How to Restore Terrazzo Floors Yourself

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How to Restore Terrazzo Floors Yourself

Does your terrazzo floor have unsightly cracks, sticky-dull marks, and holes? At times you may have discoloration by UV light and acid stains from food and beverage spills. Don’t despair- you can still repair and restore your terrazzo floor and bring back that shiny look that you initially fell in love with.

You can restore the terrazzo shine on your dull looking floor. Prepare the floor, sweep the debris, grid the terrazzo, patch up the cracks and holes. Inspect your floor for sticky -dull spots before sealing and refinishing/polishing it. Restoration is cheaper and easy than changing your entire floor

In this guideline, we’ll explore the benefits of terrazzo restoration, how to restore terrazzo as a DIYer, and the cost of professional terrazzo restoration services.

Can terrazzo floors be restored or repaired?

How to Restore Terrazzo Floors Yourself

Yes, if your terrazzo has lost its appealing high gloss shine due to UV lighting or long-term wear, you can restore this look by having it restored. Restoration is also the recommended option if you’ve got holes on the surface of your terrazzo. The holes may cause liquid stains to seep into your floor and discolor it.

Terrazzo floor damage also occurs during the removal of covering such as carpets or linoleum tiling. The resultant is chips, holes, and pits all over the terrazzo surface.

Depending on the damage you may hire a terrazzo repair/restoration professional. Alternatively get a terrazzo floor restoration services company, or undertake the restoration process yourself.

If you decide to undertake a DIY project, remember that terrazzo restoration only makes sense if done right. Otherwise, your terrazzo problems will continue showcasing signs of damage, and you’ll still end up having to call in the pros anyway.

Restoring your terrazzo flooring offers lots of benefits. The benefits outweigh the costs and labor that go into the restoration process.  With a proper restoration /repairs terrazzo floor, you’ll have a guarantee of the following;

  1. No mold or mildew– with the terrazzo surface properly resealed during restoration. The moisture will not be able to penetrate into the cement parts of the terrazzo encouraging the growth of such fungal organisms.
  2. Higher home resale value- terrazzo floor restoration enhances the value of the property. Many home buyers know the importance of a properly restored terrazzo floor- in terms of functionality and aesthetics.
  3. Low-maintenance- Properly restored terrazzo floor should be appropriately sealed and polished. This reduces maintenance costs since you won’t have to clean it ever so often to maintain its appearance.

How to Restore Terrazzo Floors Yourself?

To properly restore your stained, discolored, chipped, or cracked terrazzo flooring, follow the procedure outlined below;

How to Restore Terrazzo Floors Yourself

1. Prep the floor

First off, you need to prep the area by removing any coverings, as well as any adhesives used to attach the carpeting to the terrazzo surface. You should also clean the floor with a neutral tile and stone cleaner solution at this stage. This will help to dislodge any old sealant or wax coating that’s still covering the terrazzo surface.

2. Grind the terrazzo floor

Grinding, just like buffing, ensures your terrazzo floor achieves that high gloss shines that’s beautiful to look at; while also lightening any existing stains. While others prefer to skip this step, a proper mechanical diamond grind is necessary if color clarity and a high gloss finish are what you’re looking to achieve. We recommend using a 400-pound planetary grinder, as this tool will flatten your terrazzo surface while exposing any minute floor damage areas that weren’t previously visible.

Once you’ve ground the entire terrazzo floor until it’s visibly more detailed, switch to a grinder with a finer grit and repeat the process until you’ve achieved the level of detail and shine that you desire. Meanwhile, if there are still stains left on the surface after the diamond grinding process, you can try applying a poultice to see if it’ll get the stains out.

3. Patch up the cracks and holes

If you have cracks and holes on your terrazzo flooring, you’ll need to patch them up before polishing the surface. To do this, use color-tinted epoxy whose color closely matches the color of the marble chips on your terrazzo.

4. Seal the terrazzo

After grinding your terrazzo floor and patching up any holes or cracks. The next step is to seal it to ensure protection against oil-based stains, as well as moisture damage. By applying a sealer, you’ll be closing off the pores within the terrazzo. This ensuring nothing can seep into the floor and discolor it. What’s more, penetrative sealers also help bring out the color clarity in your terrazzo flooring.

5. Polish the terrazzo

The final step in terrazzo floor restoration/repair is usually to polish the surface. This can be done in three ways; either by use of polishing powder, recrystallization, or diamond-polishing. Of the three polishing methods, diamond-polishing is the most effective. It will enable you to achieve a high gloss finish without making the floor surface slippery.

If you’re- however- working on a budget, polishing powder will do just fine. Just apply some to the terrazzo floor and then buff the floor to work the powder into the surface. Repeat the process at least twice, ensuring to switch to a higher-grit polishing powder each time.

One thing you might want to take into account, however, is that terrazzo floors finished with polishing powder or via recrystallization usually require rebuffing every couple of years. This is contrary to diamond-polished terrazzo floors, which typically maintain the same premium-shine appearance for years before needing a rebuff.

Terrazzo floor restoration cost

If you’ll be contracting out your terrazzo floor repair and restoration project to the experts. Remember that costs vary depending on the size of the floor area, as well as the methods of polishing that are to be used. Typically, finishing with polishing powder or via recrystallization attracts a restoration cost anywhere between 3-5 dollars per square meter. The restoration that involves diamond polishing-meanwhile- can cost even up to 20-dollars per square meter.

References Terrazzo Preservation or restoration, conservation, and display issues?

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

1 thought on “How to Restore Terrazzo Floors Yourself”

  1. Hi m planning on re storing my Terri so floor and am wondering if I should tackle it myself. Does it have to be diamond cut or can I rent the machine that Home Depot has available to rent with there floor buffer?any suggestions thanks


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