The word Terrazzo could be defined
as CHIPS IN A MATRIX. In other words the word Terrazzo defines a condition not, not
a composition. In traditional Terrazzo the chips are marble and the matrix is a
mixture of Portland cement, water and sand (concrete). However, the chips do not
have to be marble. They could be glass, stone, plastic, steel, etc. The
matrix does not have to comprised of Portland cement. It could be Epoxy, Vinyl or
Magnesium Oxychloride. Traditional Terrazzo is a poured floor which is troweled out
then ground and polished when hardened. It has the properties and composition of
both marble and concrete.
Since both marble and concrete are porous materials, Terrazzo will
stain and therefore must be sealed. The type seal you use can be either solvent
based or water based. However, if the floor is in a location where people or
foods are present (hospitals, nursing homes, supermarkets, food warehouses, etc.)
you must use water based seals. The solvent fumes in the drying process will bother
people and contaminate foods.
- Avoid acids. Acids will attack Terrazzo
causing etching and pitting. In cases of extreme exposure, loss of strength.
- Avoid abrasives. Terrazzo can be permanently
scratched by harsh abrasives like sand, some scouring cleansers and overly agressive floor
pads, if used in a dry state.
- Avoid crystalline cleansers, such as Trisodium
Phosphate - (T.S. P.). Crystals formed in the pores of the floor upon evaporation of
the cleaning solution exert a sufficient pressure to cause a spalling or chipping of the