How Much Does Terrazzo Flooring Cost?
$5,000 - $18,000
$5,000 - $18,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated October 16, 2020Written by HomeAdvisor.
Installing terrazzo floors can total between $5,000 and $18,000, or an average of $7,000 for a 200-square-foot surface. Total project costs depend on several factors, including:
Surface square footage
complexity of your chosen design
Typical floors range from $25 to $90 per square foot, though using pre-made tiles can keep the price on the lower end.
Terrazzo was a popular choice for commercial flooring in the mid-20th century and is making a comeback because of its durability and unique look.
It consists of aggregate embedded in a concrete or epoxy base. Aggregate commonly consists of chips of stone, like marble or granite, or glass. It's then smoothed and polished. While the end results are attractive and long-lasting, installation can be time-consuming and is typically a job for experienced professionals.
Adding terrazzo floors to your home costs between $25 and $90 per square foot. Variance in price is due to the range of possible materials, installation technique and the complexity of the pattern.
|Average Cost||$35 per square foot|
|High Cost||$90 per square foot|
|Low Cost||$25 per square foot|
Prices vary widely for aggregate. Common options include marble and glass. While glass is generally less expensive than marble, your contractor will guide you toward options within your budget.
Other aggregate materials include:
Epoxy resin ($) is cheaper and easier to work with than cement. It is combined with the aggregate and spread into a 1/4- to 3/8-inch layer over the sub-floor. This takes less time and preparation and is more durable for interior uses.
Epoxy can peel and fade when exposed to the elements, making it a poor choice for outside surfaces.
Cement ($$) is more expensive but still the best binder for exterior applications.
For another, less expensive outdoor patio option, look into the cost of polished concrete floors.
If you're trying to match an exact shade or your chosen pattern includes several colors, it may increase the price. White and black options are popular because they look attractive with stone, granite or marble chips.
Intricate patterns may be more expensive than if you use one look throughout your floor. Thin metal strips, called divider strips, separate each new color section. You'll pay more in labor to have these sections prepared.
The texture you choose is unlikely to impact cost. Polished floors create a smooth interior surface. In some exterior applications, a textured surface can improve traction and may be desirable.
Top brands with a good reputation, including Fritztile and Floorazzo, may be more expensive than those from other manufacturers. Speak with a contractor for guidance to choose the brand of flooring that’s right for your home.
You could pay anywhere between $5 and $20 per square foot in labor for a poured floor compared to less than $10 per square foot for tile.
Poured floors have more involved preparation. Installers first shape and install divider strips that separate sections. Then, they tint and pour the epoxy base. In contrast, laying tiles looks more like installing a ceramic or porcelain tile floor.
Tiles cost between $15 and $70 per square foot, not including labor. Including installation, terrazzo tiles will average between $25 and $80 per square foot.
You'll give up some of the flexibility to create your own pattern, as tiles are available in limited colors and designs. Common sizes include 2 by 2 and 4 by 4 foot tiles.
For poured floors, you'll pay between $25 and $70 per square foot for materials depending on the choices you make about aggregate and pattern. That adds up to a total project cost of about $30 to $90 per square foot. Pouring the floor may allow the use of higher-end materials that aren't available in pre-made tiles, so this can also raise the cost.
Pouring the floor happens in one of three different ways.
Thinset. Uses epoxy resin mixed with the aggregate. Single, thin layer between 1/4 and 3/8 inch. Less likely to crack. Suitable only for interior installations.
Sand-Cushion. Uses a poured slab of cement for a base, with a mid-layer of sandy cement to allow expansion and contraction. Minimal cracking. Often used for exterior applications.
Monolithic. Aggregate mixture added to existing concrete subfloor. Some cracking likely.
Labor prices range between $5 and $20 per square foot for a poured floor and less than $10 per square foot for a tiled floor. To calculate an average cost of terrazzo floor installation, you'll need to consider several factors, including:
Site Preparation. If the subfloor is in good condition, you may not need much preparation.
Size. Smaller projects cost more per square foot.
Special Patterns or Designs. Intricate designs require more sections and mixing of colored epoxy and aggregate.
|Factor||Cost Per Square Foot||Total|
|Tiles||$15 - $70||$1,500 - $7,000|
|Poured||$25 - $70||$2,500 - $7,000|
|Installation Labor||$5 - $20 ($40 per hour)||$500 - $2,000|
|Total Cost:||$25 - $90||$2,500 - $9,000|
Terrazzo is a type of surface with a distinct look that incorporates pieces of aggregate in a cement or epoxy base. The aggregate can be virtually any material, but glass and stone are most common and durable.
