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terrazzo flooring

Did you know?
  • Terrazzo is often used in hospitals because it doesn't support the growth of bacteria or mold.
  • Terrazzo floors have been known to outlast the buildings where they were installed.
  • Traditional terrazzo is poured and finished in place, but individual terrazzo tile is fairly simple to install.
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Green consumers may be falling in love with terrazzo floors, but this is hardly terrazzo's first time at the dance. No, it has been around for centuries – so long, in fact, that the aggregate in the original versions was waste marble from the stone cutting trades.

Today's renewed interest in terrazzo is largely a result of adding recycled glass to the mix. Up to 95% of the content of recycled glass terrazzo is waste glass. The remaining content is either epoxy or cement.

That's where things get a bit tricky on the green front. The production of cement is an energy–intensive operation that contributes vast quantities of CO2 to the earth's atmosphere. Epoxy is petroleum based, cannot be recycled, and may contain phthalates, which are under study as potential health and environmental hazards.

Image
of Recycled Terrazzo Flooring

However, both cement– and epoxy–based terrazzos have zero VOCs* and produce little or no off–gassing once they're cured.

In either formula, terrazzo floors are easy to maintain, incredibly long lasting, and can be recycled at the end of their useful lives.

*VOCs (short for volatile organic compounds) are carbon–based chemical compounds that can be found in certain flooring materials, adhesives and cleaners.

Terrazzo Floor Products

Alternatives to Terrazzo Flooring – Other Green Flooring Options

If you're looking for durable, smooth–surface flooring that does not absorb moisture, consider these alternatives:

Image of Recycled Tile and Concrete Flooring

  • Recycled Glass Tile: Kind to the environment as well as strong, durable, and attractive, recycled glass tile offers a winning combination of qualities. It is installed and maintained much like ceramic tile but has a smaller impact on the environment.
  • Concrete: Replacing some of the cement content with fly ash reduces concrete's impact on the environment. Concrete flooring can be dyed or stained in a myriad of colors and lasts practically forever. Like recycled glass terrazzo, it can be recycled at the end of its useful life.
Vinyl Flooring Information | Help
  • Questions – Find out what to ask your local flooring store.
  • Lifecycle – Everything you wanted to know about the lifecycle of terrazzo flooring.
  • Flooring Estimator Tools – Our estimator tool easily calculates the amount of flooring you'll need for your project.
  • FAQs – Find answers to frequently asked flooring questions.
  • Glossary – Definitions of commonly used flooring terms.

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