Terrazzo floors are a mixture of cement and marble aggregates. The aggregate material can also include glass and other fine materials that give a unique look when mixed with the cement and polished. Terrazzo floors are not the typical floor for the everyday common application. These floors are mostly reserved for high end residential or commercial applications. There is no doubt that terrazzo floors look great, but compared to wood floors, numerous factors need to be considered before you make the decision as to which floor is suitable for your application.
Cost of Materials and Installation
Terrazzo floors are extremely expensive and labor-intensive to install. They should be installed over a concrete base, which may not be the current base in your application. If your current sub base is not concrete, you will then have to pour a concrete pad as a subfloor for the terrazzo. This will increase the cost further. Terrazzo floors are time-consuming to install and must be poured in sections with dividers placed between the sections. Terrazzo flooring usually needs to be installed by a professional for a high quality finished floor. Wood flooring is not extremely expensive and can be placed over almost any subfloor material. Wood floors can be installed in a fairly short time and can be installed by many homeowners, thus further reducing the cost of the finished floor.
Terrazzo is many times more durable than wood flooring. Terrazzo is one of the most durable flooring materials in existence. This is why you see terrazzo floors in high traffic applications such as airports and shopping malls. They are extremely hard, easy to clean, waterproof, fireproof, and scratch and impact resistant. Wood floors can scratch and gouge easier. They are subject to damage by furniture and are not fireproof or waterproof. If you placed a wood floor in a shopping mall, it would only be a short time before the floor looked terrible.
Terrazzo flooring requires only periodic cleaning and buffing. The floor will always look the same year after year with little attention. Wooden floors require periodic sanding and stripping. They must be completely refinished to attain the newly installed look. This maintenance is expensive and soon after it’s completed, depending on the amount of traffic, the floor will begin to look worn again.
Your own personal opinion is what’s important here and you can be the judge of which floor looks better. Terrazzo floors look very impressive with their marbled, polished, shiny appearance. Terrazzo floors in a home give it a very expensive appearance and are normally associated with large, spacious homes where no expense is spared. Many people feel the warmth and unique look of wood can’t be matched at any price. Wooden floors add character to any room and often are a perfect match for the decor of the room.
Terrazzo floors are near the top of the line for flooring choices. If your application and pocketbook are ready for such an extreme choice in flooring, you will end up with a very impressive finished product.