Terrazzo Floor Care

A terrazzo floor.
  • 6-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 80-100
What You'll Need
Electric polishing machine
Electric scrubbing machine
Neutral liquid cleaner

Traditional terrazzo is made of cement and marble with extra marble chips on the surface. The cement portion is porous and quickly absorbs stains. A more modern form, made with synthetic resins such as urethane or epoxy as the "binder" in place of cement, do not stain as readily. A penetrating sealer should be applied to new terrazzo floors to seal the pores in the cement. Resealing may be needed occasionally. Here's how to care for terrazzo floors.

Cleaning Chemicals

Clean as often as needed to keep grime and sand off the floors. Soil acts as an abrasive and damages the floor.

Use only neutral liquid cleaners (meaning those which are neither acid nor alkaline). For best results, use a commercial cleaner made especially for terrazzo. All-purpose household cleaners, soaps, detergents, and wax removers usually contain one or more alkalis, and so should not be used on terrazzo. For general cleaning, use one cup of neutral cleaner with three gallons of water or follow manufacturers directions.

Mop and Buff

Wet a mop with the solution. Allow the solution to remain on the floor for several minutes. Then mop up the dirt-filled solution. Change the water you are rinsing with often. This helps to remove all soil and also does away with unsightly mop lines. Keep the floor wet at all times during the cleaning operation. Otherwise, dissolved soil dries back onto the floor. When the floor is dry, buff it with an electric polishing machine, if you have one. Buffing helps restore the natural sheen on the floor.

Stronger Solutions

To remove stubborn soil, periodically use an electric scrubbing machine with a stronger solution of the neutral cleaner. Daily sweeping or dusting will mean easier weekly care and more attractive floors. Do not use an oiled mop or oily sweeping compound. Oils in any form can penetrate the surface and permanently discolor terrazzo floors.

Wipe up spilled materials quickly so staining has no chance to occur.