Terrazzo countertops: Properties, Pros, Cons & Maintenance

Terrazzo countertops: Practical to use and very stylish

Terrazzo is a 15th-century technique from Italy. Venetian workers used the leftover material from the marble quarries to pave the terraces around their houses.

Terrazzo is the Italian word for a terrace. Terrazzo is mainly used for floors, kitchen countertops, and monuments.

The terrazzo countertops in a kitchen have many different thicknesses, and As an extra decorative finish, you can trim the edge.

A fluted edge gives a unique look to your kitchen countertop. With a chiseled edge, vertical strips are ground into the edge molding with various possible edge finishes.

How is a terrazzo countertop made?

Quality Terrazzo is still craftsmanship, not something that you can produce in a factory. The production process is similar to a composite kitchen top, except that no resin is used for the bond but cement.

This is mixed with granules (split) of marble, granite, or glass, a possible coloring agent, and poured into a mold.

After curing, the kitchen worktop is then sanded, polished, and impregnated. Terrazzo countertops are typically not made on-site, so it is then assembled in your kitchen.

Properties of a terrazzo countertop

The top layer of the terrazzo countertop is impregnated with various protective coatings. The protective layer ensures that a liquid does not penetrate the product as quickly.

The chance that the surface will be affected by liquids remains, especially if the liquid has been on the kitchen worktop for a more extended period.

An untreated terrazzo countertop is heat resistant. However, avoid contact with hot objects as this can damage the protective layer of the terrazzo countertop.

Terrazzo is a hard material and, therefore, quite scratch resistant.

The terrazzo worktops are supplied thickened. The worktop looks solid but is light!

The worktop is not much heavier than a composite or granite worktop. A typical kitchen cabinet can easily bear the weight of a terrazzo kitchen worktop.

For a cheaper alternative for your kitchen countertop, We recommend a plastic countertop.

If you are looking for a more maintenance-friendly product, we recommend a ceramic countertop.

Do you want to know more material for the kitchen countertops?

How much does Terrazzo cost?

The price of Terrazzo depends on many factors, and the following aspects play an essential role in this:

  • What dimensions should be provided with Terrazzo?
  • What is the layout of the space that Terrazzo should be in?
  • Is a sanitary plinth desired, and how high?
  • Is a dark frame selected? Or one color (without framing)?
  • What color should the Terrazzo be?
  • Are marble blocks desired?
  • Is a specific pattern chosen?
  • What are the travel distance and accessibility?
  • Does the Terrazzo countertop have to be manufactured at home or in the workshop (prefab)?
  • What are the dimensions and desired thickness of the countertop?
  • Should equipment recesses be made in the worktop, and how much?
  • Are water barriers in the countertop desirable?

Delivery time terrazzo countertop

All terrazzo countertops and kitchen worktops are custom made. With Terrazzo, there is a period in which the kitchen countertop has to harden.

This is done in a particular room with an optimal climate. During the curing process, various protective layers are applied to the kitchen worktop.

With a shorter curing period, you compromise the quality of the kitchen worktop.

By default, the terrazzo kitchen countertop is made in the workshop and then transported to your home or chosen location.

Sometimes the kitchen countertop is too large and cannot be made in the factory for logistical reasons. In this case, making the kitchen worktop on-site is might be the last choice.

Advantages of terrazzo kitchen worktop

  • The great advantage of the terrazzo countertop is its unique appearance. It is not only handmade but also radiates.
  • A terrazzo countertop suits different styles of kitchens. It is often used for country kitchens, but it is also highly suitable as a contrast object for modern-style kitchens.
  • The terrazzo worktop is a hard material and is relatively scratch-resistant, so scratches will not easily form with the normal use of the top.
  • Terrazzo is a handmade product. As a result, no sheet is the same, and you can compose the product yourself.
  • Maintenance is easy, and the life of Terrazzo products is much longer than a lifetime with minimal maintenance.
  • Terrazzo is very durable due to the use of only natural materials and the long lifespan.
  • Terrazzo combines perfectly with mosaic but also with wood, glass, and metal.
  • Terrazzo worktops are suitable for every kitchen also for professional use.
  • Terrazzo countertops are heat resistant.
  • Terrazzo countertops can have the most complicated shapes.

Disadvantages of Terrazzo Countertop

  • Terrazzo is relatively porous. Now the porosity is reduced to a minimum by a special coating, but for liquids, with Terrazzo, you should not leave it on the surface for too long. If this is the case, there is a chance that it will penetrate the leaf, resulting in spots.
  • The material is not resistant to corrosive cleaning agents. So always make sure to clean the surface with soap and water.
  • Even though the material is scratch-resistant, scratches can form in the coating, so cutting boards are recommended. We also recommend using coasters for hot pans.

