Design for Urban Living

Terrazzo


Posted on December 29th, by David Bjorngaard in Elements, Knowledge, The Moment. No Comments

One of the materials which I have embraced this year is terrazzo. Part of the reason is that terrazzo reminds me of Italy, where it was invented in the 16th Century; terrazzo is widely used in Italy in homes, lobbies and restaurants. Part of my interests is due to terrazzo’s sustainability, being made from remnants of marble, quartz and glass. I also like the Art Deco and 1950’s vibe, as can be seen here San Francisco in many residential developments; just take a drive through the outer neighborhoods and look at the beautiful terrazzo entry stairs, still colorful and intact.

Terrazzo is used in combination with Jean Prouvé chairs and contemporary furniture in this chateau. #bjornstudio

Terrazzo is used in combination with Jean Prouvé chairs and contemporary furniture in this chateau.

Large chunks of marble create a counterpoint to the contemporary furniture.

Large chunks of marble create a counterpoint to the contemporary furniture.

What is terrazzo? Terrazzo is a composite material originally made of cement and marble remnants from quarries. Today, resin is also used now as a binder, while quartz, glass and metal are being used in addition to marble. Terrazzo is either poured on-site, or can be purchased in tile or slab form for easier (and often less expensive) installation.

bureau-de-change-fold-housebathroom-using-marmoreal-tile-by-max-lamb

Why choose terrazzo? In addition to the charmed history and sustainability, terrazzo is extremely durable, and is available in nearly unlimited colors, in a range of materials. Terrazzo, which retains warmth, is also a great choice when using radiant heating.

terrazzo-tile-black-by-max-lambterrazzo-tile-white-by-max-lamb

Where can you use terrazzo? I’m currently working on a project creating terrazzo stair treads and poured landing. But why stop there?  Once sealed to provide water resistance, terrazzo can be used on any interior floor or wall surface, including kitchens and bathrooms.

terrazzo-stairsbathroom-designed-by-david-flack

Terrazzo is often used in minimalist interiors.

Terrazzo is often used in minimalist interiors, here as a neutral backdrop.

What are the latest innovations? Resin is now being used to make terrazzo, providing a smoother finish which is also more resistant to scratching and cracking. Designers are now making furniture, lighting and accessories out of terrazzo.

Coffee table made of terrazzo and brass edging. #bjornstudio

Coffee table made of terrazzo and brass edging.

Table by Max Lamb. #bjornstudio

Table by Max Lamb.

 What about maintenance? Terrazzo is easily cleaned with a mop or nylon brush and hot sudsy water…that’s all. Over time, poured concrete is susceptible to cracking, and requires that the floor be re-ground and polished by a professional.

kitchen-and-dining-area-designed-by-david-flack

Terrazzo is great in a kitchen as it is durable and easy to maintain.   

David Bjørngaard, December 2016

photos courtesy of the www





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