Stoneweave is engineered concrete

  • Triple the MPA of standard structural concrete
  • Excellent flexural strength and chip resistance
  • Thickness from 10mm – 50mm available
  • Unlimited sheet sizes
  • Recycled glass is used for beauty and strength
  • Excellent outdoors an an all weather material
  • Specialised sealants available and sealed at no extra cost
  • Unlimited edge profiles and mitre joints

What is a Terrazzo tile?

Terrazzo was created by Venetian construction workers as a low cost flooring material to surface the patios around their living quarters. Originally consisting of scrap marble chips set in clay and sealed with goat milk, production of terrazzo became much easier after the introduction of electric industrial grinders and other power equipment in the 1920s.

Archaeologists have adopted the term terrazzo to describe the floors of early neolithic buildings (PPN A and B, ca. 9,000–8,000 BC) in Western Asia constructed of burnt lime and clay, colored red with ochre and polished. The embedded crushed limestone gives it a slightly mottled appearance. The use of fire to produce burnt lime, which was also used for the hafting of implements, predates production of fired pottery by almost a thousand years.[citation needed] In the early Neolithic settlement of Cayönü in eastern Turkey ca. 90 m² of terrazzo floors have been uncovered. The floors of the PPN B settlement of Nevali Cori measure about 80 m². They are 15 cm thick, and contain about 10–15% lime.

These floors are almost impenetrable to moisture and very durable, but their construction involved a high input of energy. Gourdin and Kingery (1975) estimate that the production of any given amount of lime requires about five times that amount of wood.[1][clarification needed] Recent experiments by Affonso and Pernicka[2] have shown that only twice the amount is needed, but that would still amount to 4.5 metric tons of dry wood for the floors in Cayönü. Other sites with terrazzo floors include Nevali Cori, Göbekli Tepe, Jericho, and Kastros (Cyprus).


Terrazzo with stylized Native-American design at the Hoover Dam

Terrazzo wall at the Gamla stan metro station, Stockholm
Terrazzo artisans create walls, floors, patios, and panels by exposing marble chips and other fine aggregates on the surface of finished concrete or epoxy-resin. Much of the preliminary work of terrazzo workers is similar to that of cement masons. Marble-chip, cementitious terrazzo requires three layers of materials. First, cement masons or terrazzo workers build a solid, level concrete foundation that is three to four inches deep. After the forms are removed from the foundation, workers add a one-inch layer of sandy concrete. Before this layer sets, terrazzo workers partially embed metal divider strips in the concrete wherever there is to be a joint or change of color in the terrazzo. For the final layer, terrazzo workers blend and place into each of the panels a fine marble chip mixture that may be color-pigmented. While the mixture is still wet, workers toss additional marble chips of various colors into each panel and roll a weighted roller (100–125 lbs.) over the entire surface.

In the 1970s, polymer-based terrazzo was introduced and is called thin-set terrazzo. Initially polyester and vinyl ester resins were used as the binder resin. Today, most of the terrazzo installed is epoxy terrazzo. The advantages of this material over cementitious terrazzo include a wider selection of colors,  1⁄4 inch to  3⁄8 inch installation thickness, lighter weight, faster installation, impermeable finish, higher strength, and less susceptibility to cracking. The disadvantage of epoxy resin–based terrazzo is that it can only be used for interior, not exterior, applications. Epoxy-based terrazzo will lose its color and slightly peel when used outdoors, whereas cement-based terrazzo will not. In addition to marble aggregate blends, other aggregates have been used, such as mother of pearl and abalone shell. Recycled aggregates include: glass, porcelain, concrete, and metal. Shapes and medallions can be fabricated on site by bending divider strips, or off site by water-jet cutting.

When the terrazzo is thoroughly cured, helpers grind it with a terrazzo grinder, which is somewhat like a floor polisher, only much heavier. Slight depressions left by the grinding are filled with a matching grout material and hand-troweled for a smooth, uniform surface; it is then cleaned, polished, and sealed.[3]

As per

How to lay a concrete floor tile :

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Overview Of Concrete Tile Installation

Concrete tiles can, for the most part, be installed like other types of tile. But there are some caveats to be aware of:

Concrete tile is a bit heavier than ceramic tile.

Concrete tile should be handled with care prior to and during installation. Avoid stacking the tiles and dropping them.

To prevent staining, it is advisable to seal concrete tile surfaces with a penetrating sealer before grouting. This will also make it easier to spread the grout and assist in cleanup. To provide Lasting protection from environment elements and stains V-SEAL Concrete Sealers, in partnership with Villa Lagoon Tile, have introduced a sealing process specifically engineered for encaustic cement tile, learn more.

You should always test a colored grout on a spare piece of concrete tile to be sure that the grout pigment does not stain the tile surface.

For installation of concrete tiles use a name-brand fortified thin-set or tile mastic that is recommended for the surface you are mounting the tile to.

After beginning tile installation, remove a piece of tile to inspect the coverage of adhesive you are getting on the back. Ideally, it should be covering 90% to 100% of the surface.

Due to the weight of concrete, when installing on walls you will need to support each tile to avoid slipping.

What is polished concrete?

Polished concrete is concrete that has been treated with a chemical densifier and ground with progressively finer grinding tools. The grinding tools are usually progressive grits of diamond grinding cup wheels and diamond polishing pads.[1] Typically, concrete is not considered polished before 400 grit, and it is normally finished to either the 800, 1500, or 3000 grit level. Stains and dyes are often applied to enhance polished concrete as well as other options such as scoring, creating radial lines, grids, bands, borders, and other designs.

