Vitrified Tiles Flooring VS Terrazzo Flooring!
Pooja Patel is an Architect by profession. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Arch (B.Arch.). She is an Architect at SDCPL – Gharpedia. Her writing weaves creative ideas and tips that offer a sustainable approach and informative content in the field of architecture and interiors. Apart from being blogger, she also participates in Architectural design & detailing at SDCPL. You can easily connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram.
Flooring is a permanent covering on the floor. It is the most important part of any building. It not only offers resistance to wear and tear due to human movement and movement of furniture, etc. but provides a finishing look to a room.
There are varied types of flooring materials in the market, competing with each other. The comparative analysis of vitrified tiles vs terrazzo flooring has been done here in order to differentiate the two materials from various aspects.
- Vitrified tiles are the fusion of clay and silica. The tiles are very similar to ceramic tile. They are made by warming the blend or setting it under high temperatures. They acquire a glass-like texture in the process.
- According to “James Stevens Curl and Susan Wilson”, (Authors of The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture),’ Terrazzo is an in-situ or precast finish for floors, dados, etc. made of small pieces of marble beaten down into a fairly stiff cement or lime-mortar, rubbed down and polished.’ It is a flooring material made by the mixture of marble, granite, quartz and other materials. All the chips are poured into a cement binder. It can be refinished repeatedly. According to “Dr. B.C. Punmia” (Author of Building Construction), it is prepared from specially prepared concrete surface which contains cement (white or grey) and different coloured marble in the proportion of 1: 1¼ to 1:2. Colour can also be mixed with white cement to set the tint that you want.
- It is slippery when wet.
- It is durable.
- It is water-resistant as they are non-porous and hence there is no effect of flooding water on it.
- It is fireproof hence, does not catch fire.
- It is resistant to scratches.
- It is dimensionally stable hence; there is no effect of humidity on vitrified tiles.
- It is easy to clean and maintain.
- It does not need polishing.
- It can be put to use immediately.
- It requires less skilled manpower.
- It is not slippery like vitrified tiles.
- Terrazzo is the most durable material which is used as outdoor benches and furniture. With CNC technology, customization becomes easier to achieve.
- It is a man-made but consists of natural materials. Terrazzo can also be made from recycled glass and metallics, as well as natural aggregates.
- The terrazzo flooring is hard, heavy, durable and long lasting.
- It is sustainable.
- It can be made in varied designs.
- It is non-porous hence; it does not retain moisture.
- Vitrified tiles for flooring are used both for indoors and outdoors.
- Vitrified wall tiles are most appropriate for wet areas like the bathroom, kitchen, etc. because it has more resistance to water.
- It is most appropriate and suitable for high traffic areas like corporate offices and banks due to their aesthetic look.
- Depending on the types of materials used, terrazzo can be used both for outdoors as well as indoors.
- It is highly recommended and used in offices, schools, hospitals, residential buildings, banks, etc.
- It can be also utilized as kitchen countertops, tabletops, too.
- Terrazzo steps and stairs can be pre-fabricated or pre-cast offsite and can be installed onsite. Terrazzo can be slippery, but it can be made non-slippery. This all depends on the type of sealer used once a terrazzo surface is polished. Thus, anti-slip finish can be obtained, making them safer both for indoors as well as outdoors. They can be used where there is higher foot traffic like schools, hospitals, hotels, airports and so on.
- Vitrified tiles are extremely durable and can withstand heavy daily use.
- It is very tough and long lasting. It can last for lifetime if maintained properly.
05. Aesthetic Appeal
- Vitrified tiles can be obtained in several designs like wood species, natural stones, and modern patterns to choose from the textures on them.
- It has a unique look. Terrazzo flooring has beauty of its own. The look offered by terrazzo is unlike any other flooring.
- Vitrified tiles are consistent in shades, sizes, and thickness.
- They have less water absorption capacity.
- Stain resistance: They resist stain.
- As these tiles are moisture resistant, they prevent bacteria and fungi from growing.
- It becomes easy to clean as it has a shiny surface.
