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terrazzo flooring – questions to consider

Room with Recycled Terrazzo Flooring

Terrazzo flooring has been around longer than most folks think. Whether it's a green flooring option tends to hinge on the makeup of the particular terrazzo flooring you are considering. Terrazzo is made up of a mixture of recycled glass, a very eco–friendly ingredient, and either cement or epoxy. Broadly speaking, the more recycled glass, the greener the terrazzo. The questions below are excellent starting points for quizzing your terrazzo flooring professional on the greenness of their product. Got more questions you want to ask? Then chat with one of the terrazzo floor experts by clicking on the Live Chat button at the top of the page.

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Terrazzo Flooring Questions to Ask Your Local Floor Store

What percentage of the content is recycled glass?

Typically, the recycled content ranges from 60% to as much as 95%. The larger the percentage of glass, the smaller the amount of concrete or epoxy that is necessary, which improves the sustainability of the flooring.

Is the glass from post–consumer or post–industrial sources?

Some manufacturers use only post–consumer glass. This reduces the amount of household glass going into the waste stream. For example, 40 billion bottles are produced in the United States each year. Diverting some of them from the waste stream is an excellent result of making recycled glass terrazzo while helping the environment.

What is the remaining content?

The most common binders are cement and epoxy. Your supplier should be able to explain the costs and benefits of each so you can make an informed decision. Just be aware that these are the non–green ingredients in terrazzo.

Is this flooring available as panels or is it poured in place?

Traditionally, terrazzo is poured and finished in place by craftspeople, which is a fairly expensive proposition. A job like this should be done by properly certified professionals. You can begin your search for them by using's™ search directory (see above).

How thick is this terrazzo and does it require that the subfloor be specially prepared?

Some types of terrazzo have to be quite thick – several inches thick in some cases. This flooring requires extra support and specially prepared subflooring, all of which adds to the cost of the project. Be sure you understand what the entire project entails before choosing any type of terrazzo.

Does this terrazzo need to be sealed?

Cement–based terrazzo often requires periodic applications of sealer. Generally, epoxy–based products do not. Note that sealers add time and expense to the maintenance requirements of the flooring. You should also note what the sealer is made of and whether or not it is itself a green product.

Should I buff this terrazzo?

Some manufacturers recommend monthly buffing of terrazzo floors. This isn't difficult but can be time consuming and should be taken into consideration as you evaluate the flooring. If you would like to find a professional to buff your terrazzo flooring, use the search directory at the top of this page.