Terrazzo tiles have made a huge comeback in recent years. Both old and new buildings are choosing these attractive hard-wearing floor tiles to give character and presence to their buildings. However, now the unique designs of these handmade tiles are appearing not only on bespoke floors but also across a wide range of diverse products.
What are Terrazzo Tiles?
Terrazzo tiles made their debut in Venice in the 15th century. Chips of stone, marble, or glass are set within a binding material, usually cement. The top surface is then polished to a smooth, very durable finish. Today, the process of making terrazzo tiles remains little changed from that in use centuries ago. The distinctive individual look of terrazzo tiles is one feature that makes them so special. You can use any kind of rock, and of differing sizes, to create unique colour combinations and effects. Additionally, you can tint the cement any colour to produce an infinite gamma of colour combinations. With the huge variety in the size, colour, and shape of the flecks, there are endless design possibilities. Terrazzo offers the same durable advantages of marble or granite, at a lower cost and with greater versatility.
Floors from Terrazzo tiles were very popular from the 1930s through to the 70s. After that, their popularity declined, but they have enjoyed an impressive resurgence over the last few years. Many public buildings with high volume traffic chose them because they are so hard-wearing. Additionally, they do not show the dirt and are easy to clean. Terrazzo tiles grace the floors of famous buildings across the United States from the Guggenheim Museum in New York City to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in California. Here, in the UK, millions of tube commuters step on the underground’s terrazzo floors every day. Visitors to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park enjoy them and many other public venues, as well as, more recently, many private homes and businesses have terrazzo floors.
Terrazzo prints are everywhere
Now, however, it’s not only builders and contractors who are incorporating the charm and versatility of terrazzo tiles on their floors. They appear on tabletops, counters, and walls, and terrazzo-inspired prints abound on a multitude of different products.
You can get terrazzo prints on everything from dresses to basketballs. Fern living has a large terrazzo tote bag in three different colours and a set of three tin boxes in Rose. For the kitchen, Dassie Artisan offers a choice of terrazzo-effect plates, bowls and jugs. You can get a conical lamp in pink terrazzo or rugs in a variety of bright colour combinations for kids rooms. You can find terrazzo-print wallpaper, fabric and home décor at Spoonflower. They have many terrazzo-inspired fabrics by the yard and a huge variety of terrazzo wallpapers and fabulous terrazzo collections. At iamfy.co there are terrazzo art prints, phone cases, cushions, and wallpapers. How about a shower curtain from George? An Epsom terrazzo print rug from J.D.Williams?
More terrazzo-inspired homewares
At Trouva.com you can find terrazzo placemats, sushi sets, plant pots, trays, lamps, rugs, clocks, yoga mats, T-light holders, tape dispensers, baskets, plates and much more terrazzo-inspired products. Not on the High Street has mugs, year planners, wrapping papers, birthday cards, hip flasks, jewellery stands, travel mugs, earing and loads of other products, all sporting terrazzo designs.
It seems like terrazzo has become the hottest design on just about everything.