FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about terrazzo and Master Terrazzo Technologies products and services. If you don’t find your answers here, please contact us at (888) 999-6885 or email email@example.com.
How is a terrazzo floor installed?
The installation of a terrazzo floor system is an art in itself and the skills involved have been passed down from generation to generation. Terrazzo specialty contractors take immense pride in their craft, and it shows in the quality of their final product.
The application of a terrazzo floor varies somewhat from one terrazzo contractor to the next and there is more than one successful method, so you can expect a degree of variance in the way that terrazzo is installed. Various terrazzo systems require different installation processes. As a point of reference, here are the basic steps in installing an epoxy terrazzo floor:
Surface preparation is necessary as a first step to prepare the substrate for a strong bond to the terrazzo system. This is achieved with a shot blast (vacuum blast) machine, to provide a surface with the appropriate CSP profile to accommodate the particular terrazzo system and conditions.
Crack detailing is necessary to insure that fractures in the concrete substrate will not transmit upwards into the terrazzo floor topping. Typically, crack detailing is achieved with the use of a flexible epoxy product such as Master Terrazzo’s MasterFlex. The contractor uses a “crack-chaser” to highlight and “v-notch” the cracks in the concrete substrate, and then fills and tops those cracks with the flexible epoxy. As the substrate moves over time, the flexible epoxy expands and contracts to protect the terrazzo topping.
Strips are cut to proper lengths and applied to the floor with the use of an adhesive.
Priming of the substrate with a product such as Morricite Primer helps to achieve a strong bond between the substrate and the terrazzo finish. Note: if a membrane is used as a part of the terrazzo system, a primer is not required.
In the case of epoxy terrazzo, approximately 200 lbs of aggregate, 5 gallons of color-matched epoxy resin and 1 gallon of epoxy hardener are combined with marble dust and mixed thoroughly before being poured out on the floor. In cases where multiple colors are utilized in a small area, such as with a logo, the mixed solution is very carefully transfered from the mixer to the application point. The terrazzo mix is then trowled by hand or with use of a power trowel.
Once the floor has cured (typically about 24 hours with Morricite Epoxy Terrazzo) it can be ground. Grinding of the floor is completed with use of a terrazzo grinding machine which circulates around a dozen small stones or diamond plugs at a high speed. The grinding process begins with a rougher stone and graduates to smoother stones throughout the process, to achieve a uniform and brilliant surface. In areas where heightened accuracy is required in tight corners, such as with cast in place terrazzo stairs or corners, a smaller hand grinding machine is utilized, as opposed to the full size (pushed) grinder.
Grouting of pinholes is necessary to insure that a non-porous, uniform surface is achieved. The grout material is epoxy-based and is color matched in the manufacturing process to match the epoxy terrazzo binder.
The terrazzo surface is polished and a sealer is applied to achieve a greater degree of brilliance. Additionally, the sealer serves as protection for the floor. Various sealers are available to suit different purposes such as increased coefficient of friction (slip-resistance, light reflectivity and chemical resistence.
How long does installation take?
Total installation time varies greatly from one project to the next, depending on variables such as design complexity, technical considerations and the size of the project. For smaller epoxy terrazzo jobs, installation is often completed within 8 days. Installation of cementitious terrazzo typically takes about 4-5 times as long as epoxy terrazzo. For more detail on installation times, please contact your Master Terrazzo Technologies Representative or call us at 888-999-6885.
What are the various types of terrazzo systems?
Please visit our “Terrazzo Flooring Systems” page.
Is terrazzo a durable system? How often does terrazzo need to be replaced?
Unlike other flooring systems such as tile, vinyl flooring or carpet, terrazzo will not wear out and require replacement. Ancient terrazzo floors still stand and shine, and so will yours. The permanence of a terrazzo system is of particular importance in buildings with a high level of foot-traffic.
How much can I expect to pay for a terrazzo floor?
The cost of an installed terrazzo floor varies greatly depending on geographic location, complexity of design, the overall size of the project and the number of colors involved and other factors. For an estimate, please call Master Terrazzo Technologies or your Master Terrazzo Technologies Representative.
Is terrazzo environmentally friendly?
Please visit our “Going Green with Terrazzo” page
What are the design limitations of terrazzo?
Design options with terrazzo are unlimited. In the past we have been approached by architects, designers and building owners who came to us with ideas for terrazzo which we didn’t think were possible. Every time this has happened, we have been proven wrong.
The design potential of terrazzo is unique to the flooring industry. Terrazzo offers infinite color potential; any color that you could pick out of a paint deck can be matched in an epoxy terrazzo binder. Color consistency and accuracy is excellent, with epoxy.
With cement terrazzo, excellent earth-tone colors can be achieved.
The number of aggregate options and combinations is staggering. First of all, there are the traditional marble and granite chips of all colors and sizes. Second, when using epoxy terrazzo, many colors of recycled and virgin glass are now utilized with great frequency, including recycled mirror glass which reflects light in the floor, tinted windshield glass, bottle glass, plate glass and recycled porcelain. Metal scraps, from brass screws to aluminum shavings to chunks of zinc have been used in terrazzo. Mother of pearl can add beauty to a terrazzo floor, even when specified as only 5% of the aggregate.
Any shape, from curvilinear artistic patterns, to geometric shapes, intricate logos and artwork, to simpler one-color monolithic (strip-less) floors is achievable in epoxy terrazzo (note: with cement terrazzo, a terrazzo strip is required every four feet). Terrazzo can be used as the medium for intricate designs reminiscent of the finest Italian mosaics or for simpler one-color floors, which are beautiful and timeless as well.
How should I select a terrazzo contractor?
For more information on selecting a terrazzo contractor in your area, please email your Master Terrazzo Technologies Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 888-999-6885.
How can I acquire samples for a pending project?
We are happy to assist with custom samples for your pending project, or standard samples from our design library. Please email your Master Terrazzo Technologies Representative at email@example.com, or call us at 888-999-6885.
What are the maintenance requirements for terrazzo?
Terrazzo is easy to maintain, only requiring mopping or sweeping and buffing. Occasional resealing of a terrazzo floor is recommended to maintain the appearance of the floor. For more information contact Master Terrazzo Technologies at 888-999-6885, or reference Master Terrazzo Technologies Guideline Specification and product-specific installation instructions for complete installation details.