Originating in Italy over 500 years ago, terrazzo has seen something of a revival in the last decade. Traditionally, the material consists of small marble chippings set in concrete, which is then polished to create a smooth surface. And probably best associated with London Underground’s train flooring. Yet this sustainable material is versatile, easy to match, robust and practical making it a suitable choice for both interior and exterior settings.
Typically found on traditional floors throughout Venice, the speckled pattern tile with its rustic appearance is quickly replacing the marbled trend of yesterday. According to interior designer, Katharine Paravicini, “terrazzo is a great alternative to marble or stone flooring if you are looking for a bit more interest and colour, but don’t want busy looking patterned tiles. It comes in a huge array of colours and can bring real interest to a space. I use terrazzo for flooring in a hallway, kitchen or bathroom (although as it’s a polished material it can be slippery).”
Terrazzo retains warmth effectively, so it’s ideal for underfloor heating. In addition, it can be poured into any moulds, so it’s now being used to create furniture and homeware too – and it looks so stylish. More environmentally friendly, cheaper, stronger and with a huge colour selection, it’s a great choice of material that looks both contemporary and chic.
According to Sarah Watson, founder of tile emporium, Balineum, “terrazzo tiles is an affordable way to add visual interest and depth to a room, much more than solid colour tiles and more forgiving of daily wear and tear, “which makes it a practical material for family homes.
“Terrazzo can be placed anywhere – floors, walls, outdoors, countertops,” says Watson. “It’s often found in a tile format but can also be made in a slab – so you can work with it like you work with any other piece of stone. The Italians will use it in every room of the house but us Brits are more likely to use it in bathrooms and kitchens. I love it as a kitchen floor; and personally, when my clients’ checkerboard it.”
The size and shape of the tiles can vary from square to rectangle and hexagon spanning many colour ways, but the shade of terrazzo stone will be unique, this is an inherent characteristic that adds to the material’s appeal. It’s important to note that a professional builder or tiler installs the tiles to ensure the proper foundations are laid depending on whether you’re using the tiles internally or externally in your home.
From floors and kitchen surfaces to tables and lampshades, it’s no wonder it’s one of the biggest interior design trends of this year. Here are the terrazzo tiles and homeware we’re currently lusting after…
Shop our terazzo picks below...
Shop our favourite terazzo tiles below...
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