London terrazzo specialist, Diespeker & Co is working with a new terrazzo process that offers clients the ‘best of both worlds’.
The simple, yet effective process combines the very best elements of resin and cement terrazzo resulting in a seamless floor with a natural effect and exceptional qualities.
The base of the floor is created in resin using the specified chippings; however, the mix is deliberately more liquid than with a standard resin floor leaving the chippings more exposed. The liquid is then left to dry for twenty-four hours. Next, a layer of cement is poured on top of the resin base to create the seamless surface.
There is a practical consideration for an allowance of between one and two weeks for the mix to settle and dry prior to grinding and polishing. Drying time will depend on the humidity of the area where the floor has been laid. However, as long as this is built into the installation timescale, the results will outweigh the additional wait time. Once dry, the surface is ground to bring out the shapes of the chippings. Finally, it is polished to create the stunning shiny effect of cement terrazzo and enhances the natural colours. A sealer can also be put over the surface to aid waterproofing and avoid staining.
The resulting floor is a perfect choice for those wanting a very organic effect with a natural touch rather than the manmade effect of resin.
As well as providing the visual beauty of a polished cement finish, this process means that there is no requirement for movement joints in the cement, greatly minimising the chance of crazing or cracking. This is unlike a straightforward cement terrazzo floor where the movement joints must not exceed 1 sqm, resulting in a tile effect rather than seamless floor that to some degree risks losing the most appealing qualities of a terrazzo floor. Instead, the elasticity of the resin creates a perfect base for structural movements. And where a cement-only floor is usually 2.5cm in depth, the resin/cement flooring is just 1.5cm, providing a low profile solution.
Diespeker MD John Krause says that the new process is perfect for clients who prefer the look of cement terrazzo over a resin terrazzo finish but also like the idea of a seamless surface without the risk of cracks. “This cement resin combi is a major breakthrough and means we can provide the best of both worlds to our clients; an aesthetically spectacular cement finish with the practical qualities of a resin floor.
“And as with all our bespoke terrazzo options, clients can specify the chippings or other aggregate in the mix – for example our new glass pebble collection is the ideal choice for a contemporary look.”
As with any seamless floor, the finished surface without joints has the benefit of being easier to keep clean, plus the visual quality of adding a sense of openness to a room.