Frequently Asked Questions about Terrazzo

Terrazzo is in high demand, but also many questions about the product. How is Terrazzo made, and what is it all suitable for? We have listed frequently asked questions – with the answers.

Is there a difference between Granito or Terrazzo?

No, there is no difference. Both terms are used for the same material that consists of crushed natural stone: marble or limestone granules.

The granules are bound with cement, water, and possibly glass (smalti), sand, marble flour, and dyes. After pouring, the surface is rough.

That is why it is ground, sanded, and polished so that it shines as beautifully as marble or granite.

Are Granito, granite and terrazzo granules the same?

The meaning Granito is often confused with granite, and Today the word Terrazzo craftsman is chosen.

In Italy, the country of origin, they speak of terrazzieri, Also because Terrazzo granules are made of broken marble and limestone, while granite granules consist of broken natural granite.

What to do with (very) small holes in the Terrazzo?

Terrazzo is composed of cement and natural aggregates or mineral rocks. During the manufacture of ground Terrazzo, the cavities will be ground open by grinding work.

They are voids located in the natural materials and gaps between grains that are not entirely adjacent to each other.

It is also possible that small holes are created during manufacture due to escaping air. Usually, the Terrazzo craftsman will plug and re-polish these cavities.

If a cavity is as small as a pinhole (called a pinhole), it is too small to fill and, as such, is not considered a defect.

Can a crack in a Terrazzo countertop hurt?

A crack formation can be characterized as a defect when a crack “runs through,” as a result, the water-tightness in a shower room is at stake.

Superficial hairline cracks (visible as light pencil marks) have no adverse effects.

They are formed during drying. The floor or countertop is and remains waterproof.

Can each kitchen unit support the weight of a stone top?

Yes, most kitchens have a sturdy construction and provide adequate support throughout.

How thick is a Terrazzo countertop?

The thickness of a terrazzo worktop or countertop can vary from 3 cm to 10 cm thick. The terrazzo company determines the thickness in consultation with the customer. Prefab countertops are usually 4-6 cm thick.

I have a long wall and want one continuous leaf. Is that possible?

Yes. In fact, in contrast to prefabricated worktops, there are no restrictions with “in-work” worktops. There are examples of blades with a length of 7 meters. The chance of cracking is greater with a long sheet.

I want a cascade in my Terrazzo countertop. Is that possible?

Of course. A concave recess in the top, usually around the sink, is possible in the same color and structure as the Terrazzo worktop.

How should I maintain my Terrazzo?

Terrazzo is easy to keep clean with a solution of water and natural soft soap (no aggressive and corrosive cleaning agents).

People who choose a Terrazzo floor, countertop, or other application can enjoy it for a long time. Terrazzo is extremely strong, rock-hard, and durable. Correct use, cleaning, and maintenance are essential.

Stains in terrazzo countertops

If the Terrazzo work is not provided with a protective layer, the surface is porous. In any case, be careful with vinegar, lemon, and other acidic products (such as wine and soft drinks).

These agents have a corrosive effect on Terrazzo.

Teabags also secrete a dye that soaks into the leaf. It is therefore advisable to remove the contamination immediately after tampering. If there are dull or rough spots, the damage can usually be repaired.

Placing rusting objects on the Terrazzo countertop can cause staining. A cigarette butt on an untreated wet top gives brown spots that can hardly be removed.

Stains cannot be removed by light sanding. If a protective layer is applied, the sensitivity will be less, but the risk of attack remains, especially if the liquid has been on the surface for a more extended time.

Hot objects placed on the Terrazzo layer can affect the applied coating or impregnation layer and turn brown.

An applied wax layer can melt. The latter can often be solved by polishing with a polishing machine. Just like concrete, untreated Terrazzo can withstand high temperatures.

Special Recommendations: Should specific cleaning agents and methods apply to your Terrazzo, the Terrazzo company will inform you.

Cleaning terrazzo countertops

Prefabricated Terrazzo such as kitchen worktops is often treated with protective or impregnating agents. Depending on the product used, the terrazzo company will indicate which cleaning agent should be used. Regular maintenance is recommended.

Rubbing with a lint-free cloth is usually sufficient. Routine maintenance, for example, after washing the dishes, can be done with a damp cloth that has been soaked in “clean” washing-up liquid.

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