Definition of Terrazzo:
The terrazzo - or Granito with large chips – is a construction material made out of marble or glass fragments agglomerated with pigmented cement. Once the mix hardens, a surface polishing process will remove a thin surface layer unveiling the beauty of the marble plaques and decorative chips.
The Terrazzo is traditionally made by a specialist, who casts the cement and chips mixture on site. After a hardening phase that ranges between a couple of days to weeks, the casted Terrazzo will go through a process of intensive polishing with heavy machinery and water.
In contrast to this delicate, long and expensive process, the Terrazzo tiles of the MOSAIC Factory offers a solution allowing for Terrazzo decoration easily placed by your tiller.
Terrazzo tiles installation:
Installation on floors: Terrazzo tiles are installed like cement tiles, natural stone slabs or marble slabs: with very minimal grout on a stable and well levelled surface and using adhesive cement or Silicone adhesive Installation on walls: Terrazzo tiles are thicker and heavier than traditional wall tiles. For this reason you should take into account:
- The wall should be solid and rigid
- The installation should be gradual, ensuring the perfect adhesion of the first row of tiles at the bottom before placing other tiles on top (the first row will be used as a support for the weight of the following rows of tiles – so ensure that they are well adhered).
- Lay the tiles edge to edge, paying attention to the perfect levelling of the tiles. To correct a bad levelled surface, the tiles will need to be polished down; which is more delicate to do on walls than on floors
The grout between tiles:
For aesthetic reasons, Terrazzo tiles are usually placed « edge to edge » leaving only a space of 1 to 2 mm between tiles to allow for a good adjustment of the whole.
After humidifying the between tiles, the grout should be filled with NON PIGMENTED cement grout filler. And applied with a spatula pressing against the grout. Excess cement should be removed immediately with a damp sponge.
The use of coloured/pigmented cement grout filler may irreparably stain the edge of adjacent tiles when the liquid pigmented cement infiltrates the pores of the cement and marble.
Surface finish and polishing:
The MOSAIC Terrazzo Tiles are delivered polished in-factory with fine abrasives to give a semi-shiny appearance. A Regular use of wax for marble with a posterior polish, if wished, can create a shiny mirror effect.
As with marble and other calcareous floor coverings, terrazzo can be crystallize. This simple process is performed by a specialist in marble treatments using buffing machine. This chemical and mechanical process will harden the floor, protect it, enhance colours and make it shiny.
It is possible to polish (sand down) terrazzo floor tiles, the same way you would proceed with marble or natural stone floors. By removing a thin surface layer (polishing) of Terrazzo it can
- Perfectly level the surface and adjust an uneven installation
- Repair a floor that has suffered mechanical or chemical damage.
Treatment and protection:
Dirt or mechanical damage is less visible on Terrazzo tiles than on traditional cement tiles, however the nature of the components of the Terrazzo tiles (cement and marble) are porous.
For this reason, Terrazzo floors will be treated (once) with a sealer, the same way as with cement or marble floors - after installation is finished (laying, grouting, re-polishing if necessary). We recommend the use of our invisible « MOSAIC SEALER »
Regular maintenance and waxing with « MOSAIC WAX » will complete the treatment and enhance the protection of your Terrazzo floor or wall.
Cleaning and maintenance of Terrazzo tiles:
Like Marble, cement tiles or natural stone floors, the surface of Terrazzo tiles is cleaned with PH NEUTRAL products. Natural soap for marble is easily available in most supermarkets. Alternatively we offer our « NATURAL MOSAIC SOAP »
Finally, a regular waxing reinforces the creating of the patina and enhances the beauty of the Mosaic Terrazzo floor.