Go Green with Terrazzo: The Original Recycled Flooring Material

Earth is our home, and we should strive to protect it. One way we can all make a positive impact on the environment is by using sustainable products that meet environmentally-friendly composition, durability, recycled content and air quality standards.

It’s not a new idea. The Italian artisans who created terrazzo back in the 16th century were motivated to re-use marble chips discarded during mosaic tile projects. They mixed the remnants with clay to produce “the original recycled flooring material” and successfully applied the mixture to patios at their own homes to create stunning outdoor living spaces. Made of natural materials, these early terrazzo floors made good use of recycled waste and proved durable. So durable, many 16th-century terrazzo floors are still in existence today.

Today’s terrazzo has evolved from its early composition of marble and clay. Now featuring various materials including glass, granite, quartz, marble and more, both cement-based, and thin-set epoxy terrazzo flooring systems are comprised of zero VOC materials. The absence of VOC, or volatile organic compounds, means terrazzo produces little or no off-gassing of air pollutants or irritants. Non-porous, terrazzo also repels moisture and does not support microbial growth, both of which help to maintain a mold-free environment with improved indoor air quality. Breathe deeply!

Recognized for its recycled content, durability, low maintenance and indoor air quality features, terrazzo is considered by the U.S. Green Building Council to be a sustainable product. When used in building projects, it can contribute to the achievement of Project LEED Certification Goals. LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Standards) is well-established in the United States with notable LEED Certified Buildings including the Willis Tower in Chicago, San Francisco’s International Airport Terminal 2, and the Clifton Hotel in Miami Beach.

Originally built in 1948, the Clifton Hotel project involved the careful rehabilitation of original historic building features such as the terrazzo flooring in the lobby and terrace, as well as the historic neon sign which is now flanked by LED lighting. It was the first LEED-certified hotel in the City of Miami Beach and the First LEED Gold Hotel in the State of Florida.

The TREND Group’s green product lines contribute measurably to LEED ratings based on credits for Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design. LEED rating criteria can be found on the U.S. Green Building Council website at https://new.usgbc.org/leed.

Our green product lines are certified by the NSF Public Health and Safety Organization, and recognized by the Greenguard Environmental Institute; an industry-independent organization that aims to protect human health and improve quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. The TREND Group is also listed on Declare, the transparency platform and product database overseen by the International Living Future Institute.

U.S. Green Building Council
Declare. The Nutrition Label for Products

Ever wonder why you always seem to be walking on terrazzo in public places? Environmentally-conscious builders value terrazzo’s durability and longevity and almost always recommend terrazzo flooring for high-foot traffic areas in airports, hospitals, malls, hotels, supermarkets – even theme parks.

That leads us to one thing we haven’t mentioned. Flexibility. Because terrazzo tile is manufactured by mixing different elements together, artists and designers can choose almost any style or color to embed decorative designs, official seals, murals and maps right into the terrazzo flooring system.

Among all the green options on the U.S. market today, terrazzo flooring is regarded as one of the most sustainable and versatile flooring systems for new construction and building remodeling projects for all the reasons we’ve mentioned. By manufacturing in the USA, you can add yet another benefit. Local sourcing. Terrazzo manufactured in the United States minimizes post-commercial waste and transportation costs. By comparison, much of the marble and ceramic tile used in America is manufactured overseas and imported. Goods made overseas have a higher carbon footprint because they are shipped across the ocean, burning fossil fuel and emitting greenhouse gases with every mile traveled.

The TREND Group serves the North American and Latin American Markets with its TREND USA corporate offices in Miami, Florida and a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Sebring, Florida. Now the worldwide source of TREND’s engineered stone, our plant in Sebring currently produces over 8 million square feet annually, with new equipment installed to more than double this capacity.

So let’s review. Recyclable materials with no VOCs reduce waste and improve indoor air quality. Easy maintenance and durability ensure longevity. Flexibility enables creative design and being made in the USA reduces sourcing costs, not to mention the carbon footprint. At TREND Group, we are proud to manufacture environmentally-friendly terrazzo. Click on “terrazzo” on our home page to be inspired by our latest offerings, or give us a call at (866) 655-0164 discuss your terrazzo project today. You may also send us an email at info-us@trend-group.com.

In the words of Ernest Hemingway, “The Earth is a fine place, and worth fighting for.”

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