Restoring the Flooring

We've done quite a bit of work to our little place since closing on it four months ago. Before moving in, there was one major thing that Kevin and I wanted to have done: resurfacing the floors. What better time to do it than when the house was furniture free and completely empty!

Our floors are terrazzo, a type of finished concrete inlaid with small chips of marble and polished to a high shine. Terrazzo was pretty popular in South Florida homes built during the 1950's and 60's, especially since it helped keep them cool inside. During construction, contractors would pour the 5/8"-thick floor once the house's exterior walls were in place, and then sit the interior walls on top of it. (It's crazy to think that the floor is one solid, seamless piece that extends the length of our house!) Needless to say, terrazzo was expensive to install and ultimately fell out of style with the carpet craze of the 70's. (Shag, anyone?)

Anyway, over the decades the condition of the floor suffered a bit. We're lucky that the previous owners never carpeted over the terrazzo, which is a common cause of damage to the floors and is not easy (or cheap) to repair. Our flooring had lost its shine and was dull, scuffed and had a number of stains caused by sitting water that soaked into the concrete.

Here are some of the before photos:

It was pretty dull in the dining room.

Not much better in the hallway.

This rusty stain in our closet was one of the worst in the house.

The refinishing process involves grounding off the surface of the floor, resealing it, and polishing it until it shines. Because only so much can be ground down, it's not always possible to get deep stains out.

After getting estimates from three different companies (which varied by over $1,000), we decided to go with the mid-range quote, which was submitted by Reflections Marble & Granite. We were very pleased with the results and also with how professional and courteous the work crew was. Plus, since the house was empty, they were able to complete the entire job in one day. Not bad!

Here's a peek at our newly restored terrazzo:

Check out that shine!

What a difference!

It's still there, but it's a lot better. (Good thing it's in the closet!)

So there you have it. The very first investment that we made in our new house. I think it was a pretty good one, don't you agree?

What took top priority on your list of to-do's with your first home?



  1. Seriously... this post and that "after" pic make me want to move to FL and have a terrazzo floor. BEAUTIFUL! Do you love it????


  2. I always used to be envious of folks with wood floors. But yeah, terrazzo has definitely won me over... especially since it's rather unique these days! Plus, Bella and the kitties LOVE stretching out on its cool surface. :o)


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