When and How to Refinish Terrazzo Floors

Terrazzo will retain its splendid finish for a long time, and some occasional special treatments will help maintain its sheen even better. There are a lot of different methods of refinishing terrazzo floors, and the right one depends on the situation.

  1. Is cleaning enough? When your terrazzo floor is brand new, it has a special coating that gives it even longer lasting life, and allows you to avoid having to use any abrasives or aggressive cleaning methods. Simply use a special terrazzo cleaner or a mild soap and water method. The main thing to keep in mind with terrazzo floors is never use vinegar, which will certainly dull the finish and may require you to refinish the floor entirely.
  2. Prepare the surface. If your terrazzo floor is definitely in need of refinishing, then you have a job to do. You have to start by preparing the entire surface first by cleaning it thoroughly with a mild cleanser or special terrazzo cleaner to prep the floor for stripping and buffing.
  3. Stripping the old finish. Before refinishing the terrazzo, you will want to create a uniform surface, which means stripping the existing surface which has likely been worn away in places. Stripping with a commercial stripper further prepares the terrazzo for buffering. If you are stripping yourself, you just need to apply the commercial stripper one section at a time.
  4. Buffering. A special electric buffer will be available to rent if you want to do the job yourself, or you can hire someone to buffer the floor for you. You have to make sure the electric buffer has a wool pad, because otherwise the buffing will irreversibly scratch the terrazzo.
  5. Finish the job. You will want to use both a polyurethane clear coat and a floor wax to add that ultimate finishing shine–the reason why people love terrazzo in the first place!
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