Polish the terrazzo

Terrazzo is a material that is as elegant as it is resistant, being very common in all kinds of environments. However, when cleaning terrazzo tiles it is important to know how to do it, otherwise we run the risk that our floors will end up deteriorating prematurely.

Just as we do not clean the living room in the same way as the kitchen or the bathroom, we cannot clean very different floors with the same products and procedures depending on the materials used in their construction. Among the most common floors that we find in our homes, businesses and other buildings, we have the terrazzo floor. A resistant and effective proposal to withstand daily use without deterioration and whose basic maintenance is not very complex either. However, when it comes to polishing terrazzo, it is important to be clear about what we are doing so that the final results of this cleaning are optimal.


The first thing to do before polishing a terrazzo floor is to clean it. It is useless to apply waxes and other chemical products on a floor that we have not even swept. To begin with, we will have to remove all the dust from the surface of the floor, for which it is enough to use a brush and a dustpan or a bagless vacuum cleaner (if you click here, you will find several products to choose from) that you have, in order to remove surface dirt from the floor. 

By the way, if that bagless vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, much better, because the presence of dust in the environment is reduced, which ends up settling back on the ground. Once swept, simply scrub the floor with water and a specific product for terrazzo floors, thus obtaining the necessary cleanliness to start polishing.

During this process, it is also necessary to remove those deeper and more intense stains, which can hinder the process in the following phases. To clean stained terrazzo, we can use products such as a little vinegar diluted with hot water or a specific soap for these surfaces.

In the event that the stains are very resistant, it is possible to use paint solvent to clean them, although being very careful with the exposure time of the product, which must always be as short as possible. In all these cases, we must rinse the floor with plenty of water, in order to prevent traces of these cleaning products from remaining on the surface.

By the way, if you think that with this last tip you already know how to clean the terrazzo floor completely, you can already discard the idea. This procedure, the one with the most aggressive chemicals, should only be applied to these specific areas, where the stains do not come out with conventional cleaning. In lightly soiled areas, it’s best to use the traditional mop and broom method.

machine polished

Before starting this part of the process, it is essential that you know that polishing a terrazzo floor is a task that requires a certain skill. It is not just a matter of passing the machine without more, but it is convenient to know how we do it, for how long and in what direction. So, if you are not sure, you can always hire a floor cleaning company to take care of the task or use the tips to polish a terrazzo floor at home, which we will mention later.

To polish with a machine, you will need a polisher, which you can rent at different stores in the industry. You will also need a sanding wool, whose strength you must adjust to the needs of the floor. A damaged or very dull terrazzo floor will need a harder sandpaper than if it is in good condition or has frequent maintenance. Don’t forget the stripper either, with which to remove the upper layer of wax and access the floor part itself.

Once everything is ready, you just have to pass the machine from one side to the other on the floor, letting the polisher do its job. Let it run over the surface and move it evenly across the floor. Do not forget either to adjust the speed to the requirements of the wool and to visually verify the effect of the polishing, in order not to overdo it.

homemade terrazzo polishing

If you are wondering how I can clean a terrazzo floor that is dull without the need for machines or complications, there are interesting alternatives that you can try. We are talking about a traditional, simple recipe without too many risks.

To prepare it, we only have to fill a bucket with water, to which we will add half a cup of baking soda. Next, we moisten a sponge or microfiber cloth with the product and spread it over the area we want to polish. It is key that this layer is homogeneous on its surface and not too thick. We will wait half an hour for it to dry and we will eliminate it with a mop and hot water for the thickest part, removing the remains that remain with a microfiber cloth. The result is a superficial but very interesting polishing, with the terrazzo polishing that is not very deteriorated without complications.

As a complement to this cleaning, just as we can clean marble with ammonia, it is also possible to use this product on terrazzo floors. After having removed the remains of baking soda from the surface, simply scrub the floor with a mixture of water, neutral PH soap and a little ammonia to restore shine. A process that should be carried out with a microfiber mop, which spreads the product better and adds an extra shine to the floor.

floor polishing

As a final step after polishing the terrazzo floor, we only have to give the floor a protective layer, which gives it shine and will prevent dirt from easily penetrating the tiles. Let’s remember that terrazzo is a porous type floor, so if we don’t protect it properly after sanding, it will get dirty and lose its goodness easily.

Fortunately, on the market we find all kinds of high-quality terrazzo waxes, with which it is easy to protect the floor and give it that layer of protection that maintains its shine for longer. Depending on the characteristics of the product, it can be applied by machine or by hand, either with a mop or with a cloth or similar with which to “paint the terrazzo floor”. 

It is key that this process is carried out without leaving marks and in a homogeneous way, to achieve the best results when it comes to polishing terrazzo. Once the floor is covered, just wait the time indicated on the label and it can now be stepped on under normal conditions.

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