Just How Durable is Terrazzo?

Almost daily, we hear someone ask, “How durable is terrazzo, exactly?”
It should come as no surprise to hear that we boast about “durable terrazzo” on the regular (it didn’t start with this blog post, I assure you), and since we can’t just expect everyone to take our word for it, we thought it would be a good idea to settle things once and for all.

Let’s start with some basics.

According to the Oxford Dictionary,” terrazzo is a flooring material consisting of chips of marble or granite set in concrete and polished to give a smooth surface.”

Marble? Granite? Concrete? Those sound like some pretty durable materials on their own, if you ask us. But combining them? It produces some pretty fantastic results, and I don’t mean in terms of aesthetic.

Durable terrazzo stairs and colorful terrazzo flooring

Compressive Strength

You see, if properly maintained, terrazzo can withstand extremely heavy weight loads, not to mention the amount of everyday wear and tear it can handle. According to North American Terrazzo, the compressive strength of terrazzo should be about 4,500 psi. That means terrazzo, if cared for accordingly, can withstand 4,500 pounds per square inch of pressure. Obviously, we wouldn’t recommend that you go dropping 4,500 pounds of equipment on to your floor to see if it will break (spoiler alert: it will), but if you’re concerned about the weight of your equipment ruining your floors, you shouldn’t be.

Nobody’s Perfect

As impressive as it is that terrazzo can endure so much pressure, no one’s saying that it is completely indestructible. Terrazzo is relatively susceptible to staining & scratching if it is not properly sealed and cared for. If you neglect your terrazzo floors and allow spills or even dust to build up, you will be needing a renovation — or replacement — a lot sooner than you’d like.

The moral of the story?

Proper Maintenance is Key

Your terrazzo floor could have been perfectly installed without any problems or missteps; if you fail to keep up with the recommended maintenance, you’re bound to experience chipping, fading, and even breaking. It takes a bit of build up for it to get that bad, so try to catch it before that happens.

We’ve always boasted about the terrazzo’s durability, but that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. Even so, there’s no denying how durable terrazzo truly is.
If you have any other questions involving the terrazzo’s durability, or any aspect really, feel free to email us at info@doyledickersonterrazzo.com or give us a call at 704.921.4940.
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