Just about everything in the interior design world makes a comeback eventually, but few things have made as much of a comeback as terrazzo floor designs. While terrazzo has its roots in ancient architecture, it reached peak popularity in the US between 1930 and 1970. Back then, it was used in sprawling hotels, museums, and high-end restaurants to create a modern Art Deco-inspired aesthetic. Now, that same aesthetic is sweeping the interior design world in residential and commercial spaces alike.
So what is terrazzo, exactly? In short, it's a composite, meaning it uses two or more materials to achieve the finished product. Typically, terrazzo consists of smaller chips (made from marble, quartz, granite, glass, or shell) suspended in an epoxy or cement base. It can have a wide variety of looks depending on how it's manufactured. With bigger, more colorful chips in a lighter base, it can look fresh and whimsical, while smaller, more neutral specks that blend in can have an elegant, polished feel. Some even arrange the chips in a pattern for a mosaic-like appearance.
No matter the color or pattern, terrazzo has tons of benefits. It's often elegant, durable, easy to care for, doesn't show dirt, and can be refinished over and over again. While it's probably not a DIY job, it does come in tile form for easier installation. It's suitable for more spaces than just floors, too. Recently, people have used terrazzo all over the place, including on walls, as backsplashes, in showers, and for shelving and furniture. Its smooth, continuous design and resistance against water and damage make it a no-brainer for entryways, bathrooms, and kitchens — but since it can get slippery when wet, don't forget to add a few absorbent mats and rugs.
Can't wait to incorporate terrazzo into your space? Wait until you see these 20 gorgeous floor designs that make the most out of the trend.
1. A Monochromatic Color Scheme
There's arguably nothing more elegant than the stark contrast between black and white. This bathroom takes it to the next level with white tiles, black grout, a black-trimmed sink, and black doors and windows. Last but definitely not least, the black and white terrazzo floor is eye-catching and functional, given its durability and easy-to-mop texture.
2. Soft & Subtle
While terrazzo can look very futuristic, it's been softened with natural woods and plenty of greenery. In fact, since the subtle tiles blend in with the walls and curtains, you might not have realized it was terrazzo until you got a closer look — proof that even the boldest trends can work in any home.
3. Make A Statement
While that wooden bench and basketweave pot are undeniably stylish, the terrazzo tiles steal the show. Larger, shell-like chips pull in tans and browns while the beige base complements the off-white walls. When everything's all put together, this multipurpose room looks warm, inviting, and wonderfully mid-century modern.
4. A Reflection Of Other Materials
We get it — it's not always easy to mix different patterns, which is why it's so tempting to pair your stone countertops with all-white tiles or hardwood. Terrazzo can be a mirror of your other materials rather than a contradiction. Take the above photo, for example; yes, the counters feature sprawling veins while the floor has tiny specks, but since they're both black, white, and gray, they mesh together beautifully.
5. Whimsical Workspace
We've covered bathrooms and kitchens, but another space that's just begging for terrazzo floors? Your work or crafting area. In this space, pink-speckled terrazzo was used for both the floors and the shelves, which might sound too playful for a workspace. That said, by grounding it all in forest green, the room feels moody and creative at the same time.
6. From Under Your Feet To Up The Walls
If you can't get enough of terrazzo tiles, don't limit yourself to the floors. In a bathroom, this continuation looks chic and also serves a functional purpose. Behind the sink, the tiles act as a backsplash, while in the shower, they protect the hidden structural materials from moisture damage. Aesthetically, it makes the bathroom look bigger, not to mention infinitely more modern.
7. Terrazzo Floors Throughout
"Hardwood floors throughout" is a buzzy phrase you hear all the time in interior design and real estate, but what if you took that same concept and applied it to terrazzo floors? It would open up the space and help each area flow into the next — but it'd also boost your floor's durability and elevate your home so it felt contemporary and metropolitan.
8. Warmed Up With Texture And Rich Tones
As seen here, terrazzo in the bathroom can help everything feel cool and clean — but it can have a very different effect in another room. Look to the right and you'll see that, when warmed up with rich woods and soft textures, it can be shockingly cozy. You shouldn't be afraid to use terrazzo in your living areas.
