From the Stone Age to the Digital Age

Terrazzo: Then and Now

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An Ancient Tradition

An Ancient Tradition For more than 10,000 years, humankind has been collecting and crushing stones and minerals of many colors and mixing them with pigments and clay to create dazzling surfaces.

Terrazzo and the Renaissance

Terrazzo and the Renaissance In the 15th century, Venetian artisans collected the discarded chips of marble from more opulent installations to create an attractive and affordable flooring alternative.

Public Buildings

Public Buildings From these humble beginnings grew a precision craft that soon became a mainstay of churches, universities and government buildings across the continent.

The New World

The New World Although it first appeared in the new world hundreds of years ago (Mount Vernon, George Washington’s Virginia retreat boasts the famous floors)...

Gaining Momentum

Gaining Momentum Workers no longer had to use the gallera to abrade surfaces, new color options became readily available and the style rapidly gained popularity.

Terrazzo Today

Terrazzo Today For Sensitive locations like medical and technical clean rooms. With low VOC epoxy, and high-tech content like glow-in-the dark chips and fiber optic lighting

Around the Globe

Around the Globe In Western Asia, floors made of burnt lime and clay, embedded with crushed limestone, colored and polished smooth, date back as far as 9,000 BC--predating ceramic vessels by a thousand years.

Early Craftsmen

Early Craftsmen By pressing the marble chips into clay, and polishing the hardened surface with stones, a beautiful, durable new style emerged.

Early Materials

Early Materials Named “terrazzo” because of its frequent early use on outdoor patios or terraces, the new style originally received its signature high gloss by being sealed with goats’ milk.

The Jazz Age

The Jazz Age ...terrazzo experienced its true American rebirth in the 1920s with the advent of industrial electric grinders and chemical sealants.

Technological Advancement

Technological Advancement Today, highly-trained practitioners of the trade can install anything created on a computer.

Continuing the Tradition

Continuing the Tradition But the tradition of beautiful, high-quality, long-lasting terrazzo flooring and surfaces persists, providing a low-maintenance options for commercial and residential building throughout the world.

References

  1. “Cement Masons and Terrazzo Workers”. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012–13 Edition. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. 29 March 2012.
  2. Gourdin, W. H.; Kingery, W. D. “The Beginnings of Pyrotechnology: Neolithic and Egyptian Lime Plaster”. Journal of Field Archaeology 2 (1–2): 133–150. doi:10.1179/009346975791491277.
  3. Affonso, Maria Thais Crepaldi; Pernicka, Ernst (2001). “Neolithic Lime Plasters and Pozzolanic Reactions: Are They Occasional Occurrences?”. In Boehmer, Rainer Michael; Maran, Joseph. Lux orientis: Archäologie Zwischen Asien und Europa. Festschrift für Harald Hauptmann zum 65. Geburtstag. Internationale Archäologie: Studia honoraria Volume 12. Rahden/Westfallen, Germany: Verlag Marie Leidorf. pp. 9–13. ISBN 9783896463920. OCLC 646779465.