Terrazzo is making a statement in current design trends. We asked local design professionals if it’s a classic design element or nothing but a craze.

Edited by Moe Godat

Photography courtesy of Artistic Tile



Terrazzo is not only a classic, it is steeped in centuries of historic relevance. Having just returned from Italy, I saw ancient examples of beautiful terrazzo floors in Rome, Venice, Sienna, Florence, everywhere we stayed; most of our charming boutique hotels sported a Terrazzo floor and, as one of our walking tour guides pointed out, the floors remain perfect, intact and elegant throughout the perils of history. Magnifico! Kris Keller, The Design Source Ltd.

The art form can be traced to ancient times in Egypt, popularized in Italy and then used in the United States in the early 1900s. It was used profusely in older St. Louis homes in Clayton and the Central West End. Although terrazzo is quite expensive it’s lifespan can last up to 100 years. Terrazzo tiles are less expensive and thus popular today. Terrazzo can be used for flooring, furniture, kitchen counters and any other surface that can be uniquely customized and stain resistant. It’s low maintenance and ability to be polished to look new makes it a highly desirable product. The sustainability factor is a plus in my opinion and definitely a classic. Joni Spear, Joni Spear Interiors.

It’s not a craze, thank goodness. That means for St. Louis it will remain unique and timeless for the right purpose. For other areas of the country, like Florida, it’s among many popular choices. For commercial spaces, it can be a staple. For Mid-century Design, it can hit the right note. I hope we continue to use it sparingly and with skillful design intent. Given its price tag, I don’t expect it to become overdone. Dana King, Dana King — Design. Build. Remodeling.

Terrazzo is a classic! Today's terrazzo has been around for more than 50 years. Homes have had terrazzo on their sunroom floors for 80+ years. A unique stone that dictates the entire space of the room it inhabits! You truly notice its presence! Carol Temple, Pizazz 2 Interiors.

Years of use and the fact that it still looks great makes this material a classic. David Schneider, Schneider Kennedy & PURE Home Design.

What is old is new again. Terrazzo actually began in Italy around 1400. It is a poured composite material mixed with chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass and other materials. Terrazzo is easy to pour and create custom flooring and walls treatments. Terrazzo is currently being used again on countertops and flooring tiles. It is popular because it is highly durable, easy to maintain, and will last for the life of the space that it is used in.  Modern uses of terrazzo give a retro feel to a space. The popularity of terrazzo waxes and wanes but due to the customization aspect and high durability, terrazzo will be used for many years and is a classic design element. Barbara Collins, Barbara Collins Interior Design.



It’s definitely a trend. I can see it as a viable choice for a commercial design project for durability but not residentially.  I just do not see it taking hold in the Midwest. There are so many other great options out there I struggle to find its appeal. CJ Knapp, Yours By Design.



Terrazzo is one material that can be both classic and craze! Time-honored terrazzo as seen in older, stately homes is a classic.  Historic homes with graceful foyers and sweeping stairs covered in beautiful dark charcoal terrazzo are elegant and can be beautifully traditional or reinvented into more transitional spaces. However, the trendy multi-color terrazzo making up furniture pieces or modern countertops and flooring is a craze. Kathleen Matthews, Designer Savvy Design Group.