9. The Most Inviting Entryway
Since it cleans easily and hides dirt, terrazzo is a great choice for your entryway. If you're worried about it looking too stark, find tiles with a more traditional feel. These tiles have black specks in a white base, but they're arranged into a geometric floral pattern for a more inviting appearance. (Your guests won't be able to resist hanging up their coats and staying a while.)
10. Organic, Not Over The Top
When this trend reached peak popularity during the Art Deco movement, it was intended to look lavish, futuristic, and dramatic. If your style is more natural and low-key, don't worry. Terrazzo can fit that vibe, too. This floor looks like pebbles in sand, and when combined with a dark wood vanity and a potted plant, the bathroom feels like an accessible oasis.
11. Looking Forward To Laundry
The number one tip when designing your laundry space: make it your own, and colorful terrazzo tiles do just that. They add a playful touch to a chore that's otherwise dreaded, but they also make it easy to mop up any puddles, drips, or messes.
12. A Kitchen Unlike Any Other
It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but a bold terrazzo pattern on the floors and the backsplash ensure that your kitchen is unlike any other. Here, terrazzo was placed with large, colorful chips that are reminiscent of paint splatters, but there's consistency throughout thanks to the all-white cabinetry and brass accents that pick up the gold specks.
13. For A Small Space
While it might seem counterintuitive, tiny tiles actually make small rooms appear even smaller whereas continuous terrazzo floors will open up the space so it seems much larger. The pattern doesn't have to overwhelm your tiny kitchen, either; this design uses neutral colors for a cooking area that's bright and clean.
14. Outdoor Terrazzo
You're not necessarily confined to the interior; take terrazzo to your front stoop to elevate your curb appeal. These large white tiles aren't overly dramatic, but they do pick up the black from the overhead beams and give a light, airy feel to the whole patio. (Just be sure to pick a rustic terrazzo system rather than an epoxy one, since the latter is sensitive to heat and UV rays.)
15. Mid-Century Modern
America's obsession with terrazzo continued all throughout the '50s and '60s, meaning it's a staple of mid-century modern design. This kitchen was already 90 percent there thanks to its floor-to-ceiling hardwood cabinets and Marcel Breur-inspired chairs. The gray terrazzo floors bring it all the way up to 100 while tying in the modern stainless steel appliances.
16. Expanding Your Space
One of the best things about terrazzo is its impression of continuation. It can make a museum hall or a hotel entrance seem as though it goes on forever, and it can have the same effect in your home if used properly. In this space, for example, shiny terrazzo tiles are used in conjunction with floor-to-ceiling windows; the patio outside is a similar color, making the house seem never-ending.
17. A Pet-Friendly Material
While it's not necessarily indestructible, if maintained properly, terrazzo is way more durable than hardwood, which stains, scratches, and warps. Needless to say, terrazzo tiles are a solid pick for households with pets. It's relatively scratch-resistant and its durable, smooth finish allows you to wipe up messes without hassle.
18. An Alternative To Pebble Tile
Pebble tile gives your bathroom an organic, zen-like feel, but it's typically confined to the backsplash or shower floor. Continuous terrazzo with earthy, round chips can provide that same aesthetic, but all over your floor — and maybe even up your wall. If your bathroom turns out anything like this one, it'll feel like a spa retreat in your own home.
19. Some Bohemian Flair
This terrazzo floor is unlike most others because it uses larger chips in a mosaic-like design. The result? A floor that's artistic and Bohemian rather than stuffy and conventional. Pair it with unique cabinets and bright mid-century chairs (as seen here), and you've got a kitchen that'll inspire endless creativity.
20. If You Love The Look Of Marble
Marble is gorgeous but it's also absorbent and easily damaged by acidity. Instead, you can opt for subtle white and gray terrazzo, which has a similar appearance but is much more durable. It looks elegant, but more importantly, it won't soak up your hair dye or melt away with your harsh cleaning products.