How to Refinish Terrazzo Floors

Terrazzo is a durable, low-maintenance flooring material that can last decades with proper care and cleaning. Refinishing terrazzo floors is an easy way to give them new life without replacing the entire floor. Refinishing terrazzo floors involves several steps, such as prepping, grinding, honing, polishing, and sealing the floor. The benefits of refinishing terrazzo floors include a like-new look, improved durability, stain resistance, and increased life span.

How to Refinish Terrazzo Floors

The advantage of refinishing terrazzo floors is that it can create an incredibly durable and long-lasting finish. Terrazzo is a type of stone flooring composed of small chips or pieces of marble, quartzite, glass, and other materials set into a cement-like base. Refinishing terrazzo involves grinding away the existing surface layer to reveal the original stone underneath. In this blog post, You will learn how to refinish terrazzo floors.

Importance How to Refinish Terrazzo Floors

  • Cleaning the floor: Clean the terrazzo surface thoroughly before starting any refinishing process. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dirt, then scrub using a mild detergent with a nylon brush or sponge and rinse it well with water.
  • Repair of cracks, chips, and stains: If there are any cracks, chips, or stains on the terrazzo floor, they need to be repaired and filled before you can refinish them. Use a patching compound designed for terrazzo floors to fill in any imperfections and smooth them out.
  • Sanding: This is a critical step in refinishing terrazzo floors as it helps remove layers of build-up, dirt, and stains that have accumulated over time. Use an orbital sander to sand the floor, moving in even strokes.
  • Sealing: After you have finished sanding the terrazzo floor, it’s important to seal it with a sealant designed specifically for terrazzo floors. This helps protect the surface from future wear and tear.
  • Polishing: Once you have sealed the terrazzo floor, it’s time to polish it. You can use a polisher or buffer machine to cover all areas evenly.
  • Re-grouting: This is another important step in refinishing terrazzo floors. You must re-grout any cracks or seams in the terrazzo surface to ensure a continuous seal and prevent water damage over time. Use a grouting compound designed for terrazzo surfaces, applying it evenly before rinsing with clean water.

Refinishing terrazzo floors isn’t an easy task, but if done correctly, it can make a huge difference in the appearance of your flooring. Following these steps will help you achieve a beautiful finish that lasts for years.

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Refinish Terrazzo Floors

Step 1: Inspect the Terrazzo Floors

Before beginning any refinishing procedures, it is essential to inspect terrazzo floors for existing damage and dirt. Carefully look for cracks, chips, and other signs of wear. If any repairs are needed, they should be made before refinishing.

Step 2: Remove Furniture and Objects from the Area

Once you have inspected the floors, you will need to remove all furniture and objects from the area that you will be refinishing. Next, you must prepare the terrazzo floors by cleaning them with a vacuum cleaner or mild detergent. Be sure not to use harsh chemicals on terrazzo floors as they could damage the surface.

 Use Harsh Chemicals on Terrazzo Floors

Step 3: Fill in Any Cracks or Chips

Using a special terrazzo filler, you will need to fill in any cracks or chips that may be present on the floors. Allow the filler to dry completely before continuing with the refinishing process. Start sanding the floors with 80-grit sandpaper, then switch to 120-grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth finish.

Step 4: Vacuum the Dust Away

Once you have finished sanding the floors, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any dust or debris that may be left behind. After vacuuming the floors, you will need to apply a primer or sealant. Depending on the type of materials used in your terrazzo flooring, this may be necessary for proper adhesion and protection.

Step 5: Apply Dye or Stains

For colored terrazzo floors, you can use dyes or stains to alter their appearance. Be sure to use a terrazzo-compatible product. Once the staining or dyeing is complete, apply filler and wax. This step helps create a protective seal over the floors that prevents dirt from seeping into the pores of the terrazzo surface.

Step 6: Add Finishing Touches

Finally, you can add any desired finishing touches, such as a glossy polish or buffing. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying any products needed for your project.

A Glossy Polish or Buffing

By following these steps for refinishing terrazzo floors, you will restore your floor to its original beauty and shine. A professional refinishing service is always recommended if you need clarification on any of the steps or processes involved in the project. This ensures that the job is done correctly and that your terrazzo floors will last many years.

Precautions for How to Refinish Terrazzo Floors

  1. Wear safety goggles, a respirator, and protective clothing when sanding or performing other activities that could create dust.
  2. Make sure to ventilate the space you are working in so that any dust created by sanding can escape.
  3. Ensure that all cracks and holes in the floor have been filled with a concrete patch before refinishing.
  4. Keep children and pets away from the area while you are working to ensure their safety.
  5. Avoid breathing in any dust created by sanding, as it can harm your health.
  6. Have a fire extinguisher or bucket of water on hand in case of an accident or if sparks occur during refinishing.

