Terrazzo floors are a beautiful addition to any home but they require regular cleaning and refinishing to maintain their shiny, glossy finish. Because their surface is easily scratched or marred, it may also be necessary to repair them using a terrazzo repair kit. In between refinishing, reapply good-quality floor wax occasionally to protect the floor and give it a gloss finish.
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Things you need
- Terrazzo floor cleaner
- 2 cotton stringed mops
- Floor stripper
- Terrazzo repair kit
- Electric floor buffer with lambswool buffing pad
- Lambswool paint roller
- Floor wax
Clean the floor well. Use a cleaner that is specifically formulated for terrazzo floors and is pH balanced. Mix the cleaner with water, following the manufacturer's instructions. Mop the floor with the mop dripping wet. Let the cleaning solution sit on the floor for several minutes to loosen the dirt. Mop up with clean water and a clean mop; change the mop water when it gets dirty. Keep the floor wet until you remove the dirty cleaning solution, or the terrazzo will draw the dirt and grime back into the floor's surface.
Use a commercial floor stripper to remove old wax or other protective finishes. Work on a small area at a time and apply the stripper to the floor. Let it sit on the floor for a few minutes to dissolve the finish. Mop up with a damp mop and clean water, changing the water frequently.
Fix any cracks or divots using a terrazzo repair kit. Follow the instructions on the repair kit. Kits are available with polymer resin to repair cracks and divots. The resin is injected into the floor with a syringe-like tool. For more extensive damage, kits are available to fill in areas missing the marble chips. Purchase a kit that most closely matches the colour of your terrazzo floor. For more extensive repairs, you'll need an industrial terrazzo floor grinder to smooth over the rough edges of the repaired portion.
Polish with an electric floor buffer. Use a lambswool pad and run the buffer over the floor. To avoid a patchy finish, keep the buffer moving at all times. This also helps to avoid damaging the terrazzo.
Apply a clear polyurethane finish to protect the floor from absorbing dirt and stains. Apply with a lambswool paint roller by rolling the polyurethane on the floor. To avoid streaking the finish, do not reroll the polyurethane over areas you have already coated.
Apply two or three coats of a high-quality floor wax, following the manufacturer's instructions. Let the wax dry thoroughly between coats.
Buff again with the electric buffer, if you want a high-gloss finish.
Tips and warnings
- Purchase supplies for repairing and refinishing terrazzo floors at home improvement centres.
- Sweep or vacuum terrazzo floors regularly to keep them shiny and stain-free. Dirt and grit mar their finish like sand paper.
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