If your kitchen has a terrazzo countertop, new or inherited from the previous homeowners, you’ll need to know how to keep it looking at its best. Looked after properly, a countertop like this will give you many years of ‘terrazzo happiness’.
But terrazzo is a volatile surface (according to Diespeker MD John Krause, it can be ‘very moody’). So you need to know that terrazzo needs lots of TLC to stay looking as good as the day it was installed.
These are some key tips on how to keep your countertop maintained.
Apply a sealant
To help waterproof your terrazzo, repel stains and keep the surface clean, it’s a good idea to apply a sealant to your countertop. There are many good options available – one we recommend is made by Lantania which doesn’t change the appearance of the terrazzo bit. You will need to reapply this from time to time to maintain the waterproofing.
Keep it clean
It’s important to clean your countertop every day to remove dirt and spills so they don’t become difficult to remove. A good detergent to use is FILA multi-purpose spray, as it is a neutral product that doesn’t contain spirit or ammonia. It also doesn’t need to be rinsed and doesn’t smear.
Whichever cleaning product you use, we always recommend using neutral products – Fairy Liquid with warm water is not a bad alternative. Never use bleach on your countertop as this could stain.
Terrazzo is not stain-proof – it’s porous and will absorb acidic liquids in particular, even with a sealant applied you have to be careful. So it’s best to avoid using certain liquids on your countertop, or at least put a board down in the area you’re using them on. As a guide, some of the worst liquids for stains are:
- Ketchup and brown sauce
- Chilli sauce
- Red wine
Blood is another staining liquid, so if you accidentally cut yourself with a knife then try not to drip on your countertop!
Removing stubborn stains
Sometimes stains take a bit more effort to remove. Even so, it is usually possible to remove a stain and Diespeker will advise you on various methods to try if your own attempts prove unsuccessful. If you still don’t make any headway, we can provide expert help through a paid service where we will do out utmost to remove the stain for you. This isn’t guaranteed to work, so the best advice is to avoid staining liquids from the start.
Use a chopping board
Terrazzo is a scratchable material. If you cut directly on to the surface the chances are the terrazzo will scratch. Always, always use a chopping board or similar surface when cutting. Should your terrazzo get scratches it is possible to remove them by regrinding and repolishing the surface. This will involve a repair cost.
Chips and cracks
If heavy objects such as pots, pans, serving dishes and utensils are dropped on terrazzo, there is a chance that it will chip or crack – like most kitchen surfaces. Such accidents can happen in which case you either live with the result or you look into repairing the damage. This is not always possible, it will depend on the terrazzo itself, and the extent of the damage.
With Diespeker-installed terrazzo we will see what can be done to help clients. But generally speaking repairs will incur a charge.
However careful you are, a terrazzo countertop is unlikely to stay pristine forever, especially if yours is a busy, sociable household with children, extended family, visitors, plenty of cooking and lots of entertaining.
Most types of countertop – from the cheapest to the most expensive – show some sort of wear and tear; wood will often have ring marks, marble can stain, laminate will show burn marks. You may simply feel that marks and flaws on a terrazzo countertop just add character, showing that your kitchen is lived-in and loved.
Why not bookmark our terrazzo maintenance video for the future!
Photographer for Photo #1 – Nina Assam
Photographer for Photo #2 – Marcus Peel
Photographer for Photo #3 – Diespeker
Photographer for Photo #4 – Diespeker rendering
Photographer for Photo #5 – Toby Mitchell