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, MOSAIC Factory Terrazzo tiles simplify the installation which can be handled by your tiler.
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 done row by row, ensuring the perfect adhesion of the bottom tiles before placing another row of tiles above (the first row will act as a support for the weight of the following levels).
- Lay the tiles edge to edge, ensuring they are perfectly levelled. Uneven surfaces may be corrected by polishing; however, polishing walls can prove challenging.
The grout between tiles:
For aesthetic reasons, Terrazzo tiles are usually placed “edge to edge”, leaving a narrow grout space of 1 to 2 mm. A wider gap should be left with underfloor heating or for outdoor installations.
After humidifying the tiles, the grout space should be filled with NON-PIGMENTED cement grout filler using a filing knife. Excess grout should be removed immediately with a damp sponge. Avoid spreading the grout onto the whole tile surface.
The pigments contained in coloured grout may infiltrate the pores of the tiles and stain them irreversibly.
Surface finish and polishing:
The MOSAIC Terrazzo tiles are delivered polished with fine abrasives to give them a semi-shiny finish. Regular use of colourless wax for marble combined with buffing to create an enhanced shiny finish.
As with marble and many stone floors, terrazzo floors can be crystallised for further protection. This simple process has to be carried out by a specialist using a buffing machine.
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 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, regular waxing will help create the patina and enhance the beauty of the Mosaic Terrazzo.