The Old Italian Terrazzo Flooring Trend is Making a Hard Comeback

Interior Designers are always seeking the next big trend. It’s hard to really go anywhere without being inspired and thinking about design, whether it be fashion shows, architectural tours or an update at your favorite department store. Inspiration is everywhere. But as an interior designer, typically that inspiration involves moving forward rather than back. But there are few design ideas that have made a hard comeback. One of those themes is the most exciting home trend of 2018 which is a 40-year throwback to Italian Terrazzo!

You may not be surprised by this as its suddenly on walls, in floors, accenting furniture and taking over contemporary homes. Terrazzo is making a comeback in a big way. This reinvigoration of the Italian retro style promises will bring a dose of liveliness to any room in your house. Pay close attention and you’ll see that Pinterest has identified terrazzo as a top trend for 2018 because user saves for the word are up 316 percent.

Get ready… you’re about to see it everywhere!

Italian Terrazzo


What is Terrazzo?

Terrazzo is a composite material. It is made by mixing granite, quartz, marble or glass chips with a cement or epoxy binder, which gives the material its strength and flexibility.

After the hardening process is done, the mix is ground down with machinery to expose the aggregate. Terrazzo is a relatively low-cost and sustainable material that is durable beautiful. It’s most likely that Italian Terrazzo will outlast any building or home that it is installed in. So design wisely!

Some Terrazzo History

The Italian terrazzo you may remember from the 1970s got its inspiration from ancient Italy and more specifically Venice where Mosaic workers found a way to repurpose oddly shaped marble remnants which they used to build terraces in their own houses.. Back then, pieces of marble were scattered across clay flooring and embedded in pavement for a vibrant, layered look. This often was a much cheaper substitute for marble. If you look far enough back to ancient Egypt and the floors of Western Asia’s Neolithic structures you can find this Italian practice in mosaic designs. Resin was used in much the same way in the 1970’s by speckling floors with an easily identifiable style with bold color patterns.

With the migration of Italians throughout the world in the early 1900’s the terrazzo industry was infused into almost every earthly crack and corner. In the 1920’s, architects recognized the design potential for Italian terrazzo for its smooth and expressive qualities. It then was applied to the art deco and modern styles that prevailed that time period.

Since then, people have had mixed feelings about terrazzo, thinking of it as cold and sterile or unglamorous, but interior designers have found ways to re-introduce it into spaces and homes that tie rooms together with pops of beautiful color. Terrazzo is experiencing a renaissance of sorts right now and many people are experimenting with its possibilities.

For example, British designer Max Lamb has gone on to create an entirely new material inspired by traditional Italian terrazzo and developed a multicolored engineered material Marmoreal for Dzek.

Italian Terrazzo

The product can be applied in small doses such as on a benchtop or it can completely engulf a room and camouflage the items within it. Photo: Antartica estudio.

Terrazzo In Your Home

Some people are ignited by the resurgence of something old. Some people are put off by it, but the resurgence of terrazzo is exciting because it fosters an unlimited range of colors and textures. The potential for how this material can be used in your home is virtually without limits. You can implement it into flooring, wall panels, kitchen countertops, furniture, sinks and even accent pieces to tie one room to the next.

So, If you want to add a terrazzo treatment to your home this year, you’ll be using a similar modern composite. It will most likely be made with an epoxy resin or concrete mottled with slivers of marble, quartz, or another type of stone in various sizes, shapes, and colors. The end product is what many interior designers would call “perfectly imperfect”, making it a top choice for inspired creatives. What’s more, its easy to clean and maintain, its versatile and bold. Quite literally, it goes with everything.

You can place terrazzo in your home without making a major investment by starting with some accent pieces – perhaps a quaint bistro table in your kitchen corner with a terrazzo mosaic top. Or maybe a splash on top of a re-finished hutch.

See it in Action

Here’s a video we found that shows a time-lapse of a terrazzo floor installation. At the very end, you can see the use of bold color and design. Your options are endless. If you are excited about the reemergence of terrazzo in the forecasted home trends for 2018, then let us know! We would love to help you design the life you love.