Unlike other tile materials, terrazzo tiles were not originally available in tile form. Terrazzo was a low-cost material, used by Venetian artisans as patio flooring. It was made by mixing marble chips and aggregates, and setting them on clay or cement. These moulded floors were sealed with goat milk to retain the wet look and marble-like appearance. River stones and pebbles were also used by early Romans for outdoor floors and pavement. They had to grind and polish the resulting uneven terrazzo. Through the years, artisans have mastered the craft that produced the classic terrazzo tile that we enjoy today.
Today, terrazzo can still be poured and set onsite or precast, though it is widely available as commercially-produced tiles. The basic procedure is still the same. Terrazzo floors are made by first building a level concrete foundation, a layer of sandy concrete, then the terrazzo mixture. The mixture consists of chips from marble, granite, quartz or glass, color pigment, cementitious binder and polymer binder. The artisans blend the natural aggregates with the desired color. If differently-colored panels are to be produced, metal divider strips are set in place where there will be a joint or change in color. The composite material is then poured and allowed to harden and acquire strength. After curing, the solid material is then compacted with heavy rollers and polished to a smooth or uniformly textured finish. Modern technology has made this an easier process with the use of mechanized grinding and power equipment.
With the mechanized production of terrazzo tiles, they have become popular for their durability, ease of maintenance and timeless beauty. They’re practically everywhere – homes, restaurants, train stations, malls, supermarkets, patios, decking and garden projects. Terrazzo tiles are the preferred material for floorings because of the following advantages:
• Their earthy tones and warm colors are simply beautiful;
• Their cement-based and hard-aggregate construction makes them highly durable for areas with high foot-traffic;
• They’re so versatile, they can be used for residential or commercial installations;
• They’re resistant to the scorching heat or heavy rains;
• They’re cost-effective.
Designers and homeowners may choose from various designs and looks available. The traditional terrazzo tile flooring will have larger and irregularly-shaped marble aggregates. More contemporary styles will have finer chips that are uniform in size all throughout the tiles. Terrazzo tile products are also available in earth matrix tones of rocks and stones inspired from the tones and textures of river beds. Terrazzo tiles are produced in wide variety – they can be cool or warm, stunning or subtle.
If you’re planning to renovate your room or any living space at home, think about using these high-quality terrazzo tiles. The Romans loved using them on their patios and palazzi; we find them on hotels and train stations worldwide. We’re not surprised if you, too, would want to install them on your floors. Take advantage of our vast collection and supply which we offer at very reasonable price points.