Terrazzo Floor Care Terrazzo Floor Care

Traditional terrazzo is made of cement and marble with extra marble chips on the surface. The cement portion is porous and quickly absorbs stains. A more modern form, made with synthetic resins such as urethane or epoxy as the "binder" in place of cement, do not stain as readily. A penetrating sealer should be applied to new terrazzo floors to seal the pores in the cement and thus retard stains absorption. Resealing may be needed occasionally.

Clean as often as needed keep grime and sand removed. Soil acts as an abrasive and damages the floor.

Use only neutral liquid cleaners (meaning those which are neither acid not alkaline). For best results, use a commercial cleaner made especially for terrazzo. All-purpose household cleaners, soaps, detergents and wax removers usually contain one or more alkalis, and so should not be used on terrazzo. For general cleaning, use one cup of neutral cleaner with each three gallons of water-or follow manufacturers directions.

Wet mop the solution onto the floor, and allow the solution to remain several minutes. Then mop up the dirt-filled solution, changing rinse water often. This helps to remove all soil and also does away with unsightly "mop lines." Keep the floor wet at all times during the cleaning operation. Otherwise, dissolved soil dries back onto the floor. When the floor is dry, buff with an electric polishing machine, if you have one. Buffing helps restore the natural sheen on the floor.

To remove stubborn soil, periodically use an electric scrubbing machine with a stronger solution of the neutral cleaner. Daily sweeping or dusting will mean easier weekly care and more attractive floors. Do not use an oiled mop or oily sweeping compound. Oils in any form can penetrate the surface and permanently discolor terrazzo floors.

Wipe up spilled materials quickly so staining has no chance to occur.


This article has been contributed in part by Michigan State University Extension

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