The Hindu

All About Terrazzo

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Terrazzo is seeing a huge revival that goes beyond traditional flooring that augurs well for home enthusiasts.

Terrazzo traditionally a flooring material has seen a major revival with a contemporary twist replacing marble in many ways. It is gaining popularity because of its endless colour and material palette making it an interesting alternative to granite and concrete.

Material Matters

While terrazzo was historically made of scraps of marble mixed with concrete, modern day varieties have introduced granite, quarts and agate to make something truly appealing and a perfect fit for the modern-day homes. “With its dazzling display of speckled colour which is versatile and visually appealing, it can be featured anywhere in the home. While terrazzo flooring is solid and durable, it can also be very hard. If you are looking to use it in areas like living rooms and bedrooms, it is best to consider incorporating an area rug or two to soften up the space. Terrazzo tiles in dramatic dark shades such as black add a modern and clean look to the room and its shine complements the crisp feel of the space,” says Hemil Parikh, Founder, Elysium Abodes LLP. While most residential rooms feature flooring in shades of white and beige, commercial spaces are the perfect spots for showcasing the vibrant possibilities of terrazzo. One can go bold with green terrazzo flooring which portrays a tempting emerald look or red terrazzo flooring which portrays a bold and classy look. The durable nature of terrazzo makes it perfect for kitchen and dining areas, and its industrial look can add an up-to-the-minute feel to contemporary houses.

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Design Talk

What most people do not know is that although terrazzo is available as tiles, it can also be cast in-situ. This is through a method in which the concrete is poured directly on a surface where the granite or marble chips have already been laid out. It can be smoothened out to form a seamless finish that moulds itself around edges and curves, and looks pretty neat when finished. “Using this technique, it can be used on kitchen or breakfast counters, table tops, kitchen splash backs and bathroom walls. It can even be used as the bathroom or kitchen sink itself. Product designers have also experimented with terrazzo in quite a few ways. You can find Scandinavian prototypes of terrazzo flower pots, creatively designed stools with speckled seats, even table coasters and flower vases in flowing patterns fashioned out of this material. Given its versatility, it’s easy to imagine terrazzo boxes, paper weights, lamp-shades, wall murals with different colours of terrazzo or broken tiles creating patterns,” avers Tania Shelma Rogers, Sr. Associate Designer-PDDE, The gleaming chips embedded in Terrazzo marble make for a stunning wall cover. Add a touch of glory to home by accessorizing a portion of the wall in the living room, dining or guest area with a dark colour Terrazzo marble. One may give an instant modern look to the old, boring bathroom by mounting Terrazzo marble on the shower wall. Terrazzo tabletops look beautiful and provide a lot of scope for innovation. Ready for a Terrazzo makeover?

Pic courtesy: Homelane,com
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  • It is advisable to use terrazzo in home interiors because it is durable enough to last long, requires very little maintenance and it simply never goes out of style.
  • While incorporating terrazzo flooring in bathrooms, do ask your contractor about applying non-slip additives to the surface since it is a slippery material. Dust mop your terrazzo floors on a regular basis. This helps in picking up the unsightly dust.
  • Wash newly installed terrazzo floors at least thrice a week for two or three months. Always rinse the terrazzo well to prevent build-up of cleaner residue that could cause the floor to become slippery.

This story first appeared in The Hindu dated 15th June 2019 here

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