Terrazzo effect tiles and their reborn elegance

A highly refined covering with centuries of history. Created to decorate noble homes and for many years known in the European courts as grit or Venetian Terrazzo, today it is more simply referred to as “terrazzo”.

Terrazzo-effect tiles are extremely fashionable, not only for those that want to design highly elegant spaces but also for those who are after a modern and contemporary look. A blend of marble, glass and stone fragments that brings a timeless harmony – evocative of the historic palaces of the Triveneto – to all kinds of settings.

Extremely precious and delicate Venetian Terrazzo floors are perfectly recreated using highly resistant, practical and easy-to-lay terrazzo-effect tiles in porcelain stoneware.

What is Terrazzo?   

Before answering this question, let’s ask another: do you want to recreate the timeless charm of historic palaces with their geometric decorations, meanders and borders? If you do then Terrazzo is just the solution. In fact, the old Venetian Terrazzo tiles were a genuine mix of fragments of natural stone and coloured marbles of different sizesheld together by cement, which decorated the noble villas of yesteryear. The technique used to produce them was very complex, almost an ante litteram example of creative recycling, and resulted in extremely large “marble carpets” which, with their elaborate figures and designs rich in nuances and optical effects, were used to decorate floors.

Origins of Venetian Terrazzo

It is mistakenly believed that Venetian Terrazzo originated in Venice, but this is not the case. Its roots can actually be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece. It was subsequently brought to Italy by the Romans and, several centuries later, during the Renaissance, it was used to decorate the floors of the noble palaces of the Serenissima.   

Porcelain stoneware: a modern reinterpretation

But, having taken a step back in time, let’s return to the present: why and where can we find classic Venetian Terrazzo tiles nowadays? The first part of this question was answered earlier in the article: nowadays people want increasingly functional spaces that are nonetheless able to transmit style, elegance and originality, and this is why porcelain stoneware is chosen for such delicate floors. This choice makes it possible to use Terrazzo-effect tiles in the home which, as well as perfectly recreating the classical look of centuries past, also guarantee extremely elevated technical qualities and performances.

A triumphant return

It was only a matter of time before this classic floor covering underwent major restyling and returned triumphantly to our spaces. But, having been used in noble homes, when did it become fashionable again? Initially it was a more popular and certainly more economic floor tile compared with the previous penchant for Liberty decorations. We traditionally associate Terrazzo-effect tiles with the kitchens or bathrooms of our grandparents, with whom the marble chips were particularly popular for their superb ability to conceal stains.

Having subsequently fallen out of fashion, also because of the randomness of their colours, they have now returned in style and it is remarkable just how versatile they are. Venetian Terrazzo-effect porcelain stoneware tiles are not just used to create brand new floors but, thanks to their incredible texture, are also the inspiration for items of furniture, accessories, decorations, work surfaces, desks, countertops and genuine wall coverings.

In short, that whimsical allure which brings to mind the slippers we used to wear so as not to ruin grandma’s floor has been transformed into a highly fashionable vintage-style solution which exudes contemporary elegance.

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With over 15 years of experience within the industry, Paolo is an expert consultant of stone, tiles and wood flooring. Driven by the passion of what is aesthetically pleasant and practical at the same time, Paolo has a strong voice within the marketplace and he is not afraid to use it.