Following these precautions will help ensure that your experience refinishing terrazzo floors is safe and successful. With the right tools and preparation, refinishing your terrazzo floor can be enjoyable and give you a beautiful result.

Is There a Cost Associated With Refinishing My Terrazzo Floors? 

When it comes to the cost associated with refinishing your terrazzo floors, several factors need to be taken into consideration. The first is the size of the area and what needs to be done in terms of restoring or replacing any damaged areas. Depending on how large the area is and how much work needs to be done, you could end up paying anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

Replacing Any Damaged Areas

Additionally, if you want to add color or seal the floor with a protective layer, this can also impact the cost. Finally, depending on who you hire to do the job, labor costs can vary significantly. To get an accurate estimate for your terrazzo refinishing project, it’s important to contact a flooring professional for an in-person assessment. This way, they can consider your project’s specific needs and provide you with a more precise cost estimate.

How Long Will the Project Take to Complete? 

It is difficult to provide an exact timeline for refinishing terrazzo floors since the process involves several steps and can take anywhere from one day up to a few weeks. The project’s duration depends on factors such as the size of the area being worked on, the complexity of the job, and how many layers need to be applied. For instance, if multiple layers of sealer or wax are applied, it could take longer than a single-layer job.

Additionally, if the prepping and cleaning the terrazzo floor require extra time due to its condition, that will also add to the total timeline for refinishing. Generally speaking, a professional can complete a full terrazzo restoration project in just one to two days; however, depending on the aforementioned factors, the length of time may vary.

 Cleaning the Terrazzo Floor

To ensure that the project is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible, it is important to hire a professional with experience in refinishing terrazzo floors. An experienced contractor can assess the job and provide an accurate completion timeline.

Are There Any Safety and Health Concerns I Should Be Aware of When Refinishing Your Terrazzo Floors? 

When refinishing terrazzo floors, taking safety and health precautions for yourself and anyone else in the room is important. Exposure to dust containing silica can lead to serious illnesses like Silicosis, so you must wear protective gear, such as a respirator mask and eye protection, when working on your terrazzo floor. Also, make sure that you are using the appropriate chemicals following product instructions. This will help ensure your safety and health during the refinishing process.

Furthermore, contact a professional for advice if you have any additional questions or concerns about safety and health when refinishing terrazzo floors. Lastly, it is important to inform all family members or residents of the home before refinishing terrazzo floors, as the fumes and odors from the chemicals used in refinishing may be harmful. It is also important to ensure that all pets are kept away from the work area during and after refinishing.

Is There a Specific Method for Cleaning the Terrazzo Floor Before Refinishing? 

Yes. An important part of the refinishing process is to clean the terrazzo floor thoroughly. This should be done before any work being done on the floor itself, as dirt and debris can interfere with the finishing process.

Using a Combination of Vacuum Cleaners

The best way to clean a terrazzo floor is by using a combination of vacuum cleaners, pressure washers, and buffing machines. The first step is to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove any surface dirt or debris, and then a pressure washer should be used for deeper cleaning.

Finally, buffing with an orbital machine can help bring out the terrazzo floor’s shine. Once the floor has been adequately cleaned, it is time to refinish. It is important to note that professional terrazzo refinishers may have different procedures, so it is best to consult with a professional before attempting any kind of DIY work on the floor. Attempting to refinish a terrazzo floor without proper knowledge can lead to permanent damage and costly repairs.

Are There Any Other Methods of Maintaining Your Terrazzo Floor That You Should Be Aware of? 

Maintaining your Terrazzo floor is essential for keeping its appearance and longevity. In addition to regular mopping, other methods can be used, such as scrubbing with a specialized terrazzo cleaner or polishing the surface with a high-speed buffer. It is important to use the correct cleaning products on terrazzo floors to avoid staining or dulling the surface.

Other methods for maintaining your Terrazzo floor include sealing and waxing the surface, which will help to protect it from dirt and wear. Sealing should be done every two years to ensure the protective layer remains in good condition.

Maintaining Your Terrazzo Floor

Additionally, you may choose to buff or polish your Terrazzo floor periodically to keep it looking shiny and new. Finally, if your Terrazzo floor has been damaged or shows signs of wear, it may be necessary to refinish the entire surface. Refinishing a Terrazzo floor can include grinding, polishing, and buffing to restore its original luster.


In conclusion, refinishing terrazzo floors is a big but rewarding project. It requires some time and effort to remove the old finish, repair any damaged areas and apply a new sealant layer. Although it may seem daunting at first, with the right tools, guidance, and patience, you can successfully refinish your Terrazzo flooring and enjoy its beauty for years.

Before beginning this project, it is important to research and ensure you have all the necessary supplies and safety precautions in place. Once you’ve completed the project, clean up any messes and properly dispose of any hazardous materials. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to refinish terrazzo floors. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

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Jennifer Branett

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