Terrazzo Floor Restoration – Complete Guide 2022

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terrazzo floor restoration

Having a terrazzo floor can be a great feature for your home. Its unique, antique styling makes it a good addition and it can add value as well as curb appeal. 

However, unlike wood floors, it can also be slightly brittle if it is very old. 

Because of this, you will want to restore it to its original glory and get it sparkling again. Knowing how to do this can help you save some money when the time comes. 

In this article, we have laid out everything you need to know about restoring terrazzo floors. By following the steps and understanding what goes into it, you can do a professional job. 

Restoring Terrazzo Floors: Basic Idea

Restoring a terrazzo floor is not the easiest job to do, but it is far from impossible. Following the below steps can help you do a good job. 

The steps are: 

  • Prep the floor 
  • Use a grinder
  • Patch any holes 
  • Polish the floor 

What Are Terrazzo Floors?

Terrazzo floors are one of the oldest flooring types in the world. 

The technique was perfected by ancient Venetian masons and was used by all kinds of clients. 

It consists of marble chips that sit on top of concrete. The chips are arranged in a mosaic pattern and can create all kinds of different looks. 

Because the marble chips are generally gathered from all kinds of different places, they are often varied. This makes the final look of terrazzo floors very unique from room to room. 

While terrazzo floors are usually very durable, they will need to be restored at some point. Knowing how to do this yourself can help you save some money down the line. 

Terrazzo Floor Restoration Cost 

In general, terrazzo floors are fairly inexpensive to put into your home. This means that restoring them or replacing them is also on the lower side of the price spectrum. 

Generally, restoring terrazzo floors costs between $2 and $5 per square foot. 

This is usually the price you will pay if you are hiring a professional to do the work. If you are interested in doing the work yourself, it could end up being less. 

One of the issues with terrazzo floors is that they are inconsistent. 

This means that you might have to replace pieces of marble or glass. If you have damage that is that deep, it may be best to have a professional handle the restoration. 

DIY Terrazzo Floor Restoration

diy terrazzo floor restoration

Prepare the Floor 

The first thing you will want to do when restoring a terrazzo floor is prep it. 

This means removing any furniture or rugs and the floor and completely clearing the room. The restoration could get slightly messy, so it’s best to protect your belongings. 

Tape off your walls and baseboards around the room as well. 

If you are using a surface grinder with a hose attachment, you will be spreading water. Waterproofing your walls is essential to keep them from getting damaged. 

Grind 

Using a surface grinder with a diamond brick, start grinding down the surface. You will notice the water that is coming out of the grinder getting muddy. 

Once you have ground the entire floor, mop up the muddy water and inspect the floor. You should be able to see that the surface is much cleaner. 

Once this is done, you can move down to a finer grit on the grinder. You will see that the water starts to come off cleaner than it did before. 

After making a pass with the finer grit, move on to the finest grit available. This will complete the grinding. 

Patch the Floor 

If you have any areas that have been completely removed by nails or furniture, you can patch them. 

Using thinset mortar, patch the areas that need to be filled. If you want, you can also use pieces of marble and mortar to fill in these areas. 

Grind down the thinset mortar to the same consistency as the rest of the floor. Wait until it is dry before doing this. 

Polish

Using a buffer, apply 800 grit polishing powder to the floor.

Move in overlapping circles around the room and make sure you get the entire space. 

Rinse the floor with water between passes and mop it up as you go. 

You can repeat this process with progressively finer powder until you have achieved the shine. After you have finished, apply a clear sealer to protect the finish. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faq terrazzo flooring restoration

  • Is it worth it to restore terrazzo floors?

If your terrazzo floor is extremely damaged, it may not be worth it to restore it. 

At the very least, you should get a professional’s opinion and see if it would be worth it. In some cases, you may just want to replace it for a similar amount of money. 

  • Can terrazzo floors be repaired?

Terrazzo floors can be repaired if they are not very damaged. 

Small touch ups can be made here and there if necessary. However, if they are very damaged, you may want to completely replace them. 

  • How long does a terrazzo floor last?

Terrazzo floors are meant to last between 40 and 100 years. They are an extremely durable type of flooring and can take a lot of damage. 

If your floor is older than this, though, you might want to think about replacing it. 

Conclusion 

By understanding what terrazzo floors are, you can decide whether restoration is the right move. 

If you decide to restore your floors, you can do it with a minimal amount of tools. Taking your time and following the above steps can help. 

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AUTHOR

Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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