Terrazzo is a flooring material that consists of aggregates, or “chips”, of broken pieces of marble, granite, quartz, glass, or other similar materials, which are combined with a binder and poured on site. Once set, the poured area is polished and sealed to create the final product. Most binder agents used have a cementitious base, a polymer base, or a combination of both. Pigment can also be added to the mix to create different colors, and metal dividers can be used to separate terrazzo colors and create a unique pattern. The metal divider strips also prevent the surface from cracking with expansion and contraction.
While terrazzo applications can be traced back to ancient Egypt, the more common and modern uses of terrazzo stem from 18th century Venice, Italy, where broken pieces of marble would be mixed with cement and used as pavement throughout the city. While traditionally used as flooring, modern terrazzo applications include countertops and other solid surfaces, as well as pre-cast tiles or panels that can be used on stairs and walls.