Terrazzo Design Guide


Cisneros Terrazzo is a professional terrazzo contractor in the Los Angeles California area.  Please use this Terrazzo Design Guide for your benefit. Cisneros Terrazzo Inc. employs a management team and tradesmen with years of priceless experience and knowledge to meet the needs of any terrazzo installation. Our experienced and skilled craftsmen are trained in old world techniques while still having access to new world products and technology. Terrazzo offers limitless design capabilities and custom color schemes. We look forward to assisting you in finding your perfect match!

What is terrazzo?

Terrazzo was first invented in Italy in the 16th century when venetian marble workers collected marble chips from the “leftovers” of marble structures that were being built during that period.  They used these “leftovers” and recycled the material by mixing them with cement and polishing it to create a beautiful floor surface.  Today, terrazzo is made in a similar fashion, but Terrazzo workers use modern technology that allows for more color, strength, and exotic aggregate to be used.  In addition, modern terrazzo is finished with tools that increase productivity and enhance the final product.

Where is terrazzo commonly installed?

Terrazzo flooring is often found in airports, schools, medical facilities, office buildings, and upscale homes and restaurants.  It can also be used for stairs, walls, and showers.  While being one of the most beautiful, unique, and elegant floor finishes in the world, terrazzo also  provides the best total life cycle cost and ease of maintenance in the flooring industry.

Why use terrazzo?

Terrazzo provides custom colors and design, a non-porous and seamless finish, and lasts longer than any other floor product.  It can also be a low impact, green alternative to other flooring options because recycled content including glass, porcelain, and other materials can be incorporated into the mix design.

Which terrazzo works for me?

There are multiple types of terrazzo systems available. We have compiled information below as a guide for designers and architects to familiarize themselves with the differences of each system.  Prices and installation timing and techniques vary for each system.  Please contact us for further information regarding the system our team would recommend for your project.

Terrazzo Design Guide

Epoxy System This type of terrazzo is for Interior applications. It’s the lightest and most flexible of all terrazzo styles. Chemical resistant and is a thick ⅜” epoxy resin matrix on top of a concrete slab that has a flat surface is best. Chip sizes that work best are #0-1. The weight is 3-4 pounds PSF. Dividers available in Brass, Zinc, Aluminum and plastic for Epoxy terrazzo.
Monolithic Systems The most economical cement terrazzo system, designed to adhere directly to concrete without the use of an underbed.  Although economical, this system is susceptible to cracking.
Bonded System This style is Similar to monolith terrazzo, has a sand-cement underbed to provide flatness rather than the cement. Areas require a 1 ¼” up to 1 ¾” recessed expanse area to then be filled to a filling depth of ½” for the terrazzo topping. Weight specifications are 18-22 pounds, PSF.
Polyacrylate System This style is ideal for replacing carpet or vinyl, and in places with high humidity as it “breathes” better than other types of flooring. Best for an application without difficulties on depth transitions. It is applied to an existing concrete slab that must have a flat surface. It is ⅜” inch thickness adds strength to allow for thinner cement systems. Recommended Chip set size is #0, 1 and 2 with a 4 ½” lbs, PSF.
Sand Cushion Systems This style is primarily used indoor floor use as a premier based cement system and will resist mirroring to the surface and minor defects. Its application as a cement topping atop a wire reinforced underbed/screed, isolation sheet and sand layer scheme with a thickness of 2 ½” to 3” includes a ½” inch terrazzo topper.
Rustic System This style works best outdoors as it has a textured surface that is weather and skid resistant. Available uses are with Bonded, Sand Cushion, Monolithic and Structural systems. Thickness will be ½” inch to 6” inch including the ½” terrazzo topping. Dividers are used first with wood then replaced by pourable joint sealants into the joints. The weight depends on the main system selected.
Precast Systems This style works best for flat custom surface areas such as stringers, risers/stairs, benches, planters and wall panels. Prefabrication of these custom units allow for unlimited uses. Weight and thickness vary based on the custom finish, supplies used and manufacturing.

For more technical specifications you can use the terrazzo NTMA trade association or the WSTA contractor based organizations websites. You can also use our color palette for selecting your color solutions and options available to you or your clientele.

Cisneros Terrazzo creates beautiful flooring for industrial, commercial, and high-end residential areas of southern California, including Beverly Hills, Palos Verde, Manhattan Beach, Torrance, and the surrounding communities of Los Angeles County. Check out our terrazzo project images showcasing some current and past projects.

Call 562-334-2610 for logistics, phasing and pricing today!