Designing for Longevity: How Terrazzo Can Save Your Budget

One of the most frequent comments I receive from architects and designers concerning terrazzo is “We absolutely adore terrazzo and would use it all over our projects, but it just doesn’t fit the budget.” And they’re right – terrazzo often doesn’t fit the budget. However, what many building owners don’t realize is that terrazzo offers an excellent return on investment due to its durability, ease of maintenance, and classic design appeal. So while it may not fit the budget initially, it is the most cost-effective flooring system when considering the costs on a long-term scale. Terrazzo lasts the life of the building, is anti-microbial and easy to clean, and is a classic finish that never goes out of style.

Terrazzo’s durability is unmatched. Consisting of ~80% marble and ~20% epoxy resin, terrazzo is equal in durability to a natural stone floor. Because of its long life-cycle, terrazzo is also considered an eco-friendly flooring system. It very rarely needs replacing and can easily be patched, often lasting the life of the building. We’ve restored terrazzo floors that are over one-hundred years old, bringing them back to life and looking like new. Wax and dirt build-up can easily be removed through natural grinding and polishing processes, leaving the floor ready to be grouted and polished to its original sheen.

terrazzo restoration before and after

The ease of maintenance can’t be beat either. Because terrazzo is non-porous, and because poured terrazzo provides a monolithic surface, it is considered anti-microbial. Terrazzo only calls for daily dry mopping and weekly wet mopping with a pH neutral cleanser to keep it in peak condition. Resealing yearly or as needed is required to prevent staining. Between terrazzo’s durability and ease of maintenance, building owners can expect to save on yearly maintenance and replacement costs.

Being a classic material, terrazzo never goes out of style. From traditional to contemporary spaces, terrazzo can be custom designed to fit any aesthetic. This classic appeal prevents terrazzo from needing to be replaced due to design obsolescence. Preventing the need for updating the flooring design saves money long term.

Terrazzo may not fit the budget up front, but building owners should take into account the long-term cost savings of terrazzo. For more information, I invite you to visit the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association’s cost calculator. Here you will find a regional estimated forty year cost savings provided by terrazzo with a comparison against other flooring systems. Let’s prevent owners from losing money long-term, and save with terrazzo.