Does Terrazzo Need To Be Sealed? [Extensive Guide]

For generations, terrazzo has been a common and popular choice for flooring because of its unusual appearance. A mixture of cement or epoxy with stone chips, such as marble, granite, and quartz, is used to create this stunning flooring material.

Terrazzo’s cement component makes it stain-prone; thus, it’s common practice to seal these floors. The sealant used to seal terrazzo also serves to keep mold and mildew from growing on the surface.

New terrazzo floors can be sealed with a water-based product, but older terrazzo floors should be sealed with a more durable product.

With dull and aged terrazzo floors, you can also apply two coats of paint. Learn how to properly seal terrazzo in this article and the advantages of sealing a terrazzo floor.

Significance Of Terrazzo Floor

A specifically prepared surface must be mixed with terrazzo before it can be poured in place. Due to today’s high labor expenses, the procedure of installing terrazzo flooring may have been very inexpensive in the past, but that is no longer the case.

Terrazzo floors are seen as a significant asset by building owners and managers, and they desire to preserve and protect them. The contribution of an experienced building service contractor in this situation can be quite valuable.

Does Terrazzo Need To Be Sealed? Is It Possible?

After installing, staining, or painting your new terrazzo, you should protect them with a sealant. If the seal on your old terrazzo floor tiles has worn away and has to be replaced because of abrasion and scuffing, you can remove the old seal and install a new one.

To make terrazzo impermeable/nonporous, most current sealants use advanced technology to create micro-molecular bonds with the surface.

When looking for a sealer for the terrazzo, bear in mind the type of flooring you have. It depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want the best protection possible no matter what type of stain you’re dealing with?

Sealants that make the terrazzo floor impermeable and improve the floor’s luster are the best for terrazzo longevity. Penetrating sealers and surface sealers can also be categorized, with the former giving terrazzo protection for abrasion but requiring annual re-application of the latter.

On the other hand, Surface sealers have a purely aesthetic function and do not require reapplication on an annual basis.

Preparing The Terrazzo Floor For Sealing

Cleaning

Before applying the sealant to your terrazzo, make sure it is clean. As a result, any oil stain or grease buildup won’t compromise the sealant’s effectiveness.

The acid and crystallizing salts in most detergents and soaps can etch terrazzo, so avoid using them on it. To avoid etching, use a market-based tile cleaner, which typically has a neutral pH.

Sprinkle the neutral cleaner over the floor in a bucket with water. Then, scrub the floor with a firm bristle brush. Apply the cleaner into every nook and cranny to eliminate any lingering dirt or debris on the terrazzo.

After cleaning the floor, use clean water to rinse it and allow it to air dry. In addition, if you intend to use a power washer to remove the cleaner from your terrazzo floor.

Remove The Old Sealant

Now that the floor has been thoroughly cleaned and dried removing any old wax coats, sealer, or salt build-up from the terrazzo surface is time.

A stripper for stone tile is all that is needed for terrazzo floors. Once the stripper has stopped bubbling, scrape and rinse off the remaining residue.

After rinsing, you can remove any remaining water from the floor using a wet vacuum. To see if the previous sealant has been entirely removed, wet the terrazzo surface and examine if the water gets absorbed into the grout or the surface.

This means you’ll have to perform the stripping process again if this is the case.

Buff The Floor

Once the floor has been cleaned and dried, get a floor buffer and use it to buff the surface to its highest sheen.

Process Of Sealing Terrazzo Floors

Sealing the terrazzo floor tiles is the final step after cleaning, stripping, and buffing them. Observe the steps outlined here.

Mixing

The optimum results can only be achieved by mixing the sealant according to the manufacturer’s directions. Fill a paint tray with the mixture, then use as directed above.

Seal It

Apply a thin coat of sealant to the terrazzo tiles’ edges with a paintbrush. The rest of the tile’s surface should next be sealed with sealant applied using a paint roller.

An extension handle might make specific tasks easier for you. Also, overlapping your roller strokes is the ideal technique to guarantee that you completely cover the floor area with sealant.

Afterward, you must use a dry mop to remove any excess sealant from the surface. Apply a second coat of sealant perpendicular to the first one, then repeat the process.

Your terrazzo floor tiles’ porosity and desired shine level may need to apply up to three-four coats of sealant. If you apply a surface sealer to your terrazzo floor, allow it to dry for at least a day before refinishing. To maintain the floor looking its best, buff it regularly.

Does Terrazzo Need To Be Sealed? Why?

Durability

Due to its manufactured nature, Terrazzo flooring can tolerate high levels of foot traffic in high-traffic areas. However, it is not indestructible and has several flaws.

A sealer is placed on a terrazzo floor when it is initially installed to protect it from some types of harm. Keeps water out more than anything else.

Your terrazzo floor’s porosity will vary based on the materials you employ to construct it. Porousness is a common characteristic among all of these flooring types.