- Versatile: It comes in a wider range of variety in colors and color combinations. It is jointless flooring and comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. It is also very difficult to stain or discolor because of its construction.
- Environment-Friendly: Many terrazzo manufacturers use recycled materials like glass, porcelain and metals to create the aggregate. So, it does not have a negative impact on the environment.
- Eco-Friendly: Terrazzo is made from the mixture of recycled glass and natural aggregates such as marble, granite and quartz. It is held by a resin or a concrete base. Terrazzo is regarded as one of the most sustainable and environment-friendly material. So, it does not have a negative impact on the environment and saves the space for landfill sites.
- Healthy: Properly sealed terrazzo is non-porous and resistant to microbes and mold, ensuring a safe flooring surface.
- The tile with the defect has to be cut away along the grout lines and in this process, there are acute chances of surrounding material getting damaged.
- It is most likely that you will not find the same design of tile after some years. Thus, it would be very difficult to maintain uniformity if, in case, there is repairing procedure after few years and tiles needs to be replaced.
- Vitrified tiles are slippery when wet.
- They are not environment-friendly as the process of making them involves a significant cost of energy and emission of carbon dioxide.
- The drawback to tile durability is that they can crack if you drop something heavy on them, or if the house settles a bit.
- Cost: The cost factor is the major concern in installing terrazzo flooring. It is the biggest drawback of using terrazzo flooring as it is the most expensive flooring. It needs skilled labor. Only professionals, who have been trained, can install it skillfully. Hence, it is expensive than any other tiles.
- Cracks: Another concern with terrazzo is that, it can crack if it is not properly installed.
- Cold and Hard: If you do not have sub-flooring, then terrazzo is pretty cold to walk on in winters.
- The Tedious Process of Installation: The installation of terrazzo tile requires a skilled professional team. It is a highly specialized process which leads to high cost. During installation, a layer of concrete, sandy concrete and a mixture of stone or glass chips are poured. A finish coat is applied, followed by polishing. Polishing is must which requires time and adds to cost too.
- Time-Consuming: The installing and pouring process requires time and hence cannot be used where time factor is of the essence.
- The cost of vitrified tiles varies from INR 60/sq. ft. to INR 160/ sq.ft.
- Cost of terrazzo is up to 200/sq. ft. It is considered to be one of the most expensive choices for flooring.
09. Maintenance and Ease of Cleaning
- It requires average maintenance by re-grouting it regularly.
- Vitrifies tiles are easy to clean. They can be cleaned by using brooms or cleansers or even by applying wet cloth.
- Vitrified tiles require less maintenance as they are easy to clean.
- The terrazzo is easily maintained by sweeping and mopping from time to time.
- It does not stain easily with anything.
- Also, it does not absorb liquids very easily. Thus, it can be easily cleaned with a wet mop or with a variety of cleaners.
- Vitrified tiles require proficiency and skilled labors for its installation, as proper subfloor and grout lines must be available. Additionally, it is difficult to trim tiles in corners.
- Installing terrazzo is a bit complicated process and hence it needs to be done by trained tradesman which leads to higher pricing of terrazzo flooring.
11. Water Resistance
- Vitrified tiles are highly water-resistant. Also, they are non-porous and hence there is no effect of flooding water on them.
- Terrazzo needs to be sealed well for water resistance.
- Numerous vitrified tile design options are available. However, customizing is not possible.
- Terrazzo flooring is extremely customization with a variety of design options. With terrazzo, they are not limited by squares or the shapes of the tile. You can create any design or anything else that you can imagine as they are constructing the design on site.
From the above information on Vitrified tiles vs Terrazzo flooring, we can conclude that both the type of flooring materials, be it vitrified or terrazzo, are different in their aesthetic, physical properties, cost and durability. Both of these flooring options present you with several unique benefits. However, they both have a few drawbacks as well. If you are trying to consider which floor is better for you between the two, you need to consider the above-mentioned features. This blog helps you in differentiating the two materials in different aspects – its composition, its properties, uses, durability, aesthetic appeal, advantages, disadvantages, and so on. The choice entirely depends on the users, how they want to enhance their home interiors depending on their budget.
Image Courtesy: Image 9