I’m ordering materials for a bathroom update and, while I’m cheaping out on some parts, terrazzo flooring is a non-negotiable. Terrazzo, a traditional Italian flooring originally created to utilize remnant marble and glass chips, consists of a concrete base mixed with various aggregates all polished down to reveal cut sections of stone, glass, and more. It gained popularity in the US in the mid 20th century as a durable flooring option for commercial spaces (lobbies! airports! department stores!) and was used in some forward-thinking modern homes as well. It is making a comeback today, this time with notably louder and larger patterns. I’m guessing most of you though, like me, are after that classic mid century terrazzo look featuring smaller rock aggregate and earthy colors. Mid century terrazzo floors were most often poured and polished in place, but if you are working on a raised foundation and want a cheaper, DIY-friendly install, terrazzo tiles can make those terrazzo dreams come true!
Here is a quick reference list of the terrazzo tile sources I’ve found within the US…
Cle Tile – A very classic 60’s looking terrazzo, with small round aggregate and neutral colors. If price doesn’t matter and an authentic mid century feel 100% does, this would be my choice. These ship from Southern CA:
Concrete Collaborative – One of the OG companies of today’s terrazzo revival, selling both tile and slab, with showrooms in several cities across the US.
Eso Surfaces – Beautiful terrazzo tiles and slabs featuring bold colors and chunky patterns. Endless options in rainbow colors, including yellow and aqua! They do custom orders (and sell breeze blocks too). Located in Southern CA.
Tile Bar / Ivy Hill – A few online sites, including Tile Bar, Home Depot, and Wayfair, sell this tile under several names. Small chip aggregate in jagged shapes. Some great options at a great price, with low flat rate shipping:
Riad Tile – Three great tile options, including a black with white chip. Showrooms in TX.
Wausau Tile – The best price I have found, with an especially amazing sale section if you only need a small quantity! Located in WI.
Costco via Korel Tile – Random, but Costco sells tile online and they have a few random terrazzo options for a great price featuring stone, glass, mirror, and even shell aggregate. These are very polished, with a glossier finish than the others on this list:
I’ve found tile prices range from around $7-$15/sq ft, cheaper if you can find seconds or remnant sales.
Shipping can be as expensive as your tile order so factor that in. While some suppliers offer low flat rate shipping (Home Depot is free if you ship to your local store), others charge actual freight. To give you an idea, a quote from Wausau to ship 150 sq. ft. of tiles from WI to CA was around $400.
Beware of printed terrazzo patterns on porcelain, often called “terrazzo look” tile. True terrazzo will be concrete.
Terrazzo may need to be sealed depending on use so pay attention to the manufacturers instruction.
Terrazzo can be used on shower walls, but it is generally too slippery for shower floors as is. However, tiles can be cut down into smaller pieces, grooved, or given an anti-slip coating to meet correct COF for shower floors. Notice the difference in sheen of the tiles below:Wishing all of us well on our terrazzo journeys!