Can tiled - over terrazzo be saved ?

lynnie_momJune 17, 2006

We have a really pretty grey/cream terrazzo floor under the tile and carpet in our house, and I was wondering if anyone knew how likely it is that we will be able to find someone who can rip off the tile & carpet and restore the terrazzo ? And, would anyone know about how much that kind of thing usually runs, ball park ??


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I can't give you a ballpark figure, but I can tell you it won't be cheap. Basically, what they'll have to do is most of the same steps as when it's first poured-- fine grinding, grouting, and then finish grinding-- but it CAN be done.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 8:17AM
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lynnie mom
I am just researching the same project. I live in a 1962 Florida ranch with all cream-colored terrazzo floors that have been tiled, carpeted, and generally abused over the years. I have decided to spend my flooring dollars on their restoration rather than covering them. There does seem to be a great deal more interest in terrazzo now and I am seeing new floors in a lot of public buildings. I because of the popularity of mid-century modern furnishings and decor, terrazzo is being rediscovered and appreciated for its beauty and practicality. My floor restoration is a component of a remodel and I have not yet figured out how to proceed with it - it is a few projects down on my list! Here are some sites I've found with information:

Here is a link that might be useful: NTMA National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 9:31AM
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I posted this to the remodeling forum in response to lynnie mom's post there and thought I would post here as well. Anyone else restoring a terrazzo floor? My post:

I am having the same kind of problems with my terrazzo restoration job - my white portland cement terrazzo with blue/gray and taupe marble chips is still stained and dirty looking despite sanding and treating with chemicals. Work has been going on (off and on - the crew shows up for a few days then dissapears for days or even weeks) since the beginning of November. I have divots where they drilled out holes that have not been refilled and whole sections of the floor that they have barely worked on, even two places where they have not yet cut off the nail heads!

This mess is delaying my whole kitchen restoration. I really want beautiful restored terrazzo floors, but this is maddening! Also, this company (listed on the NTMA site) is the only outfit in town that sands and restores terrazzo.


Here is a link that might be useful: HF terrazzo restoration problems

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 8:10AM
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Yes it CAN be done, as Bill says...and YES, it is expensive...and YES, it can be maddening when the contractor doesn't show up consistently or at all. But, it is the nature of the beast. There are very few experienced terrazzo finishers on the planet.

I suggest that if you find one who does good work, do all you can to make that person want to work for you. Say one thing 'wrong' or be the least bit 'combative' or 'confrontational' and you're going to be looking at your broken floor for a long time.

Respect them and allow them to work and you'll have a beautiful thing at the end of it.

The same thing can be said for other people working in skilled 'trades'...treat them with respect and your job usually will come out great.

Have a happy new year everyone!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 10:47AM
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Amen, Glenn !

More than a few obsessive compulsive consumers found themselves dealing with their unwanted flooring for a very long time after voicing themseves to very busy, skilled craftsmen because they just needed to be heard, especially those in cusom repair professions that there arent many that do that type of work.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 1:38PM
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''More than a few obsessive compulsive consumers found themselves dealing with their unwanted flooring for a very long time after voicing themseves to very busy, skilled craftsmen because they just needed to be heard . . .''

I have always showed the flooring crew (and everyone who has done work for me) the utmost respect. Any *voicing* about the job to be done is necessary communication and not the result of a mental disorder. I cannot say that I have always been shown the same degree of respect for my time or for my property by the floor crew(and I don't just mean the floor!), unfortunately.

Anyone have any response to my white Portland cement terrazzo restoration difficulties? Specific methods/chemicals/equipment that have been successful? My DH and I are considering buying a hand machine (we will DYI if we can't hire it done) as every part of the floor that is showing improvement was sanded with the hand unit rather than the large 1950s-era floor unit my floor man is using. These hand units can be purchased for a couple of hundred dollars on EBAY.
Maybe starting with new pads rather than worn out ones (that my floor man has) would get better results? We are willing to learn how to restore a terrazzo floor ourselves if necessary to get the work done! We are researching on the Internet as much as possible.

It is a lovely old typical 1962 Florida terrazzo floor and worth restoring and preserving.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 7:46AM
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elizabeth-- DO NOT try and DIY this. As for the holes, the only way to repair them would be to match up the marble chips that were originally used, as well as finding out if this was just normal cement based or resin terrazzo (the thickness will tell you), and if it's cement based, whether it was thinset (mixed with an additive and poured only about 1/2" thick) or thickset and mixed with water (about 1" thick). Once all that's determined, then those holes can be patched. As for actually refinishing the floors, it's EXTREMELY critical that you know exactly what you're doing when refinishing. It only takes a split second, and you can ruin the floor. If these jamochs won't get off their butts, find someone else. Again, I say DO NOT DIY this. It's not a DIY project.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 11:10AM
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I checked that first link in the terrazzo repair thread in the DIY forum. I'm HOPING Harry Dunbar told em to leave it to the pros!!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 3:30PM
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