Terrazzo tiles have a long and storied history. The genesis of Terrazzo tiles—which translates to terrace from Italian—goes all the way back to the 15th century when they were invented in Venice.
Initially created out of stone offcuts and clay, Terrazzo tiles became enormously popular across the globe and the material of choice for leaders, kings and queens.
From antique facedes in Venice to the Vanderbilt residence on Fifth Avenue in New York, many of these installations stand intact centuries later.
Terrazzo is the perfect tile for durability, is low maintenance and stand tall as the best option for tiling today with a range of modern twists available for a unique finish – no matter the project.
The history of Terrazzo
As a way to make supplies last longer, marble offcuts were placed in clay and ground flat.
Goats milk was then used to bring out the finish in the tiles, a method that endured for some 500 years.
The process resulted in a high-quality tile that was both strong and attractive.
Word of the Terrazzo tile filtered overseas and the product became popular in the United States of America in the 18th century, even being used for the floors of the home of then-President George Washington.
Terrazzo was even used to create the iconic Californian attraction the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1924, the process was refined when electric industrial grinders were introduced which vastly improved the material.
Then, in the 1970s the epoxy-based Terrazzo was introduced which allows for a greater range of colours and other materials, like glass, metal and even seashells.
Terrazzo tiling will last for centuries and still come up perfect with a polish. Some of the older surfaces look better today than when they were first installed.The gold standard today, made with a cement base and purely natural materials, can be sourced from Signorino.
Major projects testament to the durability of Terrazzo
Over 40 million people walk through the Sydney Airport terminal every year. Almost 37 million travellers fly in and out of Melbourne Airport annually as well. Only gold-standard Terrazzo can withstand this kind of foot traffic, which is why both airports are supplied with the quality product available at Signorino.
Terrazzo tiles have also been used in numerous rail stations and shopping complexes, with recent projects including Westfield Miranda, Stockland Townsville, and on the other side of the globe, the new Elizabeth Line in the London Metro.
Signorino has used Terrazzo tiling in numerous major projects including Politix stores across the country, Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre, Geelong Grammar School and the University of Melbourne – as well as several major residential, commercial and hospitality projects.
Melbourne International Airport was one of the larger-scale projects recently completed by Signorino. The Terrazzo’s strength, impact resistance, propensity to wear, and slip grading underwent stringent evaluation to meet technical standards.
This means the tiles not only look great, but they are easy to maintain and provide additional safety in high-traffic environments.
How you can use Terrazzo tiling in your home
Terrazzo tiling comes in both neutral and coloured tones, and is also available in slabs which means it is a product that can be used for kitchen tops, bathroom counters and walls as well as floors.
Whilst cement flooring is gaining popularity in newer, open-plan homes, Terrazzo offers a timeless alternative aesthetic with it’s range of colours and designs.
This also means you can add bold colours to typically neutral spaces, like the bathroom. Terrazzo can be used for vibrant wall designs and countertops that can house your sink – all with the signature durability you can rely on.
The options are only limited by your imagination, with Terrazzo tiling able to be used for staircases, wet bars, custom cabinets and a whole range of other household purposes.
Visit Signorino at 484 Church St, Richmond or call us on (03) 9427 9100 to learn more about how Terrazzo tiling can change your home or business.