Terrazzo

For architects and builders seeking products that will minimize environmental impact, thin-set epoxy terrazzo has proven to be a dream material. Terrazzo products, such as General Polymers Thin-set Epoxy Terrazzo Floors from Sherwin-Williams , offer a host of eco-friendly benefits and can help buildings achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status.


For starters, epoxy terrazzo is a recycled material. It often contains recycled glass or leftover granite and marble chips from stone-processing plants. The thin-set epoxy contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), eliminating off-gassing in its manufacture and installation, as well as during the life of the floor. Because it’s non-porous and seamless, epoxy terrazzo flooring does not allow moisture or radon to penetrate it, thus promoting healthier indoor air quality. Furthermore, terrazzo is often locally sourced; most of it is manufactured in the United States, whereas much of the marble and ceramic tile used in this country is made abroad and then imported, according to the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association. For U.S. designers and architects, this gives terrazzo a smaller “carbon footprint” than comparative materials.

The material’s longevity also contributes to its green properties. Epoxy terrazzo can easily last the life of a building, virtually eliminating the need to replace it and create additional waste. Should it require restoration, epoxy terrazzo flooring can be repaired easily and inexpensively with little environmental impact. Plus, eco-friendly water-based products can be used for annual stripping and resealing. Even its cleanability enhances the environmental characteristics of a thin-set epoxy floor. As experts at the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association point out, carpet requires regular, energy-consuming vacuuming, whereas epoxy floors need dry and damp mopping, along with an occasional spray buffing.

Thanks to all these qualities, epoxy terrazzo flooring can help builders and architects attain credits under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. Such credits are provided for efforts such as building reuse, use of recycled content and/or local regional materials, construction waste management, reduction of indoor emitting materials, and use of innovative design.

Not only is epoxy terrazzo loaded with environmental characteristics, but it’s rich in its color capabilities, too, allowing for the creation of elaborate works of floor art. Epoxy terrazzo is excellent for multicolored patterns and designs because the epoxy resin matrix can be pigmented, like paint, to achieve an unlimited spectrum of colors. The color is permanent, too, and will last the life of the floor without fading. And it can accommodate a wide variety of richly colored aggregates, including chips of marble or granite, recycled glass, mother of pearl and various synthetic materials. When revealed by polishing, the aggregates provide their own symphony of color accents that can either contrast with or complement the epoxy base.

General Polymers Thin-set Epoxy Terrazzo Floors from Sherwin-Williams offers a terrazzo color selector on its Web site that showcases all the possible colors available for its product. systems.

If the specific product, system, or grouping of interest isn't listed, please contact General Polymers Product Line Technical Service Department for further assistance at:

(800) 543-7694 extension 3201.