Terrazzo was created in Europe several hundred years ago by the Venetians who experimented with reusing marble chips by setting
them in concrete. Further experiments with polishing resulted in a smooth surface for walking. After marble was brought to the U.S., marble dust was added to make different colors. Wood strips were used to separate sections when casting, these wood strips were then replaced with another material.
Terrazzo is a composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of marble, quartz,granite, glass, or other suitable chips, sprinkled or unsprinkled, and poured with a binder that is cementitious, chemical, or a combination of both. Terrazzo is cured and then ground and polished to a smooth surface or otherwise finished to produce a uniformly textured surface.
Terrazzo has been described as a decorative form of concrete. Random sized marble chips are mixed in a binder, troweled, ground and polished. Good terrazzo has a smooth surface that is a mixture of 70% or more coarse marble aggregate and 30% or less Portland cement matrix. Terrazzo combines the durability of marble with the strength and economy of concrete.
Ease of maintenance - is one of the principal reasons why terrazzo is found in so many buildings where traffic is heavy.
Terrazzo is conventionally used in commercial and institutional facilities that require a decorative flooring system with a design life of 40 to 50 years, such as airport terminals, shopping malls, schools, universities, churches, correctional facilities, corridors, convention centers or pharmaceutical manufacturing.