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The 7 Main Differences Between Poured in Place Terrazzo And Terrazzo Tiles

Are you looking to invest in terrazzo flooring for your next construction project? This article can guide you with the correct understanding of the best flooring options available to help you map out your specific project conditions and budget. Here are the seven significant differences between poured-in-place and terrazzo tiles. 

The 7 Main Differences Between Poured in Place Terrazzo And Terrazzo Tiles

Grout Joints

Poured-in-Place Epoxy Terrazzo flooring system is manufactured on-site by specialized installers, which results in a smooth, refined surface free of any grout joints. Competent terrazzo installers apply a thin-set epoxy terrazzo flooring at 3/8″ thickness. Terrazzo divider strips can provide two different functions; 

i. Divider strips offer crack mitigation when placed over standing joints or cracks in the concrete substrate.

ii. Divider strips can also be used as a specific design element like a color separation point as a design element themselves or between terrazzo colors.

What to know about Terrazzo & Grout Joints? 

The joints between premium terrazzo tiles create an undesired aesthetic and also generate noise pollution that is always created when you roll wheels across the flooring surface.  More so, seamless thin-set epoxy terrazzo seems to be a much quieter flooring system compared to any other tile floor. Besides, grout joints can also be a place for bacteria and to hide. The Build-up of debris and residue in the grout joints may affect the overall look of the flooring. This often makes the terrazzo tiles appear to be outdated. Meanwhile, poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo flooring comes with a smooth surface that eradicates typical issues of grout joints in heavy traffic area flooring systems.

Floor Installation

When looking for the difference between a thin-set epoxy terrazzo installation and a terrazzo tiles installation, there are a few differences in the installer that can lay the floor finishes and duration of the whole process. 

Terrazzo tiles are attractive options for specific projects because the materials are prefabricated, leading to an easier installation. The National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association encourages owners to hire a qualified terrazzo installer to do a poured-in-place terrazzo installation for good reasons. if you want to know more about Mosaic Association please visit

Thin-set epoxy terrazzo needs a crew of experts to mix the components, trowel the surface to the preferred thickness, and polish the terrazzo flooring. This can be somewhat complicated for any contractor who doesn’t have the right skills to perform the installation. Poured-in-place terrazzo can be a work of art with lasting results.  Compared to cement-based terrazzo tiling systems, epoxy terrazzo has a short pour-to-grind time.

The installation time differs depending on the current project size and scope. Epoxy terrazzo can also cover an ample commercial space in a few days. According to the NTMA, 

The 7 Main Differences Between Poured in Place Terrazzo And Terrazzo Tiles


Thin-set Epoxy Terrazzo seems to be the most affordable flooring system available for residential, commercial, and industrial projects. The value terrazzo offers due to the fewer repairs and replacements associated with epoxy terrazzo installations throughout 40-years  

Terrazzo tiles are also linked to a high initial cost. Here is an estimate of what you should expect for typical epoxy terrazzo tiles vs. poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo.

Terrazzo tiles vary in price based on the materials used and manufacturer. Some tiles manufacturers can carry mass production of tiles and have a stocked product that offers a lower price when compared to a custom finish.

Epoxy terrazzo tiles installations also vary based on the size of the project. Generally, poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo tends to be more affordable than tiles when there is significant square footage. At the same time, epoxy terrazzo tiles can be better for small space projects like airports, schools, hospitals, and other commercial places requiring terrazzo covering about 3,000-4,000 square feet. Poured-in-place terrazzo can also be priced similarly or cheaper than custom-made epoxy terrazzo tiles. Discuss with a competent terrazzo contractor to get the proper knowledge about the initial installation and lifecycle costs.

Lead Times

In addition to the earlier discussed pricing system, the lead time differs between poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo and the traditional terrazzo tiles. 

In some cases where terrazzo tiles manufacturers carry stocked tiles products, the next-day delivery is possible. However, for custom-made tiles, you can expect longer lead times. Customization requires architects and designers to choose the aggregates and epoxy resin before the production stage.


Durability is among the critical features of terrazzo tiles, making them suitable for heavy traffic areas. However, the lifespan of the traditional terrazzo tiles is shorter compared to a poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo floor. Indeed, terrazzo tiles can for about 10 to 15 years. For poured-in-place terrazzo, the durability can last for as long as 100 years.

Epoxy terrazzo can work with flexible membranes and liquid mitigation systems to eradicate cracking and other issues. As a seamless surface, the terrazzo has good impact resistance.

One of the reasons terrazzo tiles don’t last for as long as poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo is because of the expected presence of grout joints. With that, the tile edges are susceptible to cracking over time. Repairing the damages of terrazzo tiles can be costly for building owners. In contrast, a poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo lasts on with the minimal need for repairs or replacement. Even if the floors become damaged at any point in time, they can be reinstated at a fraction of the overall cost of installation. You can read about Geometric Terrazzo Tiles Patterns to Design Your Floor by clicking here.


Both epoxy terrazzo tiles and poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo can be specified at a 3/8″ thickness. Also, epoxy terrazzo toppings thickness can range from 1/4″ to 3/8″, are lighter and thinner weight than sand cushion and cement terrazzo toppings that have a 2″ to 3″ thickness.

It would help if you remembered that despite the thickness of epoxy terrazzo tiles, you still have to set the material so the overall height can be closer to 1/2″ thickness when you have finished installation.

One more factor you need to bear in mind is the aggregate size. Typically, the aggregate size affects the thickness of the terrazzo. Aggregates come with the size from #00 – #8 in the entire terrazzo industry. The use of larger aggregates is becoming more popular among designers. However, poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo might not be the best for Venetian styles. It all de[pends on the size of the aggregate. The micro aggregates and standard sizes range from size #0 – #2 are usually recommended for the best epoxy terrazzo designs.