How to Stain Terrazzo Floors

  • 4-12 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-250
What You'll Need
Ammoniated wax stripper
Muriatic acid
Black pad
Wet/dry vac
Safety glasses
Respirator mask

Terrazzo floors look impressive, but sometimes people want them to have more of an impact and change the color from the standard white. To do this it's necessary to apply a color stain to the terrazzo floors. This can be done, although it’s an involved procedure that contains several steps. However, it’s important to be aware that you can’t stain all the terrazzo floor. The porous part, known as the cementious part, will take the stain, but the particles of marble that are in it won’t. As long as you take this into account you won’t be disappointed by the result after you stain the terrazzo floors.

Step 1 - Cleaning

The very first step is the cleaning of the terrazzo floors. To do this, begin by sweeping them and then vacuum them to remove all the dust and dirt. Use an ammoniated wax stripper. Before using it, put on a respirator mask and safety glasses to protect yourself. You can buy the stripper in 5 gallon buckets. Apply it according to the instructions. Complete the process by rinsing off the solution, and then leave the terrazzo floors to dry.

Step 2 - Acid Etch

In order for the stain to penetrate the terrazzo floors properly you need to open up the pores of the cementious area of the terrazzo floor and to do this you'll use acid etching. Put on safety goggles and a respirator mask. Start by preparing a solution of 1 part muriatic acid to 10 parts water, and then apply it to the floor with a mop. Leave it in place for a few minutes and then clean it off. Follow by rinsing with cold, clear water and leaving to dry completely.

Step 3 - Stain

No matter what color stain you choose for the terrazzo floors, it’s important that it’s only mixed with a very small amount of water. Cover the floor in the stain, preferably using a brush or a roller to reach into all the crevices.

Work one section at a time, starting at the corner toward farthest from the door and gradually working toward the exit. After completing each section the stain needs to burnished into the terrazzo floors. To do this you’ll need a buffer and a black pad, which is available at hardware stores. Keep buffing until you can see the stain penetrating into the cementious part and then rinse the section with water before moving on to the next section.

Step 4 - Finishing

To complete the staining, once you’ve finished burnishing the entire floor, plug in your wet/dry vac and vacuum the entire floor to remove all the excess specks of stain. Then, you will still need to seal the floor. Do this after the stain has had time time dry, making sure no one walks on it in the meantime. Be sure to use a good wax that is made specifically for terrazzo floors, one with a high solid content. Apply it according to the instructions and you’ll see that you have terrazzo floors that have taken on the new color of your choice.