A common floor covering often found in medical facilities, schools, airports, convention centers, and other busy, heavily trafficked facilities is terrazzo. Terrazzo floors are made up of chips of marble, quartz, granite, and glass that are bound together with cement.

The big plus about terrazzo floors is that they are tough. They are almost impenetrable to moisture and are extremely durable. If properly installed on a solid, level foundation, they can last for years.

Another benefit of terrazzo flooring is that it is relatively easy to clean and maintain. However, facility managers and cleaning professionals should not confuse ease of maintenance with no maintenance. As with any floor covering, terrazzo does need to be cleaned, sealed, and cared for. With proper cleaning and maintenance procedures in place, a terrazzo floor will not only prove durable, but can also provide years of satisfaction.

Many times, cleaning professionals are asked to restore an older terrazzo floor.  While it can be cared for in many of the same ways other hard surface floors are maintained, it does need some special attention.  Because of this, here are five tips to help restore an older terrazzo floor:

  1. The first step is to remove any floor finish or sealant that has been applied to the floor. This will also help remove any blemishes, soils, or heel marks.  Because terrazzo floors are often large-area floor coverings, it is recommended to select a powerful stripper that can remove several coats of floor finish or sealant.  This will make the job both easier and faster. Also, a green-certified floor stripper is highly recommended.  A green-certified stripper will produce less odor, will be less toxic, and will have a significantly reduced impact on the indoor environment.
  2. Once the floor is stripped, rinse it thoroughly. This may have to be repeated two or more times. Now inspect the floor closely before applying a finish. Make sure all the finish has been removed and all areas of the floor – including edges and corners – have been thoroughly stripped and rinsed.
  3. Inspect the floor from a distance. This is a step that cleaning professionals often overlook. When viewed from a distance, the terrazzo should now have a flat, even appearance.  If there are any variations, it could mean that some of the old finish remains on the floor.  This will cause the floor to have a blotchy appearance once finish is applied. Re-strip and rinse clean these areas.
  4. A hard-surface densifier/sealant designed to penetrate the terrazzo should now be applied. This is a one-time application that will provide stain resistance and protect the terrazzo floor from moisture build-up and soils walked onto the floor.  It is also the foundation needed to help produce a higher-gloss shine on the floor.
  5. At this point, the terrazzo should not need a floor finish applied. Using a high-speed floor machine can help maintain the floor and bring out the luster of the sealant.

For more information on terrazzo floor care or the care of any other type of hard surface floor covering, contact an expert at Charlotte Products by calling toll free, 877-745-2880 or by emailing experts@charlotteproducts.com