Without a water-repellent coating, they’ll deteriorate over time. In the long run, this can result in costly damage that must be repaired, so it’s preferable to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Safety

Because your business is open to the public, you should be aware of the importance of keeping it safe. In the event that any customers or staff are injured, you are accountable.

When it comes to slippery flooring, they are generally overlooked, yet falling and slipping on a hard floor can create catastrophic injury.

The floor’s friction decreases as the sealant wears away, increasing the risk of an accident. To guarantee that your terrazzo floor is safe for your customers and employees to walk on, you should seal it properly.

Easier To Clean

The sealant, not just the terrazzo, contributes to the ease of cleaning. Having a floor that isn’t properly protected against liquids and stains isn’t as effective as it should be.

This may need the replacement of large swaths of flooring or the removal and replacement of costly stains. This is more than simply a cosmetic issue.

Keeping a clean floor is difficult when liquids seep into the subfloor and can’t be cleaned thoroughly. You’ll have more confidence in the cleanliness of your office with a well-sealed floor.

Appearance

It is possible to create terrazzo floors by embedding stone fragments or another hard material into a substrate. There is a distinct difference in how the floor looks when it’s new and how it looks as the coating fades off over time.

It’s like having a brand new coat of paint applied to your floor again, making it look and feel like new again. This keeps your store looking clean, professional, and well-kept, all of which assist your business project the correct image to your clients.

How Frequently Should You Seal Terrazzo?

More than one sealer application is needed for newly installed terrazzo flooring. A decent sheen will last around 60 days before the need for further coats of paint is warranted.

The floor will need to be resealed as the terrazzo ages. How long the terrazzo will last depends on the traffic and the type of sealer utilized.

In order to give you an idea of how frequently sealers using Terrazzo products need to be applied to terrazzo floors, below is the technical representative’s advice:

The terrazzo contractor should use Sure Cure as the first protective coating right after installation. Alternatively, a finish layer can be sprayed on top of it to protect it from the elements.

Floor finishes can be put in layers if they are applied over a sealer and then burnished. A complete reseal and strip every five years or so could be reduced by this method.

The sealer layer can be more durable if the final coat is maintained correctly. The owners of Untouchable will save time and money by using Untouchable for their business’s maintenance needs.

Tips For Maintaining Terrazzo Floors

  1. Daily dust mops your floors. Your floor’s sheen will be eroded by sand and soil that has been tracked in.
  2. Before cleaning, do not let stains stay on the terrazzo for more than a few minutes. Use a wet mop and your standard neutral cleaner made for terrazzo after you dry the mop to eliminate as much moisture as possible. Mechanical procedures may be necessary if acidic liquids are left on the surface for an extended period of time.
  3. Every other day, use a wet mop to clean your terrazzo floors with a prescribed neutral cleanser. Terrazzo and stone floors should be cleaned with a terrazzo-specific cleaner. When using an unsuitable cleaner for stone/concrete, the acidic nature of the solution might cause damage to the surface. Chelating agents are common in these products, and they will dull the sheen of your shiny floor.
  4. Auto scrubbers with a white pad can be used to remove scuff marks every two to three weeks, depending on traffic circumstances. Avoid using harsh diamond pads, which can remove the sealer and damage the floor. Restorative therapy should be the only use for diamond pads. You can use a light cleanser or just plain water with a white pad.
  5. An acrylic sealer should be used in conjunction with a microfiber pad, pump sprayer, and a microfiber cloth. It’s preferable to have two thin coats than the thick one. Allow sufficient time between applications to allow each coat to dry completely. New floors will generally necessitate many coats of varnish. The sealer you choose should be suitable for terrazzo, as it should be slip-resistant. Experts recommend a minimum slip grade of 0.5.
  6. If you want to polish, seal, or make repairs to a pricey terrazzo floor, seek the advice of an expert first. If you damage an older installation’s floor, it may be extremely impossible to restore it to its original appearance.
  7. Dirty joints, especially light hue ones, are more likely to accumulate than the terrazzo since they are often the floor’s lowest point. A neutral cleaner and a grout brush can be used to clean these areas if mopping isn’t effective. If you have a truck mount or portable high-pressure extraction machine, a rotary tool can help you clean three times as fast.
  8. Start by contacting the contractor who installed your terrazzo for help with repairs. They’ll know just what to do if they’ve done this before. If you want to get something to suit cement and epoxy projects, these photographs are perfect for you to use.
  9. The rotary machine, white pad, and spray buff can all be used to spray buff a floor. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for this procedure rotary floor machine that functions at a low speed, a floor stripper, and a black pad are all you need to get the job done. Remove residues of the sealer from the surface.

Final Verdict

Hope you are satisfied with the information we have provided here. If you are confident about performing the job all by yourself, it is always better to contact a professional who can at least guide you.

The process is quite elaborated, though, following which strictly will eliminate your need for professionals. All the best.

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Shelley Stevenson

Shelly Stevenson is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at StyDomIo. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.

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