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Terrazzo look porcelain tile for as little as $6 / sq.ft.

terazio floor tileTerrazzo flooring has experienced a tremendous revival in recent years, so it’s no surprise that we’re now also seeing proxies made in other materials. This “Terazio™” floor tile — shown in reader Julie’s bathroom — is actually a glazed porcelain tile with a digitally-printed terrazzo design. It comes in two sizes and four colorways and is available at Big Box stores. Right now, I see it starting at $5.29/sq. ft. at Lowes. There seems to be a growing number of companies selling similar, faux terrazzo floor tiles today.

terazio floor tileMany thanks to Julie for sending in this tip, along with the photos (above) from her bathroom and the Emser showroom. She said:

Hi, We had to gut our bathroom and wanted to put some aspects back that gave a nod to mid century modern. We found these “Terazio™” porcelain tiles.  We thought it was unusual for a porcelain tile. The color we chose was “Gesso” in the 12×24 size.

terrazio palladio
Terazio Bianco shown on the Emser website – a classic light white terrazzo pretender.

From the Emser website:

Terazio™ is an alluring recreation of quartz-like attributes in a durable porcelain tile. High-definition inkjets create natural speckled variations on the surface in neutral earth tones. Available in various shapes and sizes, Terazio provides a smooth, luminous finish for residential and commercial floors, walls, countertops, and kitchen and bath applications.

terazio palladio
And I quite like this Terazio Palladio shown on the Emser website — very 70s, I’d say — very funky!

I will also add — googling around, I see that this concept — ceramic tile designed to look like terrazzo — is super popular among many manufacturers today. Google ‘terrazzo porcelain tile’ and lots comes up. 

You can get the look in resilient tile too, as in this Tarkett Azterra 12″ Vinyl Enhanced Tile. Note: Fritztile is now gone from the market.

Find out more about this terrazzo-look tile:

CategoriesFlooring
  1. Lynne says:

    This is all certainly good news. I’ll be checking this out, for sure. Daltile has their version, search MODERNIST on their site.

    What concerns me is the large sizes of these tiles. How would you make them look in scale and aesthetically pleasing in a small room? Plus, the larger the tile the more prone to cracking, even if you have a well prepared surface. And lets face it, who has a perfectly level floor, especially in an older home?

      1. Allison says:

        Vintage terrazzo was never in small tiles, was it? I can only recall the big squares, sometimes set with thin brass inserts.

        Seems to me the larger terrazzo tiles set with a very thin grout line would look more authentic, not less.

        1. Pam Kueber says:

          Hi Alison, I am not an expert but in my limited travels, yes, I’ve seen large expanses of floor covered with terrazzo as you describe. But if a reader wants smaller tiles — they’re now here, it seems.

          Re grout lines: This is a question to ask the manufacturer.

          Here’s a story I did in 2016 about large format terrazzo tiles: https://retrorenovation.com/2016/09/06/terrazzio-terrazzo-tile-floor-14-colors-20-sizes/

          And, I love the look of terrazzo shower bases! https://retrorenovation.com/?s=terrazzo+shower+base

        2. Felicia Alexander says:

          Hi, Allison,

          Real terrazzo was and is poured directly onto a concrete foundation; the metallic strips you recall are dividers. (See Pam’s excellent previous posts on terrazzo).

          Our ranch house (built in 1962) came with its original faux-terrazzo vinyl foyer tile, in 12″ x 12″ squares in a pattern similar to Julie’s Gesso so there’s a precedent for having faux-terrazzo tile in a midcentury modest house. (I’ve seen the same tile in the foyer of another house in our neighborhood.)

          We decided that the large-pattern terrazzo look with all that black didn’t really work in our foyer, as it clashed with other elements (such as the newly-exposed red oak living room floor and the rosette-carved front door). We replaced it with Merola Pompeii Red ceramic tile and are very happy with the results. The faux terrazzo would have worked better in a more open, truly midcentury modern-style foyer, I think.

          That said, the Terazio tile looks great in Julie’s bathroom!

        3. Jack says:

          Historically, terrazzo or a similar look wasn’t installed via tiles at all! It would have been poured in place like concrete by a master craftsperson. The metal “inserts” would be in place to help prevent cracking via expansion/contraction. This method is still available but is unbelievably expensive.

          in order to get a historically accurate look, larger format tiles would be the way to go. Procelain wouldn’t work well due to cracking in large formats.

