Terrazzo Countertop Prices
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For a bathroom or a kitchen countertop, there are a variety of different materials that can be used in construction. Some buyers pick the right material based on cost while others select based on durability or attractiveness. Even though it’s not one of the most common materials for a countertop, terrazzo is a unique option that is certainly worth considering. A composite made up of a cement mixture and pieces of granite, marble, glass and other aggregates, terrazzo can be a beautiful final product that is worthy of being included in the home.
Advantages of Terrazzo Countertops
The biggest advantage of installing terrazzo countertops in the home is their beauty and unique appearance. Because there is not one solid color throughout the material, it can look beautiful in a variety of different settings. While terrazzo has historic roots and has been used as far back as neolithic times in Asia, it is associated both with mid-century modern design and contemporary styles.
In addition to the beautiful look of terrazzo, there are other advantages like the material's natural durability, potential for customization, longevity, eco-friendliness and scratch resistance. Terrazzo starts with a concrete mixture, which has a lifespan of upwards of 40 years, but extra care and maintenance means that some countertops can last for 100 years or more; archeologists excavating 6,000-year-old pieces of terrazzo in Turkey can attest to that fact. The aggregates included in terrazzo can vary substantially, so there is the option of picking certain colors or materials to create a personalized look on the countertop.
Disadvantages of Terrazzo Countertops
Unfortunately, there are also some drawbacks to using terrazzo for countertops in the home. For most buyers, price will be the biggest disadvantage. Although terrazzo looks fantastic, it can sometimes cost more than entire marble slabs. Plus, buying an entire slab or half-slab of terrazzo for countertops is exceptionally heavy, which can increase shipping costs in certain areas. Another issue is that countertops made from terrazzo do require regular maintenance. Without proper cleaning and sealing, they can become damaged, get scratched or have their color fade in certain spots.
Traditionally, the primary component of terrazzo has always been concrete. However, there is an increasing popular alternative that also works to suspend the aggregate in terrazzo. This alternative, made from a resin, is a type of plastic that can replicate the look of more traditional terrazzo. It is not porous, which means that it doesn't require the same level of sealing and maintenance that concrete-based terrazzo requires. However, the resin-based terrazzo may end up being more expensive, and some believe it to be a less eco-friendly version of the material. If price is the primary factor between these two materials, then concrete will win.
Along with the either the concrete or resin-based component of terrazzo, there are several other pieces that contribute to the look of the material. The aggregate is what is suspended in the material to shine through and create a textured and colorful appearance. There are dozens of potential types of aggregate materials that can be used, and their inclusion can be random, in a pattern or even to create a picture or word as a unique type of art. Colors range from blue to red to the gray of natural stone, and some of the most popular aggregate materials include:
Recycled glass chips
River rocks or pebbles
Factors that Can Affect Cost of Terrazzo Countertops
There are several ways that the cost of terrazzo countertops can fluctuate depending on the needs or desires of the buyer. The total size will, of course, be the biggest influence when it comes to price. However, it is important to note that most terrazzo countertops come in slabs of 16 linear feet. While securing a half-slab is possible, it may be harder and require a higher cost per foot to purchase less than a slab. For that reason, it makes sense to plan kitchen countertops in increments of 16 linear feet. Shipping will also be a factor, and those who live far from a terrazzo manufacturing company may want to receive quotes before making a purchase.
Thickness is also a concern because the quoted prices are generally only for the standard thickness of 1.5 inches. Edging, which can be angled or curved, may also increase price as can installing a small lip on the counter's edge or against the backsplash. Finally, installation will also be a big cost. In many cases, installation is at least $6 per square foot, if not higher.
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Last updated on Oct 28, 2014