We were called in by the homeowner in Cheadle, Staffordshire as she was looking for a professional terrazzo restoration company to restore the terrazzo tile floor in the kitchen. They were unsure if the floor could be restored, however we assured them that it was a beautiful floor that, once restored, would give them years of service.
The tiles themselves were made with sea shells as the decoration, rather than marble or granite chips.
The floor was between 40 and 50 years old and was showing its age as the surface had worn over time. There was also quite a lot of lippage up to 3mm throughout the floor. Lippage is a term for uneven tiles.
When there is lippage that is over 1/2 millimetre then we need to grind the floor to remove the lippage and make the floor smooth.
As a general rule of thumb we estimate that we will need to grind twice the amount of stone to achieve a smooth finish. The diagram below shows how a tile that is 3mm higher at one end can be 3mm lower at the other end assuming the rest of the floor is flat. Also a tile may be higher in a different direction to the adjoining tile.
So while 3mm seems a small amount of lippage, it can be significantly more over the whole floor. In this case, we estimated that it would take one day to remove up to 6mm and get the floor smooth. So on the first day we used sintered diamond tooling to cut the floor and grind it smooth.
On the second day we replaced the metal bond diamonds with resin diamonds to hone the floor to an 800 grit finish.
This gives the floor a lovely hardwearing sheen and is also easy to maintain.
To help protect the floor against spots and spills we applied two coats of colour enhancing impregnating sealer.
As the floor is in a kitchen will have a lot of traffic from people and pets, we recommended to the homeowner that the floor be re sealed on a yearly or two yearly basis to maintain the protection.
We also advised the homeowner to use microfiber cleaning pads and specific stone floor cleaner to keep the floor clean. It is important not to use a general floor cleaners as they contain chemicals that can harm the stone and weaken the sealer.