauty and surprising versatility have reinvigorated this historic material, bringing it back to the forefront of contemporary design. The speckled mosaic of marble, granite, or quartz set in concrete or epoxy resin is not just visually striking; it tells a tale of centuries-old artistry meeting modern innovation.
What is Terrazzo Flooring?
Terrazzo is a composite material, first used in 15th century Italy as a way to utilize leftover marble chips from upscale construction projects. Today, terrazzo includes a broader range of materials like granite, quartz, glass, or even metals, embedded into a concrete or epoxy binder. The result is an impressive array of color, texture, and pattern possibilities. For example, a black epoxy terrazzo with sparkling glass chips can create a stunning ‘night sky’ effect, while a mix of marble chips in white cement can provide a classic, elegant feel.
Renowned for its durability, terrazzo floors can resist wear and tear impressively. Public spaces like airports or museums often choose terrazzo for its longevity. As an example, the Hoover Dam, completed in the 1930s, features terrazzo floors that are still in service today, even after nearly a century of heavy use.
Its aesthetic flexibility allows terrazzo to adapt to various decor styles. A neutral palette with a minimalist design can blend seamlessly with a modern, simplistic interior, while vibrant colors and complex patterns can add visual interest to a more eclectic setting.
Terrazzo’s eco-friendly nature comes from its use of recycled materials and a long lifecycle. For example, glass chips can be recycled from post-consumer sources like bottles, providing a sustainable and visually striking aggregate for terrazzo flooring.
While terrazzo’s longevity can make it a cost-effective choice over time, the initial cost can be daunting. It’s not just the material but also the labor-intensive installation process that contributes to the high upfront cost.
Although terrazzo is quite durable, it can develop cracks if the building’s foundation shifts significantly. Also, similar to tile or stone, terrazzo can feel cold underfoot in cooler climates, which might not be appealing for some homeowners.
Check out other flooring solutions in Singapore for a comprehensive resource covering every aspect of flooring.
Installing terrazzo is an art in itself, requiring precision and skill. It begins with preparing the subfloor, followed by the placement of divider strips to form the design pattern. The terrazzo mixture is then poured, left to cure, ground down to reveal the aggregate, and finally polished to achieve a glossy finish. The complexity of this process justifies the importance of hiring experienced professionals.
Our team of seasoned flooring contractors can navigate this process smoothly to deliver unparalleled results. Get in touch for a free consultation.
Cost of Terrazzo Installation
Terrazzo flooring, while offering many benefits, is known for its higher upfront cost compared to other flooring options. It’s important to understand that this cost is determined by several factors:
1. Material Costs: Terrazzo is made of a binder (either cement or epoxy) and chips of marble, quartz, glass, or other materials. The type and quality of materials used can significantly impact the cost. For instance, using more luxurious aggregates like mother-of-pearl or precious stones will naturally increase the price.
2. Labor Costs: The installation of terrazzo flooring is labor-intensive and requires skilled craftsmanship. This labor cost, which includes preparing the subfloor, laying the terrazzo, grinding, and polishing, forms a significant portion of the overall cost.
3. Design Complexity: The cost can also escalate based on the complexity of the design. A floor with multiple colors or intricate patterns requires more labor and can thus increase the cost.
4. Size of the Project: Like most flooring projects, the cost per square foot usually decreases as the size of the project increases. This economy of scale is because certain fixed costs (like equipment setup or cleanup) can be spread over a larger area.
Let’s look at a basic cost breakdown for an scenario 1,000 square foot project:
- Material costs: $20 – $50 per sq ft
- Labor costs: $12 – $18 per sq ft
- Other costs (Hacking, haulage etc.) $4,000
Hence, for a 1,000 sq ft project, you can expect to pay anywhere between $30,000 to $80,000 depending on these variables.
While this may seem steep compared to other options like tile or hardwood, it’s crucial to remember that terrazzo flooring offers superior durability and longevity. With proper care, a terrazzo floor can last for several decades or even centuries, potentially offering significant long-term savings.
If you’re considering terrazzo for your next project, our professional flooring contractors can provide a detailed cost estimate based on your specific needs and preferences.
Where to find Terrazzo Tiles in Singapore
You may head down to Soon Bee Huat or Hafary for terrazzo tiles.
Comparison with Other Flooring Options
Compared to other popular options like hardwood or tile, terrazzo stands out. Unlike hardwood, which can scratch or stain, terrazzo is resilient and easy to clean. While tile can crack and grout can discolor over time, terrazzo offers a seamless surface with superior durability.
Terrazzo is not limited to indoor spaces. It’s also an excellent choice for outdoor settings, such as patios or pool areas, thanks to its durability and resistance to weather elements. From luxury condos in New York to stylish cafes in San Francisco, terrazzo makes a bold statement. On a larger scale, it graces public buildings like the Hollywood Walk of Fame with its star-studded terrazzo slabs.
Maintenance and Care
Despite its glamorous appearance, terrazzo demands surprisingly little maintenance. Simple daily tasks like sweeping or dust mopping can keep your floor looking its best. For a deeper clean, a damp mop with a neutral cleaner will do the trick. If the floor develops chips or cracks, professional repair services can restore its original charm.
With a legacy dating back centuries and a versatility that accommodates modern design trends, terrazzo flooring offers an unbeatable blend of beauty and durability. Whether you are refurbishing a historic building or building a modern home, terrazzo could be the key to striking aesthetics and long-lasting functionality. Our team of professional is ready to help you explore this remarkable material.
Are terrazzo floors expensive?
Terrazzo floors are indeed a luxurious choice for flooring in Singapore, offering both durability and a unique aesthetic appeal. The cost of terrazzo flooring can range from $10 to $30 per square foot, and can increase depending on the complexity of the designs you choose. The labor-intensive installation process also contributes to the cost, as it requires skilled professionals to properly lay the flooring.