How to Clean Terrazzo Floors – A Step-By-Step Guide

With a ton of flooring options in existence today – from laminate to tile and hardwood – terrazzo flooring has earned a spot among the most beautiful, inexpensive, and durable flooring options available. Terrazzo is a composite material made by embedding marble chips into a resin or concrete base to create smooth, eye-catching and luxurious flooring. This flooring or countertop material tends to capture and showcase the true exquisiteness of marble in a more affordable way. 

Generally speaking, terrazzo is comprised of one part binder (resin or concrete) to two parts marble pieces. Some people prefer spreading extra chips on top of the mixture in order to achieve an even more marbled look. Special terrazzo mixtures may also be composed of abalone shell or mother of pearl for a variety of appearances.

Whereas terrazzo flooring flaunts smooth and high-shine finish, it easily gets stains and scratches over time. That means this type of flooring needs routine deep cleaning at least twice a year, sweeping daily, and mopping weekly to maintain its polished and shiny finish.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Terrazzo Floors Properly

Step One: Remove loose debris

Like all other types of flooring, terrazzo floors can easily trap surface dust and debris which can make them look dull. Therefore, start by sweeping the floor to get rid of loose dirt, crumbs, and other free debris sitting on the surface of the floor.

It’s best to sweep your terrazzo floor at least once per day to remove household dust or dirt and prevent it from building up. If your terrazzo floors were recently installed, you’ll have to clean them more frequently than normal per day until all the construction dust has disappeared.

Step Two: Mop the floor thoroughly

If your terrazzo floor is overly dusty, a dry mop would be very useful in blasting away all of the dust. Fill one part clean hot water into the bucket and mix it with one part neutral (neither acidic nor alkaline) terrazzo cleaner. Choose a neutral cleaner specifically formulated for cleaning terrazzo floors to avoid any loss of shine or permanent damage.

Wet mop or scrub the floor thoroughly using even strokes (or a circular pattern) to prevent streaking or scratching. Allow the solution to sit on the terrazzo floor for at least 10-15 minutes in order to dissolve the dirt. Terrazzo tile is porous and hot water can easily seep into the tile for a deep clean.

Make sure the entire terrazzo surface remains wet during the allocated 10-15 minutes; otherwise the loose dirt could easily dry back onto the floor. After this time has elapsed, mop the floor well using a soft rag or mop to prevent scratching the surface, and then rinse the floor to remove any surface residue. Terrazzo floors need to be scrubbed or wet-mopped at least once each week.

Note: Wet terrazzo floor is extremely slippery. Exercise caution while working on it and notify other people when the floor is wet.

Step Three: Clean stained grout

Mix one part clean plain water with two parts baking soda to create a paste for removing stained grout. Dip an old toothbrush into the bucket of cleaning solution or paste and apply it on to the grout. Scrub the floor with the brush thoroughly using a circular motion.

For more stubborn stains, let the paste sit on the grout for a few minutes before scrubbing with toothbrush. For best results, try working in small sections as you advance further onto other sections of the floor. Keep rinsing the brush with clear water and dipping it back into the paste as you work your way across other sections of the floor.

Cleaning the edges of the terrazzo floor may prove difficult at times. However, you can dip a clean cloth into the paste and use it to wipe the edges. If you’ve got an electric floor scrubber, it would be prudent to use it rather than manually scrubbing the floor.

Step Four: Rinse the floor thoroughly

Make sure all cleaning solutions are completely mopped off the floor to avoid dirt from reabsorbing into the terrazzo floors. After mopping the entire floor, rinse it thoroughly with clean water, not forgetting to wipe up the excess baking soda paste. You might have to rinse it more than once to eliminate all the dirt.

Fill a bucket with clean hot water for rinsing the terrazzo floors. Rinsing the floor with clean hot water helps prevent a film from building up on the floor. You can as well use a squeegee or a wet vacuum to blast away the dirty water from the terrazzo floor surface.

Cleaning Products to Avoid

Using a wrong type of product to clean terrazzo flooring can easily damage it. Terrazzo floors call for cleaning products with a neutral PH to ensure their finish retain appealing look. Avoid using acidic or alkaline cleaners or products.

Never use vinegar on terrazzo flooring since it has high acidity. Vinegar can lead to etching in the terrazzo floor surface. It can also dull its finish, which could end up damaging the floor’s surface.

Also avoid all types of abrasive cleaners on your terrazzo because they can dig into the floor’s top wax layer, causing it to look lackluster. Other cleaning products to avoid include all-purpose cleaners, oils, and bleach. Make sure to use the right products so that your terrazzo tile floors can uphold their beauty for many years to come.

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