The kitchen is a busy area in the house. If you’re spending a lot of your time in there, wouldn’t it be great if it has a design that’s pleasing to the eye? Working in an area with an aesthetic design will not only give you the motivation you need, but it will also help you avoid feeling stressed because of an unruly or unorganized background. Kitchen runners, counters, indoor plants, and many more things add a nice touch to the decor.
When designing a kitchen, there are a few factors that you need to consider - your purpose of using it, the floor and wall plan, the outline of the kitchen, appliances and fixtures, electrical outlets, lighting options, decorative items such as kitchen rugs, shelves, and storage solutions.
For the working area, the central part belongs to countertops. If you want your kitchen to join the latest craze, you might want to consider Terrazzo counters. They’re a noticeable characteristic in modern architecture, and you’ll commonly see it in airports, hotels, museums, schools and theaters.
What is Terrazzo?
Terrazzo is a compounded substance built from cement. It is a mixture of abalone shells, glass, mirror chips, marble, porcelain, mother-of-pearl pieces, granite, quartz, stone, and many more. They used to be in tile forms, but now they can be installed in different ways in the form of ready-made panels or personalized molds. They’re used for bathtubs, countertops, furniture, stairs, sinks, walls and other interior decoration items.
It was first manufactured during the 15th century in Italy. People used it to build their terraces, a common feature of most Italian homes. They preferred it because of its durability and cost effectiveness. 500 years ago, it was chosen due to frugality reasons, but today, it’s chosen for its artistic appeal as well as its dependable performance.
What are its benefits?
Heavy-duty design. This is one of the biggest pros since the kitchen is a busy area. It demands use, so if you don’t have materials that are able to withstand such demands, you’ll end up spending more due to repetitive renovations.
New-fashioned terrazos are developed through high-compact strength, which means the materials are able to withstand heavy equipment as well as foot traffic. Modern and traditional designs have different hardness so you have to be careful with your preference.
Heat resistant. Terrazzos have high resistance to heat, which make them the perfect choice for kitchen countertops where ovens and stoves are commonly found. They also grow cooler quickly compared to marbles, so not having heating pads is not a problem.
Stain and scratch resistant. Stains and scratches can be found everywhere in the kitchen. But if they can easily be wiped off, isn’t that a great thing? Terrazos have these abilities so you can be rest assured that your countertops are stain and scratch proof.
Low maintenance. To maintain its beauty, all you have to do is clean the surface using soft fabric or cloth. Since it’s stain resistant, you don’t have to do much to remove stains. Oftentimes, rubbing alcohol would do the trick.
Environment-friendly. They are made of recycled materials that are mixed with resin and cement to produce customized slabs. They are very sustainable and they help improve the quality of the air indoors.
Customizable. You can choose any color you like, and can be very specific about its shade. You can mix and match about 100 chips to get the design you want for your kitchen. You can do marbles and glass, quartz and granite mother of pearls and shells; the combinations are infinite. You can also choose different sizes for your combinations.
There are different systems used in installing Terrazzos - bonded, monolithic, rustic, sand cushion and thin-set epoxy.
The bonded system uses a cement matrix for topping. The underbed, composed of cement and sand, attaches with the concrete slab. And then the Terrazzo flows on top. The monolithic system only uses the bonding instrument and the Terrazzo topping. The rustic system uses a combination of the bonded and the monolithic system. The sand-cushion system uses isolation membranes, sand dusts, underbeds and wire reinforcements. And lastly, the thin-set epoxy uses a resin base for topping, plus aggregates such as marble, glass, granite and synthetic.
Caring for your Terrazzo counters
To maintain its durability and longevity, there are a few things that you need to remember. Firstly, you need to keep it clean at all times. This means wiping off all stains as soon as possible. No special equipment needed, as mentioned earlier. But if you want items that are specifically made for Terrazzos, you can find ones in the market. To maintain its fresh-looking state, apply stone polish once every two months.
Avoid using grainy powder cleaners. They will cause abrasions on the surfaces. Only use products that are recommended for Terrazos. If the cleaners are acid based, don’t use them as they are harmful. Detergents are also not advisable as they result in greasy leftovers. Even popular home-made cleaning solutions should be avoided, lemons and vinegars in particular