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Restoring Terrazzo Floors

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Talking to Sue in Florida, who listens on WCCF. What can we do for you?

    SUE: Well, I have a house with terrazzo floors. And it’s a very, very old house and the floors have been scrubbed and mopped and cleaned and I suspect even muriatic acid put on them.

    LESLIE: Ooh.

    TOM: Ooh.

    SUE: And I wondered if there’s any way that I can bring them back to life, short of hiring a professional.

    TOM: Hmm.

    LESLIE: Terrazzo flooring is tricky. Almost anyplace you do any research about prepping or repairing or doing any work to terrazzo flooring starts with “This should only be done by a pro.”

    TOM: That’s right. Because what has to happen, in order to bring back the luster of that original surface, is you have to grind it. And grinding a terrazzo floor is not something that you could do yourself, Sue. You definitely need a pro with the right equipment to grind down that worn surface; to strip out the years and years and years of cleaning chemicals and waxes and everything else that’s on top of that. It’s not a matter of cleaning; it’s a matter of abrading the surface. Think of it …

    LESLIE: To get to a fresh surface.

    TOM: Right. Think of it the way you might think of sanding hardwood floors. You can’t just – no matter what you put on top of them, it’s not going to make them any shinier. You have to sand off the old finish. And in essence, that’s what you’re doing with terrazzo. You have to grind it down so you get down to some of the original materials and then sort of repolish it; bring it back up again. The good news is that the floors are incredibly durable and absolutely gorgeous. So when you do get ready to do it, it’s definitely going to be worth the investment and what it takes to get it done.

    SUE: And when you say “investment,” I take it that means it’s pretty expensive.

    TOM: Well, you’re going to have to hire a pro. How big of the area of your home do you have terrazzo in, Sue?

    SUE: Oh, probably 900 square feet.

    TOM: Oh, well this is going to be a project you’re going to do once, do right and you’re going to be just absolutely psyched at how good it’s going to look. But hire a pro for this because it’s not a do-it-yourself job.

    Sue, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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