          If trying to go somewhat accurate (even in a smaller space), shoot for a larger format tile from a company like Terrazzio which isn’t porcelain but is still easy installed by nearly any tile setter, no special craftsperson necessary.

          1. Felicia Alexander says:

            Excellent advice and historical background. I recommend that readers who are interested in the possibilities of terrazzo floor art take a look at the Big Bend and History of Aviation terrazzo floors at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport (DFW), and at the Center for the Arts at the University of New Mexico and Coronado Center mall, both in Albuquerque. https://artspace111.com/news/5-dfw-airport/ https://www.codaworx.com/project/terrazzo-center-for-the-arts-unm-state-of-new-mexico-university-of-new-mexico

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Hi Sharon, I called Emser this morning to get an answer to your question — communications via the product team explained that this is a glazed porcelain tile and that the pattern would not come off. The tile, like any tile, may chip or break, but the pattern is fired right into the surface and will not rub off. This makes sense to me — there are SO MANY floor tiles today that are “wood look” or “granite look” and now, “terrazzo look” probably all made the same way: The color / pattern is fired right onto the clay. If you read the story on ink jet printing linked at the very bottom of my story, there’s more explanation.

      All this said: It is wise to talk directly with any manufacturer to get personal answer to all your questions if you are interested in buying. Hope this helps!

  2. Shambie says:

    Wow, I grew up in a house with terrazzo floors, and was disappointed to find that my current home had concrete underneath the carpet/tile. But maybe I can still have what I want… Thank you, Pam!

    1. Felicia Alexander says:

      If there are skilled terrazzo craftspeople in your area, and if you can afford it (no small matter), you can even have the real thing, since real terrazzo is poured directly onto a concrete base.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      If you are looking for terrazzo-look (rather than real terrazzo) tiles, I’d just google those terms and see if you can find any design(s) that are high gloss and specified able to installed with minimal grout lines.

  3. John says:

    Wish these tiles were textured. From our experiences, a smooth floor tile is a recipe for a disaster with stocking feet, not to mention really difficult for an older dog. The more textured the tile is the better. We have learned over the years that practicality and ease of maintenance trumps aesthetics.

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      Indeed, slip resistance is a factor to consider when selecting flooring material. This is something professionals can advise on.

    2. J. Hoyt says:

      A while back, my wife and I visited a local Emser showroom and saw the Terazio series firsthand. Very impressive stuff…Palladio is especially sharp. All four styles are available in Polished or Matte finish.
      In reference to John’s concerns above, the Matte tile does have a considerable texture to it that I believe would greatly reduce or eliminate the possibility of a slip & fall incident.
      A caveat: I may be wrong, but the Matte appears to only be available as a “12x”24 tile, whereas the Polished is available both in that size, and in “24x”24.
      (Emser also carries a product for treating polished tile that increases its, er, “gription,” but doesn’t dull the shine to any significant degree.)

      1. Pam Kueber says:

        When it comes to issues of safety — consult with professionals to assess the situation for yourself. I will leave this comment up to raise awareness of the need to personally assess the situation.

        Also, I was also told when was doing some bathroom work that there is a product, or products, that you can put on top of floor tile to enhance its ‘grip-tion’, as J. points out. Interesting!

  4. Rae says:

    This has reminded me that we have still got a stack of original terrazzo tiles, languishing in my mum’s back yard from when my dad updated the laundry (a sad day for me as I loved the MCM look, long before the term was coined!).

    Anyway,I came across this website. I didn’t look at the prices but you can choose your own combination of colours to create tiles unique to your colour scheme! http://www.nurazzo.com/

  5. Ben says:

    When we redid our house, we discovered a product called Floorazzo. It is real terrazzo poured into 2′ x 2′ tiles and can be laid by any skilled tile installer. It was perfect, because from the day it was installed, it looked like it had been in the house all along. It has held up great for over 10 years. We chose the “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough” marble pattern…

  6. Alison French-Tubo says:

    Did I see mention of resilient flooring with the look of terrazo? Any links? I would love that because my plantar fascitis does not mix well with hard surface surface flooring.

  7. Beth says:

    John is right, broke my arm in February for this very reason. A rug(s) help a lot – be careful everyone! But these look fab.

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