Preserving a Retro Gem

Authentic terrazzo flooring might be simply restored to its glistening luster and stylish fashion.

For lovers of mid-century Orlando houses, what’s previous is new once more—particularly in terms of terrazzo flooring. 

Terrazzo, from the Italian for “terrace,” is a mosaic materials that till the Seventies was produced from marble chips embedded in cement, poured in place and polished. The outcome was a seamless, cool, high-gloss flooring that was well-suited to Florida’s steamy local weather.

“Within the Nineteen Fifties and ’60s, not everyone had air con, so terrazzo was a strategy to maintain houses loads cooler with out having a plain concrete flooring,” says Geoffrey Woods, CEO of GreenWise Flooring in Orlando.

In the present day’s terrazzo—mostly present in workplace buildings, malls and airports—includes chips of glass, mirror, quartz, granite, mom of pearl or marble combined with epoxy.

“Architects love epoxy as a result of you may obtain hearth engine purple, deep purple—colours you may’t obtain with cement terrazzo,” says Ronnie Roman, proprietor of Alpine Terrazzo in Maitland. “They’ll incorporate no matter completely different unique aggregates” they need and design something from swirls to geometric shapes.

However terrazzo fell out of favor for residential use within the Seventies due to its escalating value.

“You’re not going to spend $25,000 [to install terrazzo] in case you have a 1,000- square-foot dwelling,” Roman says. 

That’s one cause at this time’s house owners of houses from the golden age of terrazzo need to protect their flooring, says Woods, who makes a speciality of terrazzo restoration. A couple of quarter of his clients inform him they particularly sought a house with terrazzo, he says, whereas the remaining unearth it beneath broken hardwood or threadbare carpeting and are savvy sufficient to cherish their discover. “My terrazzo enterprise has not less than tripled since I began in 2004,” Woods says.

Restoration begins with removing of another flooring that was put down over the unique terrazzo all through the years. Then Woods brings in his 450-pound grinding machine, which makes use of diamond abrasives to revive the floor to both a glass-like reflective look or a extra burnished look, relying on clients’ preferences. Patch work, stain removing and utility of a stain guard happen because the grinding proceeds. Your complete course of often takes 5 or 6 days for 1,000 sq. toes of terrazzo.

Sturdiness, ease of upkeep and sustainability are the hallmarks of terrazzo. Due to its hardness, terrazzo is impact- and scratch-resistant. It’s additionally waterproof, fireproof and simple to wash.  

“Mud mopping might be an important factor,” Woods says, or an eco-friendly steam mop to “soften” away spills. Extra buffing each three to 5 years will rejuvenate any dulled areas, he says.

Terrazzo will final the lifetime of a constructing with little upkeep, so its “inexperienced” credentials are excellent—and an enormous plus for householders.

Woods says he hears from quite a lot of clients that restoring their terrazzo “is an environmentally accountable factor to do.”

With all that it has going for it, terrazzo stays standard amongst designers of massive amenities with quite a lot of foot site visitors—and, after all, the ultra-wealthy.

“The one residential jobs I’ve executed are for multimillionaires,” Roman says, “they usually put it within the storage the place they’ve their million-dollar vehicles sitting on it.”

FYI: Know the Prices 

Set up: value per sq. foot is $17-25 and up, relying on the combination used.
Restoration: value per sq. foot begins at about $4.