Terrazo was initially used mainly in commercial buildings and became more common in homes, especially as flooring. The colors and flecks are adjustable, providing a wide range of design choices. Terrazzo flooring consists of marble, granite, quartz, glass, shell pieces, or other necessary materials. It uses either a matrix of cement or of epoxy as the binder. It is defined as a composite material, poured in place or prefabricated for prefabricated terrazzo used for floors, foundation, walls, treads of stairs, countertops and other custom items. Terrazzo’s history is fascinating, with origins all over the world. 500 years ago, in Italy, where marble was the principal material of choice. The Venetian employees would use scrap marble pieces that they rescued from their expensive projects, putting them next to each other for their own residence and terraces in a clay mortar foundation.
The terrazzo flooring that we are using today has its origins in Italy, where workers placed marble fragments in cement for a cheaper flooring material. Although it made its debut in the late 1890s in the United States it wasn’t really successful until the 1920s. Early versions cracked easily, but it grew in popularity after the development of divider strips and the electric grinding machine, especially in the Art Deco and Modern style era. The divider strips permitted curved designs which were emblematic of this period of design. Although credit is usually given to the Italians, as it is widely accepted that the Venetians invented terrazzo, archeologists have found evidence of such floors in Turkey’s ruins dating back 10,000 years ago.