Standard and bespoke
Terrazzo originates from Italy where, around 500 years ago, quarry workers used stone offcuts for flooring in their own homes. At first, the finish was rough-set and uneven but as methods progressed, the flexibility and benefits of terrazzo were recognised. With refined polishing techniques, opportunities for bespoke colouring and flexibility in thickness, it fast became a valued material.
Diespeker has been working with terrazzo since the company was founded in 1881. The material became very popular in the UK in the mass of post-war building projects as a cost effective alternative to popular stones marble and granite. In recent years, the natural stone has enjoyed something of a revival, due to its resilience, easy maintenance and design qualities, as well as the need to refurbish old terrazzo flooring.
Terrazzo is either created in bulk from a standard range, or bespoke-made using traditional methods. Diespeker imports standard terrazzo from Italy, where our specialist suppliers have the mechanised capability to produce thick sheets of the material and then compress them. This mechanisation process adds strength in the concrete to enable sheets to be sliced thinly and cut into tiles. Any detail such as grooves and insets are introduced to the terrazzo at our factory in the UK using state-of-the-art Italian cutting machinery.
Hand casting process
Traditional hand casting skills remain the best way to achieve bespoke terrazzo design. Diespeker’s craftsman Andy Brady says the process has not changed since he first started in the trade twenty years’ ago. The production of hand cast terrazzo is labour intensive, requiring close attention throughout the process. Intense polishing at the end of the process allows the material to come into its own.
The real attraction of hand cast terrazzo is the way it can be used to create truly unique designs. Any number of colour combinations is possible, and special additions to the mix will give an exclusive product. One ecological park requested Diespeker to incorporate washers, screws and toothbrushes, resulting in a floor that encapsulated recycling. An emerging trend within the luxury market that we are currently exploring is the addition of semi-precious stones to the mix.
Longevity and sustainability
As a flooring option, terrazzo is extremely hardwearing. Andy has seen terrazzo lift lobbies constructed on 1960s council estates that are still going strong, showing little sign of wear despite continuous heavy footfall. In general, maintenance is minimal, with cleaning and polishing giving rise to the same finish the terrazzo had at installation.
The ability to match terrazzo means that floors can be refurbished rather than replaced, making it a sustainable option. Diespeker recently replaced worn tiles and undertook repairs on the terrazzo concourse at Charing Cross Station, a far more sustainable solution than replacing the large area.
Terrazzo is the perfect solution for a wide variety of flooring requirements, and Diespeker’s experience will ensure a superb surface for any flooring project.
Traditionally, terrazzo is composed of marble chippings and cement, ground to a fine finish. It is extremely durable and presents an ideal option for heavy use.
The material is available from a wide range of standard colours or we can create a unique composition to your specification using traditional hand casting methods.
Diespeker terrazzo can be bespoke made to virtually any specification.
Best for: internal and external flooring, cladding, kitchen and vanity tops and bespoke uses.
Please note we have more samples in our showroom for you to choose from.