Even though terrazzo floors are not marble, they are actually cleaned the same way. Terrazzo floors are made out of a combination of marble chips mixed with concrete. This style of floor became popular during the Venetian and Roman times as marble was often used for floors, furniture, and sculptures, and scraps would be left behind. The stone masons would transport the scrap marble away and then use it, mixed with concrete, to create a different kind of marble floor that was polished with goat's milk. Terrazzo floors, like marble, are not inexpensive and are relatively delicate and high maintenance. The following article will share with you several mistakes you can make when setting out to clean your terrazzo floors.
Treating Terrazzo Floors Like Granite
Marble and granite are often confused as they look a lot alike. This same confusion is also often applied to terrazzo floors and granite. This is a huge mistake when you want to clean terrazzo floors because, though similar or often lumped together, they are quite different. Terrazzo floors are much softer than granite, which means that they stain and wear more often and cannot be cleaned in the same way.
Many people turn to using vinegar as a cleaner because it is all-natural and non-toxic. Vinegar is great on most floors but should never be used on terrazzo floors. Vinegar is a very acidic product, which usually is what makes it a great universal cleaner, but the acid can cause dulling or etching on this kind of surface. That damage is hard to bounce back from and will normally require a buffing and refinishing of the entire floor.
Cleaning with Abrasives
In school they teach a method known as "keep it simple, student" which can easily be applied to cleaning terrazzo floors. There is a thin layer of wax on the floor which helps maintain the shine and with abrasive cleaning techniques you can remove it. Instead, the best way to clean your floor is to use a dry and soft cloth that is lint-free. Wipe away the spill as there is no need to scrub or use water or other chemicals.
Scrubbing with Hard Materials
When there is a tough stain, homeowners off using harsh scrubbing pads like steel wool or scouring pads to remove them. As we mentioned previously, terrazzo floors are delicate in nature, and they will become much worse if you use any hard or rigid scrubbing materials. You will remove the wax sealer and most likely seriously scratch the surface while trying to remove the stain. The stiffest material you should ever use on your terrazzo floors is a sponge or a cloth. A great material to use instead is a chamois (shammy towel) as it not only dries your floor quickly but polishes it at the same time.
Not Cleaning Spills Quickly
A spill can happen nearly every day and while you should not panic when it happens on your terrazzo floors, you should still clean it up as soon as possible to avoid staining or added surface wear.