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Polished concrete is considered a good sustainable design flooring option because it makes use of the materials already present. Most modern buildings are built on a concrete slab; polishing the exposed concrete eliminates the energy and material consumed by applying a floor covering. It is something to consider when building or modernizing towards a more green solution.

Polished concrete floors are low-maintenance, as they are more durable and easier to clean than many flooring options. Its relatively high coefficient of friction can make it non-slippery. Polished concrete reduces dust mite and allergen problems, and does not support mould growth. Anecdotal evidence suggests highly reflective polished concrete reduces lighting needs and improves natural lighting, but as yet there has not been a study to confirm this. Polished concrete flooring is hard wearing and will not chip or dent like softer surfaces such as timber. Mopping with warm soapy water once a week is the only maintenance required and adding other cleansers or wax will only dull the finish. A concrete floor that has been hardened and polished will have an extremely long life expectancy compared to other flooring.[2] For example, some tile floors may only last 10–20 years, although porcelain tile floors will last hundreds of years with no maintenance), but a polished concrete floor that has been properly maintained may give 100+ years of service.

New or retrofit
In simple terms, the process of polishing concrete is similar to sanding wood. Heavy-duty polishing machines, for example concrete grinder, are used to gradually grind down surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness. The closest equivalent example would be polished granite or marble.

Polished concrete floor installation is categorised into two types: new floors, and retrofit floors.

New floors

New polished concrete slab
New floors require less work resulting in lower costs, but there are a few things to be aware of before a new concrete floor can be polished. Firstly the slab can contain a decorative aggregate. The three most common aggregates are river stone, granite, and black basalt mix, however the aggregate can be almost anything. The finished surface of the concrete will need to be finished to a high standard to facilitate the polishing process. During the finishing phase any decorative aggregates such as seashells, glass chips or even metal car parts can be dropped into the surface of the concrete. Builder needs to be aware as early as possible if the concrete is to be polished so that the final finish is of the best quality.

Retrofit floors
Retrofit floors can be done in two ways. The existing floor slab can be cut or sanded and the natural aggregate will be the feature or a topping slab with a minimum thickness of 50 mm can be added on top of the existing slab.

Diamond-polished concrete process
A diamond polished concrete floor is very time-consuming if done correctly, this is due to the fact that there are at least 10 to 15 steps involved. The general rule is to start the initial grinding with a coarse 16- or 30-grit diamond and finish with a 1500- or 3000-grit diamond, depending on the gloss level required. These diamonds are impregnated inside a metal- or resin-bonded segment. Typically the diamonds’ grit size will double once the first grind has been carried out. The use of 16- or 30-grit size diamonds, then use 60/80-grit diamonds followed by the 120-grit metal bond segments. The polishing process begins with a 50-grit diamond resin pad instead of a metal segment. When using the resin pads the steps may be 100, then 200, 400, 800, 1500 and finally 3000 grit. Throughout the process a densifier is used to harden the concrete surface, which allows the concrete to be polished. A number of densifiers can be used; these consist of a lithium, potassium sodium silicates. A grouting chemical is also used throughout the process to fill in any holes, cracks or imperfections that were exposed from the initial coarse grinding step. The concrete is then sealed with a natural-look impregnating sealer; this sealer penetrates 2–5 mm inside the pores of the concrete preventing any deep staining from oils and spills.

Grind-and-seal polished concrete process
This system is the standard polished concrete system where the concrete surface is ground to the desired level using coarse 16- or 30-grit metal-bonded diamonds. When the desired grind level is achieved, the surface is re-ground with usually a 60-grit diamond to remove any visible scratching. Grouting and patching may be required to fill any voids, holes, cracks or imperfections. The surface is then cleaned and prepared for the application of either a gloss or matte surface coating, or an impregnating enhancing sealer.


New polished concrete floor
Process involved in polishing concrete:

The concrete floor is cut with a variety of diamond abrasive grits, usually, 3-8 depending on the gloss level desired. Many in the industry do not consider a 3-step grinding to be truly polished concrete. The 3-step process is often referred to as a hybrid polished concrete. This polishing can be done wet or dry depending on the site situation. Benefits of dry grinding include easier clean-up since no slurry is created during the process. However dry grinding can expose workers as well as the HVAC system to harmful amorphous silica dust. Wet grinding eliminates this problem and has become increasingly popular because of this; however, the disposal of the slurry created also causes some concerns. Some companies have adopted strict silicosis policies due to the silica exposure of dry grinding.
A densifier is applied once the concrete is opened up and in a condition to readily accept the chemical. The step at which the densifier is applied is determined by the person polishing the concrete. A high-solids lithium silicate is used on many polished concrete floors. Sodium silicate and potassium silicates are also used.
The densifier is allowed to dry and cure for the manufacturers recommended time, followed by one or more abrasive cuts, which will polish the floor to the desired gloss.
Timing of delivery depends on the type of equipment that a contractor uses. It can be expected that a 32-inch grinder will average 600 square feet per hour per grit, and a large, Bobcat-mounted 3-headed grinder can grind 2,000 square feet per hour per grit. The Bobcat grinders have limited availability on the east and west coasts of the U.S. Some industry experts do not consider Bobcat grinders or remotely controlled grinders suitable for highly refined work.

Vibraneat is the manufacturer of high quality polished concrete surfaces for the Stoneweave concrete terrazzo range. See also

Polished concrete flooring at a fraction of the cost.

White tiles with polished glass aggregate. Large glass chips cast into white concrete and polished to a shine. These tiles can be used poolside with a non slip finish. Bullnose pool edges, white concrete stairs. Large scale tiles up to 3000mm x 600mm x 20mm