Material of the Month; Terazzo

It's been around for thousands of years, and it was super popular in and around the 70's. As things tend to do, it has made a massive comeback and we're not sorry about it.

Terazzo is a composite material made from small or large pieces of quartz, marble, glass and sometimes even metal. These pieces are combined with binders so it can be poured on site or precast into prefab products like floor / wall tiles, bench tops or even wall slabs. It is then sanded back to an obsessively smooth substrate which is complete with either a naturally matt or polished gloss finish.

 Refined texture and tone in this terazzo bench top and return.

Refined texture and tone in this terazzo bench top and return.

 Terazzo inspired bench top, splashback and integrated sink

Terazzo inspired bench top, splashback and integrated sink

 Natural green tones make for a calming bathroom vibe with the terazzo wall feature

Natural green tones make for a calming bathroom vibe with the terazzo wall feature

 Terazzo staircase featured at  CAFE PARADISO

Terazzo staircase featured at CAFE PARADISO

 Residential terazzo flooring, Frederic Kielemoes

Residential terazzo flooring, Frederic Kielemoes

We have seen terazzo traditionally used in commercial spaces as a cost effective solution to gain large scale impact. Today however, the product is not only being specified successfully in residential applications, but has inspired makers and shakers in the design world to create whole ranges of other interior products inspired by the perfectly imperfect surface design. Products including wall paper, small furniture pieces and home decor ranges are readily available in a 'terazzo look' finish everywhere we turn.

 Terrazzo Banjo pots, $115. Picture: Capra Designs

Terrazzo Banjo pots, $115. Picture: Capra Designs

 Knob inspired by the terazzo finish

Knob inspired by the terazzo finish

 Light pendants with fittings inspired by terazzo

Light pendants with fittings inspired by terazzo

 Urban Outfitters simple and stylish terazzo inspired side table

Urban Outfitters simple and stylish terazzo inspired side table

It is typically referenced in urban / industrial / modern spaces but the organic shapes and colours that rest within the composite are so varied, which makes it such an adaptable material regardless of the style you are trying to achieve. There are very subtle and refined terazzo options as well as bold and heroic and everything in between.

 Oversized pieces and muted colours in the flooring make a subtle impact.

Oversized pieces and muted colours in the flooring make a subtle impact.

The variety of colours also lend to an eternity of complimentary colour schemes. The durability of the material also invites you to apply it to high traffic areas without the stress and upkeep.

The terazzo we refer to today is the output of a modern approach to a material that has been around for a long time. We can now think outside of the box and dictate scale, colour, and applications to create the terazzo of our dreams. Perhaps this may inspire your upcoming project. 

All images are credited to their owners via a direct URL link.