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Timeless Versus Trendy: Where does Terrazzo Fit in?

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Making a large investment in home renovations can be nerve wracking.  Where should you spend?  Where should you save?  How can you make a statement without time stamping your home with today’s trends?  How come some homes with original finishes preserved are still incredible decades later, and others age like a rhinestone-encrusted Ed Hardy t-shirt?  The answer is simple: authentic materials.

Technology advancements have allowed building materials to mimic natural finishes at a “look for less price”.  Vinyl plank flooring replicates hardwood at a distance.  Laminate countertops imitate marble at a fraction of the price.  Porcelain manufacturers can recreate any flooring look on large format tile.  While these materials certainly have a time and place in today’s construction, there’s no substitute for authentic materials when building for longevity.  Terrazzo is certainly no exception.  While terrazzo might be trending in 2021, real, authentic terrazzo is anything but trendy.

Timeless Versus Trendy: Where does Terrazzo Fit in?

Although terrazzo has been discovered as early as 9000 BC in Neolithic buildings, Terrazzo gained popularity during the midcentury modern movement of the 1950s and 60s.  Midcentury modern gems in their original condition have been hot on the market this year, in part due to the resurgence in appreciation for their poured-in-place terrazzo floors.  A mixture of cement and natural stone chips, terrazzo can be made in almost any colour of the rainbow, making it an easy choice for an anchoring design element in any space.

Poured-in-place terrazzo, while stunning, is expensive and requires terrazzo specialists to install.  Thankfully, advancements in concrete have allowed manufacturers to create beautiful, hand-poured terrazzo in tile form, making it a much more cost-effective residential option for terrazzo lovers with a penchant for the real deal.  Terrazzo tile cuts and installs very similarly to natural stone, allowing for tile installers and DIY-ers to tackle projects without decades of terrazzo-specific expertise.

The versatility and durability of this material has made it a top choice for flooring, fireplaces, backsplashes, showers and even feature walls. Terrazzo can be softly specked in tone-on-tone neutral colours, or bold and bright with chunky vibrant marble stones set in colored cement.  With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to see why the design community is loving the fresh look of terrazzo in everything from kitchens to bathrooms.

Geon Tile’s terrazzo collection provides designers and DIYers with a wide spectrum of patterns and colours to choose from. Geon’s large format terrazzo collection features 24” x 24” x ¾” tiles with rich base tones and vibrant marble chunks. Look to the Elora for a soft mix of muted light colours, a tile that lends itself well to a monochromatic look with textural detail.  The Halifax terrazzo from Geon displays an artistic personality, featuring multi-coloured pink, gold, terra cotta and black tones, making it a bold background for your unique space. 

When looking for pattern to create some visual interest, or just to be a bit playful, Geon’s 8” x 8” x 5/8” terrazzo tiles rise to the challenge.  Tiles like the TV Star, with its gentle angles and beautiful terrazzo centre, are a great choice when seeking the mid-century modern design aesthetic. The Oiseau from Geon Tile is a fresh spin on a timeless classic, featuring bright honey-coloured lines tracing geometric patterns over a neutral terrazzo base.

Real, authentic materials will always stand the test of time, and will continue to be relevant long after the paint colour of the year is no longer popular.  Investing in beautiful, natural terrazzo is a great way to add value to your home and create stunning spaces that are sure to outlast the trends of the 2020s.

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