Mike and Lindsey restore and refinish their terrazzo flooring — with gorgeous results!

“I am sure we are biased,
but it is the best looking terrazzo we have ever seen” — Mike

floor refinishersHOGT-graphicFrom the day they closed on their ‘House of Good Taste‘, Mike and Lindsey dreamed of restoring the home’s original terrazzo flooring. For a job of this magnitude, the couple called in the professionals — and now after much hard work — they have brought their terrazzo back to gorgeous life.

paint-on-terrazzo-floorBefore being carpeted — a job that left the floor covered with divots from tack strips and carpet glue — the terrazzo also had been used as a paint ‘drop cloth’, making it desperately in need of refinishing and repair.

Mike writes:

Demo: Check!
Electrical: Check!
Walls and ceilings: Check!
Secondary floors: Check!

Now onto what we have been waiting months for: To bring the original terrazzo floors back to life.

Carpet glue on terrazzo floor.

This is something we have anxiously waited for since the day we bought the house and rushed straight over pull the carpet back. We did a lot of research, reading, and talking about how to tackle the job. Initially we could not find a company that specialized in terrazzo that we felt comfortable with and was reasonably priced. At one point we had decided to just do a hard core DIY clean job and then later look at getting them professionally refinished.

But once we dealt with Greg at Pro Surface Solutions on the polished concrete we got a better understanding of what it takes to do these jobs right and felt we could trust them with the terrazzo as well. We also liked that one company would be handling the floors in the entire house. We knew the terrazzo was structurally sound, but it was just so yellowed and covered in carpet glue that we were not completely sold that it could ever look like new again.

The process to bring them back to life that Greg laid out for us is as below. We are going with a final finish more on the matte side instead of high gloss. We will bring both the concrete and terrazzo to about a 800 grit and see how that looks.

Sanding the terrazzo floors


NOTE: There were a number of steps in the entire process, Mike told me. Readers, get with your own professionals to determine your course of action.

Precautionary Pam reminds: Remember, readers, that vintage nastiness may be found in the layers of old houses. Be sure to consult with a properly licensed professional to determine what you are working with so that you can make informed decisions about how to handle any potential environmental and safety issues. More info and links on our Be Safe / Renovate Safe page.

Diamond grinding terrazzo floor.

Our fears of being able to bring the terrazzo back to life were put to rest after just the first couple of diamond grind passes, they looked absolutely amazing. The bright white base with the different shades of green are just stunning, I am sure we are biased, but it is the best looking terrazzo we have ever seen. Going to see the progress on them each day is about the closest thing an adult can get to being a kid on Christmas day.

Carpet tack divots.

Handling the nail holes in the terrazzo floor

We do also have the issue of the divots left behind by the carpet tacks around the entire perimeter. We were given two choices in dealing with those. 1) They could fill them in with a white epoxy that matches (as best they can) the base color of the terrazzo and then they would paint on speckles to mimic the aggregate. This would not cost anything extra and would just be part of the overall refinishing job, but it won’t look perfect. 2) We could have a outside company make us an exact match to our terrazzo and then fill in those divots with new material. This option was presented to us as between $500-$1,000 to just get the match done and then extra for the install.

Carpet tack divots patched using stock white filler.

We went with the 1st option, and no, it is not perfect, but we are ok with it, and in the grand scheme of things you really don’t notice at all.

Terrazzo flooring with sealer applied.

The only disappointment in the whole process was that as soon as they were finished they had to be completely covered for the next stages of construction. We literally won’t see them again until the very end, when everything else is done. Just like with the polished concrete, they will come back and do a final polish pass right before we move in.

Refinished terrazzo floor prior to final polish.
Refinished terrazzo floor prior to final polish.

In some ways it feels like things are flying by so fast, and in other ways it feels like we are moving at a snail’s pace. We are roughly half way done in terms of time line and are already about 4 weeks behind. Looks like we will have to ask the buyers of our current house to push back the closing date by a month.

Refinished terrazzo next to polished concrete flooring.

Next up is the build out by the carpenters…. and oh boy do we have a few things planned 🙂

WOW — those refinished terrazzo floors are spectacular. Mike and Lindsey, we are so glad that the refinishing process was so successful, as we know you will enjoy these floors for many, many years to come. The newly refinished terrazzo looks great with the polished concrete. We can hardly wait to see how the whole house comes together. Mega thanks for sharing this whole process so far with all of us retrophiles.

Read all of Mike and Lindsey’s stories about their Edward Durell Stone House of Good Taste

  1. Stephanie says:

    Looks great! Could you tell me what type of paint you used to faux paint the specks after repair? I have a discoloration that I would like to touch up on my own Terrazzo. Thanks

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