What is Terrazzo? A Comprehensive Guide


Terrazzo has gained significant popularity as a versatile and visually appealing flooring option. Its rich history and wide range of applications make it a favorite choice among architects and designers. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of  terrazzo, exploring its origins, characteristics, manufacturing process, types, design options, where it can be used and where you can buy it.

A Brief History

Terrazzo traces its roots back to ancient civilizations. In ancient Egypt, original terrazzo floors were created using lime-based binders and crushed stones. During the 16th-century Italy Venetian period, terrazzo experienced a revival as chips of marble were set in a clay-like binder. This technique spread across Europe, and eventually found its way to America during the mid-century modern era.

What Is Terrazzo Made From?

Terrazzo is primarily made from a mixture of various aggregates like marble, quartz, granite, glass, or even recycled materials, combined with a binding agent such as cement or epoxy resin. This composite material is poured, leveled, cured, and then polished to achieve a smooth and visually appealing surface. The specific combination of aggregates and binding agent used can vary, allowing for a wide range of design possibilities in terrazzo applications.

Definition and Meaning

Then what does terrazzo mean? The term “terrazzo” is derived from the Italian word “terra,” meaning ground, and “azzurro,” meaning blue. Historically, marble fragments were set in a blue cement binder, giving rise to the name.

Types of Terrazzo

Terrazzo comes in various types based on the binder used. Cement terrazzo, the traditional form, offers durability and classic aesthetics. Epoxy terrazzo, gaining popularity, provides enhanced flexibility, durability, and design possibilities. Resin terrazzo offers similar benefits to epoxy terrazzo but with a different manufacturing process. Each type has its own unique characteristics, making it suitable for different environments and design preferences. To learn more information about terrazzo types, please click here.

Characteristics of Terrazzo


Terrazzo exhibits an impressive array of characteristics that contribute to its enduring popularity. One of its standout features is its exceptional durability, as it demonstrates remarkable resistance against stains, scratches, and the wear and tear of high traffic. This robustness ensures that terrazzo maintains its pristine condition for extended periods.


Furthermore, the versatility of terrazzo is truly unmatched. It offers an extensive spectrum of options when it comes to colors, patterns, and textures, allowing for endless design possibilities. Whether you envision a sleek and contemporary look or a more intricate and artistic composition, terrazzo can fulfill your creative vision. Its seamless finish, combined with its lustrous appearance, enhances the visual appeal of any space where it is employed.

Low Maintenance

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, terrazzo boasts several other noteworthy benefits. It requires minimal maintenance, making it an efficient and cost-effective choice. Its resistance to wear, scratches, slips, and bacteria further solidifies its position as a practical and hygienic flooring solution.

Green & Environmental-Friendly

Additionally, terrazzo is an eco-friendly and sustainable design option, aligning with the growing demand for environmentally conscious materials. Its long lifespan contributes to waste reduction and lessens the need for frequent replacements.

Cost Controllable

Moreover, terrazzo offers cost controlability, making it suitable for projects with various budget constraints. Whether utilized for large-scale slabs, versatile tiles, elegant countertops, stylish basins, sturdy treads and risers, or even unique furniture pieces, terrazzo provides adaptability and can be tailored to meet specific requirements.

In summary, terrazzo embodies durability and longevity, ensuring a resilient flooring solution that withstands daily wear and tear. Its versatility and customization options enable designers to create captivating and distinctive spaces. With low maintenance requirements, eco-friendliness, and resistance to common concerns such as scratches and slips, terrazzo offers a practical and sustainable choice. Whether it’s for commercial or residential applications, terrazzo guarantees a cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing flooring solution that stands the test of time.

How Terrazzo Is Made?

Then how to make terrazzo? The manufacturing process of terrazzo involves a series of essential steps that culminate in the creation of stunning and durable flooring material. It all begins with the meticulous selection and preparation of aggregates, which can encompass a diverse range of materials such as marble, granite, quartz, glass, and even shells. These aggregates are carefully mixed with a binder, either cement or resin, depending on the desired type of terrazzo.

Once the mixture is prepared, it is poured into molds and subjected to a high-strength press while simultaneously being vacuumed to ensure a compact and homogeneous composition. This process results in the formation of solid blocks, which are then sealed and left to solidify for a period of 28 days. This curing period ensures the blocks achieve the necessary strength and stability.

Next, the solid blocks undergo cutting to create standardized slabs of desired thickness, typically ranging from 15mm to 30mm. The slabs are then subjected to a meticulous polishing process on an automated polishing line, which enhances their smoothness and lustrous appearance. Each slab is carefully inspected for quality, and a protective PE film is applied to safeguard the surface.

