3 Things Every Designer Should Know When Working with Terrazzo
Interview with Interior Designer, Kate Bautista, HGA
From hospitals to global tech centers, it’s Kate Bautista’s job to create appealing commercial spaces, which is one reason the HGA interior designer and her colleagues embrace terrazzo flooring.
“The idea that you can mix and modify the look, that’s really appealing to the design folks,” Bautista said.
But she doesn’t stop there. With a firm belief that commercial space needs to offer function and practicality, Bautista said terrazzo delivers on more than just the style front.
“From a performance perspective, terrazzo is an ideal flooring material,” Bautista said. “Nobody really has to be sold on it. One of my colleagues said, ‘I think we should use terrazzo on every project.’”
Bautista knows why. Terrazzo is durable, offers an endless supply of design capabilities and is easy to maintain. Here are three things Bautista said every designer should consider when tackling a project with terrazzo:
1. Collaboration with all parties provides better results. “You want integrative project delivery,” Bautista said. “It all begins with having trade partners on board early and working together with your general contractor and subcontractors. Having them involved in the estimate and coordination of the project saves time in the end, and provides a better result for everyone.”
2. From matte to shiny, terrazzo has a variety of finishes. It’s important to discuss the finish with each customer, because everyone has a different preference for their floor’s level of shine.
“With flooring in general, some people think shiny equals clean,” Bautista said.
Different finishes have different connotations, so it’s important that all parties understand what the client wants in regards to the finish.
3. Know and communicate the long-term value of terrazzo. Owners often look only at upfront costs, but designers and architects take the long view on aesthetics, durability and maintenance.
With terrazzo, value is realized over the long term through reduced maintenance and replacement costs. When considered against other flooring options, it’s the best value for most commercial applications.
“Depending on the project, terrazzo can be right around the same price of porcelain tile,” Bautista said. “And if you can afford that, you should be considering terrazzo.”
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