Terrazzo Countertop Maintenance Guide
Terrazzo is a composite material poured in place or pre-cast, which is used for floors and or counters. It consists of marble, quartz, granite, glass or other suitable aggregates, mixed and poured with an Epoxy binder. Terrazzo is cured, ground and polished to a smooth surface or otherwise finished to produce a uniformly textured surface
A Terrazzo surface has a minimum 70% Aggregate density surface exposure. The marble aggregates have a low porosity of absorption and glass aggregate has no porosity of absorption; the Epoxy binder has 30% or less surface exposure. Since the matrix in these systems becomes a non-porous surface, no penetrating-type sealer is used or needed on the terrazzo. Use only surface sealers to maintain the surface sheen.
Epoxy or Polyester systems are often referred to as a resinous thin-set system, there are also cement based systems of terrazzo. Although each system has the role of anchoring the aggregate into the topping, the treatment of each does vary. Terrazzo does have an ease of maintenance, but this does not mean that no care is required. Once you understand the care requirements of Terrazzo, you avoid possible problems, and recognize the economy of care and the aesthetic values of this product.
Any compound that contains abrasives can damage the finish of the terrazzo.
It is recommended that you Do Not Use the terrazzo surface as a cutting board; it can scratch the surface and or dull the knives.
Do not set hot pots or hot objects directly on the terrazzo surface, even a lit cigarette can discolor or damage the surface.
Harsh cleaners and sealers can damage Terrazzo; thus, use only materials that are neutral with a PH Factor between 7 and 10 when cleaning your terrazzo. Avoid all-purpose cleaners or soaps containing water soluble, inorganic, or crystallizing salts, harmful alkali or acids.
Some common household chemicals that can damage the surface:
Abrasive cleaners (like Comet & Spic and Span)
Rust / Paint removers
Fingernail polish remover
Oven / metal / toilet / tile / drain cleaners
Strong Acidic solutions
The frequently asked question, “How often must we clean the terrazzo surface?” is answered by the amount of traffic that moves across the terrazzo. At a minimum, daily dusting should be done. Daily dusting removes both dust and the grit. The grit acts as an abrasive on your hard surface and can cause small scratches on the surface. A damp cloth or paper towel is usually sufficient and normal kitchen counter cleaners are suitable for terrazzo surface maintenance.
Cleaners: Mild soap and water (Dawn Dishwashing liquid)
Granite / marble wipes (HEB)
Spills should be cleaned up immediately in order to prevent stains caused by repeated or long-term exposure. Even standing water can dissolve some sealers.
Most owners want to see a high sheen on their terrazzo. A water-based sealer in the acrylic family especially designed for Terrazzo works well. Also, a good Marble polish helps maintain a surface shine.
Wax/polish: Goddard’s Marble or Granite polish (found at HEB)
Sealer: Any high quality granite sealer
We sell no product and use generic terms in our suggestions. These finishes can usually be buffed to a high sheen if desired.