If your home was built between 1920 and 1950 there is a good chance that you may have a terrazzo treasure underneath that carpet or tile in the foyer or basement.
Terrazzo floors are intricate colored concrete, usually Limestone based, with broken marble or “other” chips integrated into the floor’s design. Often multi-colored, these floors were colorful architectural decoration in their heyday. Today terrazzo has all but disappeared in residential homes, relegated to use in new schools or large commercial buildings where its concrete like durability accompanied with its flexibility make it an architectural favorite. Terrazzo’s use in the residential market is substantially more expensive than a marble or granite tile floor.
The ability to restore terrazzo and marble floors is a fairly new development. In fact, prior to the late 1970’s, restoration or maintenance services were not readily available. As such, as foot traffic dulled the original finish, floors were covered by carpet or vinyl tile. Today, techniques exist to remove dull areas, restore the original gloss finish, and repair cracks and chips. In effect, the reason many of these surfaces were originally covered no longer present a problem. It is less expensive to remove the carpet or tile and restore the floor than to re-tile.
A restored terrazzo floor adds substantial value and historic charm. So if you are living in a 1920 to 1950 historical home, you may have a terrazzo floor hidden away that you did not know about. Take a peak under that carpet or tile!