The terrazzo tile trend has taken over homes and hearts thanks to their versatile look and practical benefits. Here’s why the trend is making a comeback
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind surface option that’s warmer than marble and more interesting than ceramic tiles, then look no further than terrazzo tiles.
While terrazzo has been around for thousands of years, the beauty and textural quality of modern terrazzo have made them a popular choice for bringing interest into contemporary spaces. Whether it’s terrazzo flooring, wall tiles or statement kitchen surfaces, as one of the biggest trends in home decor, terrazzo has become a favourite tile choice in bathrooms, as well as kitchens.
“Generally speaking, terrazzo is a product of aggregates such as Carrara or Nero Marquina marble, quartz/quartz powder and onyx set in cement,” says David Signorino, marketing manager at Signorino Tile Gallery. “Each terrazzo gets its unique look from the size of the aggregate and the colour chosen for the cement.”
Here’s why the terrazzo trend isn’t going anywhere:
Terrazzo is regarded as one of the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials. It’s typically made from a mixture of recycled glass and natural aggregates such as marble, granite and quartz, which provide it’s unique speckled look, and is held together by a resin or concrete base. It is then polished, honed, or sandblasted depending on your desired finish.
It’s durable and long lasting
Terrazzo is extremely durable and is more resistant than other tile materials, so they are ideal to use as flooring in high traffic areas. Not all terrazzo is made equal. Cheap and laxly produced terrazzo can result in brittleness, porosity and discolouration. Italian made terrazzo is produced under strict conditions to ensure the material is never compromised resulting in an exceptionally high quality product.
In addition to their durability, terrazzo tiles are water and heat resistant and easy to cut making them easy to work with and ideal to use not just as flooring, but in a variety of applications. Terrazzo surfaces in bathrooms and kitchen are becoming increasingly popular. Terrazzo tiles are timeless and suit every space from traditional to contemporary, as well as outdoors (with the appropriate finish).
“Terrazzo is certainly suitable for bathroom and kitchen benchtops – it’s essentially natural stone and is therefore treated and applicable in all the same ways,” says David. “If you’re planning a benchtop using terrazzo slabs, don’t use material less than 30mm thick, as this may be too brittle for this application. Best to be safe and ensure your bench stays beautiful for many years to come.”
The design possibilities are endless
Each piece of terrazzo is truly unique, plus it comes in just about every colour imaginable as custom colours and mixes can be made– from eye-popping hues to natural tones so anything from a modern monochromatic look to an artistic mosaic design can be achieved.
It’s cost effective
Because terrazzo is durable enough to last a lifetime, it requires very little maintenance and simply never goes out of style, it’s a fantastic investment that won’t break the bank over its lifespan.
A great way to introduce colour and texture in a subtle way, terrazzo flooring allows you to choose from myriad colour combinations that, when studied in detail, highlight colours of your choice. Darker colours might be highlighted by black tapware and window frames, a coloured basin might echo a touch of pink in your terrazzo floor tiles. Terrazzo flooring options are many and range in ease and affordability of use.
Poured terrazzo flooring: The original and the most expensive execution, akin to poured concrete, it comes in a wet solution and poured on site by professionals. Once cured, the terrazzo floor is honed and polished to your desired finish. You can also design a custom effect with use of brass or other metal separators to form part of the pattern.
Tiled terrazzo flooring: Terrazzo tile is available in small and large format, easily transported and laid on site like any floor tiles. The most popular choice for terrazzo flooring, tiles can also be used on walls, splash backs and smaller surface areas. Perfect for wet areas, it’s a more economical way of including terrazzo in your finishes.
Hybrid terrazzo flooring: Hybrid terrazzo-look flooring works like a floating floor, clicking into place with a locking system. It already has an insulated underlay attached to the boards so, as long as your floor is completely flat (such as concrete) it can be laid in a day for instant terrazzo flooring. Once down, the effect is very close to the real thing so makes an affordable, quick and easy solution that works as a sound insulator as well as being less cold underfoot than actual terrazzo flooring.