How to Clean Terrazzo?

Once a terrazzo floor is polished and sealed, the terrazzo is guaranteed to last for many years. In fact, terrazzo is one of the most durable and low maintenance flooring options to install today. This makes terrazzo a suitable floor for high-traffic areas such as airports and schools. However, like all flooring, terrazzo must be cared for. Below you will find helpful tips provided by the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association on how to properly maintain a terrazzo floor.

To begin, here are some equipment and products you may need to complete the cleaning process:

  • Clean dust mop
  • Clean cotton string mop
  • Neutral cleaner
  • Chemical stripper
  • Auto scrubber
  • Floor buffer
  • Water-based sealer
  • Microfiber applicator
  • Mop Bucket
Cleaning Terrazzo Flooring

Guide for the Maintenance of Terrazzo

Important reminders when cleaning a terrazzo floor:

  • Follow a manufacturer’s instructions when applying materials to a terrazzo surface.
  • When selecting a cleaner and sealer, choose one that has a neutral pH level.  Harsh cleaners and sealers can damage a terrazzo floor.
  • Avoid applying wax products. If you are seeking a high-gloss finish, ask your local terrazzo contractor about the kind of sealers that will achieve the effect.
  • Always keep mops, buckets or pails, and water clean.
  • Put out wet floor signs when prior to cleaning a terrazzo floor.

To keep your terrazzo floor clean and long-lasting, follow these nominally minimum maintenance suggestions, as suggested by the NTMA.

Daily

Clean your terrazzo floor daily using a clean dust mop. Hard work stubborn stains and scuff marks with neutral cleaner diluted in warm water.

Weekly

Clean your terrazzo floors weekly using a clean damp mop with a neutral cleaner. Heavily soiled floors should be scrubbed with a mechanical buffing machine and neutral cleaner. Mop up residue with clean water before it dries. Allow to dry and buff with a dry brush.

NOTE: Allow your neutral cleaner, once applied to the terrazzo surface, time to react. It is designed to loosen foreign matter. Several minutes should be adequate, but do not allow the solution to dry on the surface.

As Required

Strip away old sealer and any finished coats. Reseal the clean floor with a water-based sealer product.

Caution

Before deviating from the manufacturer’s instructions, contact your local terrazzo contractor for advice.

 

DO’S and DON’TS For Maintenance of Terrazzo Flooring

DO ask the installing terrazzo contractor to recommend the proper neutral clean and sealers to be used on your floor.

DO dust mop your floors daily, this not only picks up the dust, but also the grit tracked into your building. The grit acts as an abrasive on your hard surface floor.

DO scrub your floors approximately once or twice a week, where a new terrazzo floor has been installed for the initial two to three months, as the construction dust is still in the air, and will eventually be deposited on your floor. After this period, once per week, depending on the amount of foot traffic, keep your floor clean in appearance. Always rinse your floors well to prevent a build-up of cleaner residue.

DO seal your floors wit ha water-based sealer in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions. Normally, a new floor requires two or more coats, which provide a good sheen for a period of 45 to 60 days, before needing additional coats.

DO use maintenance products designed specifically for terrazzo.

DO allow your neutral clean, once applied to the terrazzo surface, time to react as designed to loosen foreign matter. Several minutes should be adequate, but DO NOT allow the solution to dry on the surface.

DO NOT use surface waxes or all-purpose sealers.

DO NOT use all purpose cleaners containing water soluble inorganic or crystallizing salts, harmful alkali, or acids.

 

For more information on to maintain a terrazzo floor, visit NTMA.com or click on the following guides:

Blog: Keep your Terrazzo Looking Like New

Informational Guide: How to Maintain Terrazzo