How do you wash terrazzo floors?

by Sylvia

We just purchased a home that has terrazzo floors throughout the home. Floors are in awesome shape and would like to have them stay that way. Any recommendations on washing them would be greatly appreciated.

50 year old terrazzo floors.

  5 answers
  • Hi Sylvia, there's a cleaner called Bona Stone, Tile & Laminate Floor Cleaner that can be used on terrazzo floors.

    The product description says "Formulated for linoleum, stone terrazzo, vinyl, sealed porous marble, laminate and no-wax sealed tile (ceramic, Mexican Saltillo, quarry)"

    It's important not to use acidic or alkaline cleaners on terrazzo so spot clean spills with water instead of typical cleaners.

    I hope that helps you maintain your gorgeous floors!

    • Sylvia Sylvia on Jan 24, 2019

      Hi Tricia, Thank you for the information. However, I have heard several stories i.e: You must wash floors a section at a time on hand and knees. First by wetting the section, then letting the wet floor sit for a moment, then immediately dry with cloth. By following these steps, it won't discolor or remove any of the shine. Then I heard that you can mop the floor (not soak it) and let it air dry. Then I heard another approach. . . . use a steamer that has a suction on it that would dry the floor immediately. And trust me, I heard many more. But most of them stated that it was very important that I dry the floor immediately after washing. All methods above did say that you can't use alkaline or acidic cleaners. So, what is the right and wrong way? Do you have terrazzo floors.

  • I can see how all those suggestions can be frustrating and confusing. And it sounds like you've done your research.

    I don't have terrazzo floors but I did have porous tiles that had to be sealed in my old house. Like terrazzo floors, the tiles had to be resealed every few years...more often if not cleaned properly.

    I haven't used a steam cleaner with suction, but I do have a Hoover Floormate H3044 that I've used for the past 8 years. It doesn't use steam. (There are better models out now than what I have.) It also cleans the floors and sucks up the water at the same time and you have the option of turning the scrubbers off if you just want to use it like a wet vac. The scrubbers are interchangeable for more delicate surfaces.

    The company says you can only use certain type of cleaners in it (their brand, of course). But the Bona floor cleaner hasn't messed up the gaskets as far as I can tell. I used about 2 ounces of the cleaner and filled the rest of the tank with water so it wasn’t full strength.

    My gut feeling tells me it's best not to add heat to a sealer so this type of floor cleaner might be better for your floors. And I also think it's best to not let the water sit for too long since the sealer might be water-based.

    Btw, if you've never used a floor cleaner that sucks up the dirty water, you'll be absolutely amazed how much cleaner your floors will look. It will also save you the arduous task of getting on the floor to clean them by hand.

  • Catherine Deirdre Rodden Catherine Deirdre Rodden on Jan 25, 2019

    I was in a house with the old "poured" floor. Heavily trafficked areas would have stones settle and sealer look dirty. Used to do the on my hands and knees method until someone brought in a Shark Steam Mop. It did an amazing job but I went through the pads pretty quickly - only got about 3 washes out of them before no longer got floors clean. Maybe you can borrow a steam mop and try a small section to see if it will work for you.

  • William William on Jan 25, 2019

    You can also use hot water and a mild detergent. Dawn dish liquid would work. Do not use anything acidic (vinegar) or any citrus cleaners.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 25, 2019

    I have a terrazzo entryway. I clean it with Bona floor cleaner or granite cleaner. Do not use anything acidic on it because it will etch the floor. Do not use Holland House floor cleaner it will ruin the floor.