An Architect’s Guide To: Terrazzo Flooring

Dive into detailing beautifully finished terrazzo flooring.

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Terrazzo’s renewed popularity stems from some trend-setting designs and rediscovered traditional techniques that go far beyond the styles of decades ago. If you are thinking about specifying a terrazzo floor, take a look at the guides assembled below to find possibilities that you did not know existed.

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Valentino Man store by David Chipperfield Architects

How to Specify: Terrazzo Flooring

“As its name suggests, terrazzo originated in Italy, where marble-workers would take the crumbs of their work home, mix them with cement and create faux-stone floors for their terraces. Since then, terrazzo floors have grown into an art form all their own with a wide range of styles and possibilities. Classic terrazzo is a mixture of marble fragments, called the aggregate, and a cementitious binding agent, called the matrix. It is resilient and can be used inside and outside, and it can be cast in place or laid in manufactured tiles.” Check out the full story here.




Waterside Buddhist Shrine by ARCHSTUDIO (China), Tangshan, China

Inside Outside: 10 Virtually Seamless Terrazzo Surfaces

“Formed with cementitious or polymeric binding, continuous terrazzo creates uniform textured surfaces. Different terrazzo systems require unique installation processes, but surface preparation is usually needed as a first step to prepare the substrate. Crack detailing, strips, adhesive and primers are used to form layers between the substrate and the terrazzo finish.” Check out the full story here.

Case Studies

Maison Kitsuné, Filles du Calvaire, Paris, designed by Charles-Edmond Henry and Nicolas Dorval-Bory Architectes using Marmoreal tile; photo by Nicolas Dorval-Bory

How Dzek Invented a Kaleidoscopic Kind of Terrazzo Flooring

“Few materials have the customizability of terrazzo. An almost limitless combination of colors and patterns are possible if you know how to make them happen. British materials company Dzek has developed a new product that updates the centuries-old terrazzo tradition with a colorful modern finish.” Check out the full story here.

Installed terrazzo flooring at 507 West Chelsea; courtesy Ismael Leyva Architects

How to Detail Concrete-Inspired, Poured-in-Place Terrazzo Flooring

“Oftentimes, bespoke materials found in iconic design projects are mimicked in other architectural applications. What is one building’s beautifully textured cladding might end up as another’s interior wall paneling. Such inspired design choices can be considered inherently flattering. It makes sense to adopt successful design details and material specifications and reinterpret them in fresh ways. If architects never attempted to reimagine older design ideas and material methodologies, then we’d be stuck with the same boring buildings across the world.” Check out the full story here.
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Specifying the ideal terrazzo flooring for your latest project? Save time, money and your sanity by searching on Architizer’s new online marketplace for building-products. Click here for more information.

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