Italy is often considered the birthplace of terrazzo. The word means "terrace," from the original outdoor patios that mosaic makers created, but the process may have originated in ancient Egypt.
Once installed and finished, it makes a smooth and long-lasting floor that's easy to clean and requires little maintenance. It's particularly popular for commercial flooring. It’s great for residential use as well due to its ability to be customized and its unique look.
Very durable and long lasting
Easy to customize
Each surface is unique due to materials used and design
Easy to clean
Cracks if not installed correctly
Most types need to be polished to maintain a smooth surface
Hard and cold surface that isn't suitable for many residential rooms
Complex designs can overwhelm a residential room
Terrazzo has become especially popular for kitchen and bath countertops because of its durability. You'll typically pay between $40 and $75 per square foot for materials.Installation costs add another $6 per square foot to the total.
Most countertops are not poured in place. Slabs are sold in 16-foot sections that are 1.5 inches thick. Cutting sections to fit an existing space or creating a curved outer edge can be more expensive as this work is more labor intensive.
Easy to clean
Thinset installation weighs less
More labor-intensive than the price of installing traditional countertops.
Complex patterns are overpowering
Some cabinets can't support the weight
If you purchase a pre-made base, plan to spend between $450 and $1,100 depending on the size you need. This can add another 20 to 30 percent to the cost of installing a shower. Pre-made options are available in common shower stall sizes.
A poured floor for the shower will cost roughly the same as any other poured terrazzo floor, between $40 and $90 per square foot. Used the poured material for a larger, walk-in shower.
Simple cleaning and resealing may cost as little as $1 to $5 per square foot. A more complicated cleaning with grit that can remove stains will cost $5 to $8 per square foot. Some experts suggest that recrystallizing or using a diamond polish is the best way to treat an older floor. That can cost around $8 per square foot.
Even skilled DIYers should avoid installing terrazzo on their own. It's easy for a confident homeowner to assume that pouring a floor is just like working with concrete. It takes a lot of skill to pour these floors or even to manage the large tiles. It's best to leave the installation to the professionals.
Plus, because this type of installation is usually the domain of professional contractors, it is more difficult to order materials. You can't just walk into your local home improvement store and purchase terrazzo tiles. Your contractor will be able to get the best variety and price by ordering direct from the manufacturer.
Which flooring you choose for your kitchen or bath depends on your design preference. Terrazzo can last a long time, but so can a properly installed ceramic tile floor. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says that the lifespan of a ceramic tile floor is 75 to 100 years, similar to terrazzo.
However, ceramic or porcelain tile costs less to install or repair. Just like you would make a decision about whether porcelain or ceramic tile is right for you, you'll need to determine if terrazzo is a better fit for your sense of style.
Treat terrazzo floors much like you would marble, even if there is no marble in the aggregate. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can scratch the polished surface. Also, do not use acidic cleaners like vinegar that can damage the surface. Use plain water or a neutral cleaner to mop the floor. Then use a wet vac or squeegee to remove the dirty water. Regular buffing with a soft cloth can help maintain the shine.
To create terrazzo floors, mix an aggregate like glass or stone with a binder like cement or epoxy. The mix is made and poured into the prepared space you designate. Tiles consist of similar materials. They’re poured into a mold and cured before installation.
Thinset refers to a method of installation using an epoxy resin base. The resulting mix is light in weight and thin, ranging between 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick. It's easier to mix and spread than concrete. The cost depends on the material used as an aggregate and can run between $40 and $90 per square foot.
Underfloor heating is an excellent addition to a terrazzo floor to combat its naturally cold state. The cost of installing radiant heating can range from $1,756 to $5,782. Install the heating elements under the thinset epoxy because the layer is thin enough for the warmth to conduct through the floor. If there is a failure in your heating element, however, repairs are difficult to perform without re-doing a significant portion of the floor.
You'll pay between $10 and $40 per square foot for repairs or more if you need to match expensive or rare aggregate. This is more expensive than repairing other types of flooring.
Repair costs depend on the extent of the damage and whether it’s separated into tiles, small poured sections or a full slab. Matching the original color and design of aggregate can also be challenging and may increase the cost.
Terrazzo is a tricky DIY project. The exact mix takes a blend of art and skill to create and requires the expertise of a professional. The wrong mix could crack, peel or break. Finishing and polishing the floor also requires previous experience to achieve a professional appearance.