Nurazzo - Terrazzo tiles

Discussion in 'Ceramic and Stone Q&A' started by JWDAL, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. JWDAL

    JWDAL New Member

    I have approx 650 sq ft of slate installed over a pier and beam foundation. I want to replace it with a product I found named Nurazzo. It's a terrazzo tile with the same ingredients of a poured in place terrazzo. I called the company and they said any experienced tile installer can put it in but I'd like to find someone with some experience using the product. The rep in my area gave me a couple of names but they're commercial.

    I've had the slate for over 15 years and it's been pretty good. The guy put Hardiebacker down over the subfloor. He told me that it provided strength but I don't think that's true. I think it's mostly used for a water barrier in wet areas. Over the years I've had some grout cracking and a couple of tiles popping off, due to some subfloor movement I guess.

    If I replace the slate, I think the old Hardiebacker needs to be removed. I don't know if I need to do any reinforcement of the subfloor or not. I don't know if this project is even feasible. I am looking for someone in the Dallas area who could give me some advice.
  2. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Terrazzo tiles can be installed as if they were ceramic/stone into thin set over a SECURE substrate or they can be installed into acryllic adhesive similar to resilient tiles----again, the key will be to ensure a SECURE substrate. That means little to no movement/deflection when we're working with a wood structure.

    I'd recommend tearing out all the existing slate and Hardibacker down to the subfloor. Depending on your joists/posts/beams/subfloor system you will need to install UNDERLAYMENT GRADE plywood over the subfloor of sufficient thickness------possibly two layers to prevent the terrazzo from cracking like your slate did.

    I've installed many thousands of square feet-------all commercial projects on concrete slabs (Actually just a handful of jobs but compared to residential work it's a lot of footag.). We use various adhesives depending on manufacturer's or architectual specifications. It's a very nice material. With adhesive rather than thin set you don't use grout. To me that looks 100% better than the jobs I've see that were grouted. Either way it's a nice floor. I just believe grout kills the effect of terrazzo that I assume you are after.
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  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Hardibacker is not for strength. It is not for water barrier. It is to provide a surface to bond to.

    Grout cracking is due to movement. Loose tile is probably more movement. Installed incorrectly it can continue. Expansion joints probably were not installed for the tile.

    I'm sure there are great consultants in Dallas. I'm not a fan of Terrazzo squares. Maybe because it's a poured product but then cut in pieces.

    I'd probably find an NTCA five star contractor and see if the slate is worth repairing. Not sure if they want to repair someone else's subpar work.
  4. Kman

    Kman Tile Expert I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    There are a number of reasons why your slate and grout are cracking. Almost none of them are repairable.

    The pier-and-beam construction, like we see on the left coast, is capable of handling ceramic tile, but typically not natural stone. You likely have 2x material, hopefully tongue and groove and in good shape, over the 48" centered joists. If that's the case, you can add a layer of 1/2" (or thicker) plywood, properly installed, before adding a tile substrate and ceramic tile.

    As for what's there now, if you're in luck the previous installer did a hack job, allowing a very easy demolition. Hardibacker is supposed to be set in mortar, but if I were going to be tearing it out, I'd be praying that the previous installer worked for cheap and was ignorant about proper methods, and screwed or nailed it down without anything underneath.

    Bottom line, you really can't tell how it was installed until you start tearing it out. Praying for the crappy install <fingers crossed>.

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