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Terrazzo Maintenance Guide By NTMA

Terrazzo floors have ease of maintenance, but this does not mean that no care is required. Once you understand the care requirements in the early stages of a newly installed terrazzo

floor, you lessen the possibility of future problems and recognize the economy of maintenance of this product. Following these instructions will get your new or existing floor to look its best and will help to realize the long-term benefits of the low maintenance

cost of caring for a terrazzo floor.

To help prevent stains and damage to terrazzo, spills should be cleaned up as quickly as possible.

The following are minimum recommendations; however please note that each situation will be different.

  1. Dust Mopping

  2. Wet Mopping

  3. Floor Scrubber

  4. Spray Buffing

  5. Control Joint, Expansion Joint or Isolation Joint

  6. Stripping

  7. Sealer Application

  8. Scuff, Scratch Stain Removal

  9. Treads, Risers, Cove

  10. Other


Dust Mopping

  • Dust, dirt or other grit can lead to scratching of the finish which reduces

gloss and cleanability

  • Dust mopping should be done daily; sprays may be added to dust mop to

facilitate pick up

  • Keep dust mop clean

  • Change dust mop head when dirty

Wet Mopping

  • Wet mopping is used to remove surface dirt and liquid spills

  • It is important to use clean water; change water when it becomes cloudy

  • Clean mop often

  • Mop in semicircle walking backwards

Floor Scrubber

  • Floor should be scrubbed at least once a week

  • Use clean water

  • Use scrubber with white pad

  • Use of diamond impregnated pads is not recommended

  • Vacuum

Spray Buffing

  • Use to restore gloss lost due to traffic

  • Use products specifically designed for this purpose

  • Follow all directions from supplier

Control Joint, Expansion Joint or Isolation Joint

  • Due to concave shape or the hardness of material, joints may require extra attention

  • Hand clean with pad and neutral cleaner recommended by manufacturer of joint material


  • Properly maintained floors rarely need stripping

  • Use only products designed to strip floors

  • Know what sealer you have on the floor

  • Not all sealers are strippable; check with sealer supplier

  • Strip floors per manufacturer’s recommendation; caution: the use of aggressive black pads may unintentionally sand or grind the floor

  • All old sealers must be completely removed

  • All residue must be completely removed

Sealer Application

  • Apply only sealers recommended for terrazzo; instructions of sealer supplier must be followed explicitly

  • Be sure floor is clean before applying sealer

  • Most sealers are best applied with microfiber pad

  • Thin coats are better than one heavy coat

  • Allow a coat of sealer to dry before placing another

  • Gloss is the result of polish and sealer; do not expect sealer to provide all the gloss

Scuff, Scratch Stain Removal

  • If dust mopping and wet mopping are completed, stain and scratch removal will need to be infrequent

  • Remove damage such as scratches and stain by the use of fine grit (100) diamond pad

  • If (100) diamond pads do not remove stains or scratches, call your NTMA terrazzo contractor

  • Do not overuse diamond pads

Treads, Risers, Cove

  • Some areas will not be easily maintained with power equipment; however, these must be maintained as often as the field of the floor

  • These areas should be maintained by hand


  • Use maintenance products designed specifically for terrazzo

  • Follow the instructions of all of your NTMA product suppliers explicitly

  • Qualified suppliers can be found at:

  • Do not make judgements based on recommendations to buy a product without consulting an NTMA supplier or contractor member

  • Call your local NTMA terrazzo contractor if the floor needs to be grouted


Terrazzo Maintenance Guide by National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association

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Download PDF • 22.10MB

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