Today I want to cover some of the types of terrazzo restoration as well as the difference in cost for the types of terrazzo floor restoration. There are many ways to service terrazzo, but few ways to truly restore terrazzo. This blog will cover stripping and finishing terrazzo as well as partial restoration up to a complete terrazzo restoration. We will also cover the differences with other diamond polishing systems and our unique process.
Many services just strip and install a sealer and finish on terrazzo. This system is much cheaper than complete terrazzo restoration and will leave most stains and problems still evident. Old Florida terrazzo was ground up to around two hundred grit. This left the floors very susceptible to stains and dirt. When dirt got into the terrazzo floors it was very hard to remove. After terrazzo is sealed and finished it is much more slippery then diamond polished terrazzo. The floors will also scratch easily and darken over time. Diamond polished floors do not darken, or amber. As stated earlier these floors cost half the price of diamond polished floors, but do not look nearly as good, are not as glossy, scratch more easily, need much more maintenance and yellow over time. Some companies try to hone the terrazzo floor first, then apply a sealer and finish.
This type of partial restoration is done to help remove problem areas and still have a shiny floor. This process does help remove some problems and cuts cost, but in the end you still have a high maintenance floor that can be easily stained and will darken over time. The scratches will be evident in a few weeks or months. Our diamond polishing terrazzo restoration method will cut deeper and polish higher than these processes ever will. The reflections will be true and will not have glare. The partial diamond grinding will be less effective than any of the complete polishing terrazzo restoration systems. These methods can cost around one-third less than full diamond polishing. This seems a high price for a floor that is still very high maintenance.
There are a lot of diamond polishing methods out there. Most of these are done with a buffer. They use a Velcro pad and diamond discs. This system is effective and used by most terrazzo restorers. This process can produce a shiny floor, but can also leave lines of aggregate loss. Lines where there is no marble left in the floor. This method is all wet normally followed by a polishing powder. These systems cost around the same as ours, but use a machine that weighs less than half what the HTC 500 weighs and spins around one hundred seventy five RPMs as opposed to the 500 that spins one thousand three hundred RPMs. I used to use the swing machine or buffer method for many years until I purchased my HTC 500 floor grinder. This machine produces the flattest floor in the industry. It also does the best job removing carpet pad glue and discoloration of any tool in the industry for terrazzo flooring.
When we purchased our grinder it forced us to get much better at edging. You see with a swing machine you remove around one-third the discoloration that you do with the HTC 500, so you do not need to do as much edging with a buffer. We got a lot better at edging with a hand tool. We also use some dry diamonds to obtain a high polished shine without polishing powders. We used to use polishing powders, but gloss meter reading showed that the shine we now get is hindered by polishing powders.
Some companies grind and then use several polishing powders. I have been told, by company reps from these companies that the best shine comes from diamond grinding and polishing. Pricing is similar to ours, but the results cannot compare.
In short there are downfalls and shortcomings with almost every method of terrazzo restoration. Our tested, unique, complete diamond polishing system is the most advanced in the world. By Joe Martin, SafeDry President