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History of Terrazzo

Originating in Europe around the 15th century, terrazzo was once used exclusively in churches, libraries, government and commercial buildings. Terrazzo essentially means terrace, and Venetian construction workers used misshapen, broken remnants of marble to create floors. Since these chips were set in clay, the texture was naturally rough, so the men rubbed the surface with hand stones until a smoother, flat area was revealed. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the terrazzo concept came to America, thanks to George Washington and the construction of his beautiful Mount Vernon residence. Because of the abundance of marble in the United States, craftsmen flocked here and devised several innovative methods of installation, polishing and sealing with the availability of materials. However, it wasn’t until 1924 that electric grinding equipment was invented, achieving the finest of finishes. In the time since, new discoveries of viable construction substances, methods of pigmentation and cementing, and the creation of chemical cleaning agents have catapulted the terrazzo industry into the 21st century. Today, terrazzo remains a contemporary, beautiful and Eco-friendly composite material for floors, walls or counter-tops in commercial and residential buildings of any architectural style and outdoor spaces.
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