Removing Carpet to Restore Grimy 100 Year Old Terrazzo Tiles

USA News


  • Pinnacle Stone Restoration restores 100-year-old terrazzo floors that were covered by carpet.
  • The restoration involves removing the carpet, filling holes, grinding tiles, and sealing.
  • Despite heavy foot traffic, the floors will only require maintenance every two years.

Kosta: I’m Kosta, and I run Pinnacle Stone Restoration. We are specialized in restoration of terrazzo and natural-stone surfaces. I’m going to walk you through how to restore over-100-years-old terrazzo that is covered in carpet.

The most difficult part of this restoration is carpet and glue removal. We remove carpet with electric scraping machines. It also can be done by hand, but electric scraping machines do much faster and a better job. The project is taking place in a historic university dormitory. The client decided to restore existing terrazzo rather than replacing carpet, ’cause carpet accumulates a lot of dust and bacteria. Generally, terrazzo is indestructible surface. Also, it’s an easy maintenance. We are discovering multiple issues with this terrazzo. Carpet glue, missing terrazzo, surface cracks, and gouge nail holes. It’s repairable but requires a lot of work.

The next step, we are removing carpet glue. We are removing carpet glue with handheld scrapers, versus using grinding process. When we use a grinding process, we can activate the quality of the glue, and it will become sticky. But by hand, we keep the temperature low, and then glue, it just comes out very easy from terrazzo.

Then we grind terrazzo floors with grinding machines. We use diamond disks. We use coarse, medium, and fine grits to flatten terrazzo. It’s very important to level and flatten terrazzo floor for honing process and before polishing process. In this particular project, we are going to use a dry-grinding process, just because we want to see the process. During the wet-grinding process, the slurry that is produced during the grinding prevents us to see the details of the terrazzo.

After grinding process is completed, we’re left with multiple nail holes and cracks. To prepare them for patchwork, we approach each like a dentist, and we clean them out like a cavity. Then aggregates go into the holes. And when it cures, it will be ready to be ground down, to flatten, and to level it to the existing terrazzo.

The next step of restoration process is honing, which is done with diamond pads. We use water, of course, to lubricate the diamonds. So, lowest grit will be 50 grit, followed by 120, 220, 400, and 800 grit. What honing process does, it ensures that no scratch is left behind the grinding process. Since it’s the wet process, it will accumulate a lot of slurry that has to be extracted by wet vacuums, followed by edge work.

So, edge work is the area that bigger machines don’t reach, those tight areas. So every step has to happen with handheld machines in a smaller scale, grinding process to honing process, to reach those tight areas to develop the same sheen as rest of the surface.

The next step is a polishing. As 800 grit completes the honing process, 1,500 grit starts polishing process. So, 1,500 grit followed by 3,000 grit. And after that, we use DIP systems. This is much finer diamond pads. When you polish terrazzo, you’re increasing the density of terrazzo, so it becomes more durable, because you’re closing those pores. That automatically makes terrazzo harder and more durable.

And now it’s time to seal. We’re using microtopping sealer. It’s more like impregnating sealer that goes into terrazzo, and it prevents terrazzo from staining, and it protects it. The last step is burnishing. Burnishing helps sealer to bring the terrazzo to its highest sheen.

If I had to compare this project to other projects that we’ve done, I would say this stands for No. 10, for sure, because there are a lot of obstacles that we have to go through. And the terrazzo is original. And I have to mention that this is about 5,000 square feet.

 

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Cinematographer: Viktoriya Yakymenko |





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