The manufacturing process of terrazzo tiles will need further step. To meet specific project requirements, the slabs are further cut into the desired sizes. Finally, the finished terrazzo slabs and tiles are meticulously packed in seaworthy wooden bundles or crates to ensure their safe transportation and delivery to the intended destination.

The production process of terrazzo, characterized by precision and attention to detail, ensures that each slab is crafted to perfection. From the initial mixing of aggregates and binders to the curing, cutting, and polishing stages, every step contributes to the creation of exquisite and versatile terrazzo flooring materials that are ready to transform any space.

What Is The Terrazzo Size:

Terrazzo sizes can vary depending on the manufacturer and their specific production capabilities. Different manufacturers offer a range of sizes to accommodate various project requirements. For instance, in the case of Chinese manufacturers like Milestone International, terrazzo blocks typically come in sizes such as 240x160x105cm or 270x180x105cm. These blocks serve as the primary raw material for further processing.

After cutting and refining the blocks, terrazzo slabs are produced. Milestone offers slab sizes like 240x160x2cm and 270x180x1.8cm. These slabs are commonly used for countertops, flooring, and other interior applications. Additionally, terrazzo tiles are a popular choice for smaller-scale installations or specific design patterns. Milestone’s terrazzo tiles are available in dimensions of 30x30cm, 40x40cm, 30x60cm, 60x60cm, 60x120cm, 80x80cm, 90x90cm, 120x120cm, providing versatility and ease of installation. They can also customize and cut to other sizes according to customer’s requirements.

It’s important to note that these sizes are only specific to the Chinese terrazzo maufacturer Milestone International, other manufacturers may have their own unique size offerings. When considering terrazzo for your project, it is advisable to consult with the manufacturer or supplier to determine the available sizes that best suit your design and installation requirements.

Terrazzo Design Options:

Terrazzo offers a wide range of design options, making it a versatile and customizable material for various applications. The design possibilities with terrazzo are virtually limitless, allowing for the creation of unique and visually appealing surfaces.

One of the key design elements of terrazzo is the choice of aggregates. Aggregates can include marble, granite, quartz, glass, and other materials, each with its own distinct colors and textures. By selecting different combinations of aggregates, designers can achieve various visual effects, from subtle and natural to bold and vibrant.

In addition to aggregates, terrazzo allows for creative freedom in terms of color selection. Pigments and dyes can be added to the cement or epoxy binder, offering a wide spectrum of color choices. This allows designers to match specific color schemes or create custom patterns and motifs.

Terrazzo also enables the incorporation of intricate designs and logos. With the help of skilled craftsmen, terrazzo can be crafted to feature intricate patterns, borders, or even custom artwork. This makes it an ideal choice for projects that require personalized branding or unique artistic expressions.

Furthermore, terrazzo can be used to create various surface finishes, such as polished, honed, or textured, providing further design versatility. The choice of finish can significantly impact the overall aesthetic and tactile experience of the terrazzo surface.

Whether it’s for commercial spaces, residential interiors, or public installations, terrazzo offers a multitude of design options that can be tailored to suit any style or concept. Its adaptability and timeless appeal make terrazzo a favored choice among architects and designers seeking to create visually stunning and durable surfaces.

Terrazzo Application

Terrazzo finds applications in a wide range of spaces. In residential settings, it adds elegance to living areas, kitchens, and bathrooms. In commercial buildings, terrazzo is often used in lobbies, hallways, and restaurants, creating a lasting impression. Airports, educational institutions, and public areas also benefit from its durability and design versatility. Terrazzo can be utilized for floors, countertops, staircases, walls, and even outdoor installations. To learn about more details about terrazzo applications, please click here.

terrazzo application
terrazzo application

Where To Buy Terrazzo?

When it comes to buying terrazzo, there are several options available worldwide like Italy, United States, China, Spain & Brazil. Different countries have established themselves as major producers of terrazzo, each offering its own advantages and disadvantages. To learn more about terrazzo manufactuers, please read this article.


Terrazzo is a remarkable flooring material that seamlessly blends history, durability, and aesthetics. Its rich heritage, versatility, and wide array of design options make it a preferred choice for architects and designers worldwide. Whether in residential or commercial spaces, terrazzo brings elegance and enduring beauty. Consider terrazzo for your next project and unlock the limitless possibilities it offers in creating stunning and durable surfaces.

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