Of the many flooring options available today, mosaic and terrazzo are finding their respective ways back into the limelight. In this post, we pit mosaic vs terrazzo in terms of key interior design factors– durability, cost and effortless style.

Mosaic vs Terrazzo: What is Mosaic?
Mosaic vs Terrazzo-mosaic
An artistic mosaic pattern

Simply put, mosaic is the style of setting roughly cut square pieces of stone, marble or glass into a flat binding surface. To fill out the gaps between chips, you can use grout or cement. Mosaic is an age-old art form, appearing all over the world from the Middle East to medieval Italy.

Mosaic vs Terrazzo: What is Terrazzo?
Mosaic vs Terrazzo-terrazzo
Created by mixing chips of marble with others

Terrazzo is a flooring style that dates back to Italy. In simple terms, the flooring style involves mixing chips of marble, glass or natural stone into a binding mixture, usually cement.

Mosaic vs Terrazzo: Drawing Comparisons
Mosaic vs Terrazzo-comparison
Can you tell the difference?

While terrazzo was derived from mosaic, the main difference between them lies in the pattern. Mosaic involves placing individual pieces in a decorative pattern of choice and then filling in the empty areas. By contrast, in terrazzo, we have smaller pieces thrown haphazardly into a base to prepare an even surface.

The second major difference between the two is the level of the surface to the touch. Mosaic comes off as rough and bumpy because pieces were set by hand and then filled around. Terrazzo is smooth and level because the masons mix it first before laying it out.

Here are other factors that define differences in the mosaic vs terrazzo battle:

Mosaic vs Terrazzo: Cost
Mosaic vs Terrazzo-cost
The cost of both depend on a number of factors

Depending on the colours used and the pattern chosen, the cost of mosaic varies. Complex patterns over larger areas will account for rising costs. That said, if you’d like to create a centrepiece on the floor with mosaic, you should be good to go without breaking the bank. 

Terrazzo is one of the more cost-effective options, especially if you choose terrazzo tiles for larger areas. In situ setting of terrazzo could prove to be costly as they need expert applications. Adding on colours also increases the cost, as does changing the added material, for example from regular stone to marble.

Mosaic vs Terrazzo: Durability
Mosaic vs Terrazzo-durability
Both are durable but the decision depends on usage

Time stands as a testament to the durability of mosaic– plenty of archaeological finds still feature mosaic flooring. Mosaic tiles are perfect for kitchens and bathrooms because they are resistant to chemicals and can be cleaned easily. If you’re going the traditional mosaic route, you may want to lay it in areas of low footfall. This is because grime may stick into the grout lines. 

Terrazzo flooring is perfect for massive areas with high footfall because it’s easy to wipe down. Moreover, it’s resistant to scratches too! The lines between tiles are also much thinner, which reduces the amount of dirt that sits. However, terrazzo can be quite slippery, especially when freshly sealed.

Mosaic vs Terrazzo: Style
Mosaic vs Terrazzo-style
Mosaic wins when it comes to looks

Since mosaic offers up the opportunity to create personalised designs, they rank quite highly in terms of style. There are plenty of colours and materials to choose from depending on your favoured design palette. 

Terrazzo can be quite stylish, but buying readymade tiles can limit the colour options. There are also no pre-determined patterns involved, which could be a bummer if you’re looking to create statement flooring.

In the end, both mosaic and terrazzo flooring have their similarities and differences. The winner in the mosaic vs terrazzo battle entirely depends on your style and budget!

You might want to read this too: Variety, Cost, Durability: Just a Few Reasons to Choose Terrazzo

Send in your comments and suggestions.

editor@livspace.com