Terrazzo: A Quality, Budget-Friendly Alternative

Hotel replaces common areas with flooring that's just as beautiful and easier to install.
Posted on 06/23/2020

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Ideally located along the lake shore in Lake George Village, N.Y., Surfside on the Lake Hotel is a family-owned and family-friendly resort that offers a private sandy beach, panoramic views of Lake George and much more to guests. In 2015, the hotel underwent a major renovation to demolish its outdated administrative building—which also housed the lobby/front desk and 50 guest rooms—and replace it with a new, three-level building that includes underground parking and conference and meeting rooms. The renovation is expected to enable the seasonal resort to make the transition to year-round hotel by catering to business travelers.

As part of the renovation, the owner wanted the floors of the hotel lobby and elevator lobbies, located on multiple levels, to have an elegant terrazzo feel—without having to pay the high cost of traditional terrazzo flooring. Traditional terrazzo flooring often is expensive and time-consuming to install. The higher price tag is due to the materials used; terrazzo flooring is made out of little chips and pieces of other materials, like marble, pearl or quartz. Glass, however, is a great, low-cost alternative to keep costs down. Contractor D.J. Rosetti of Malta, N.Y., was able to meet the owner’s specification by using CTS Cement’s Rapid Set® TRU® Self-Leveling advanced hydraulic cement-based floor topping with relatively low-cost glass aggregates.

A faster, less expensive option

For the Surfside project, contractor D.J. Rosetti offered a faster, less expensive option, which was made possible by using quick-setting and self-leveling hydraulic cement-based materials.

After surface prep was performed via grinding, the contractor first applied Rapid Set® TXP™ Fast Primer with a sand broadcast. The zero-VOC epoxy primer was applied by squeegee and back rolled to a smooth finish with a ½-inch nap roller. This two-component primer was an ideal choice for the hotel’s lakeside environment because it is alkali-resistant, moisture-tolerant and resistant to elevated pH levels. It can be used on floors with a moisture-vapor emission rate up to 20 pounds, RH of 100% and pH up to 14. It prevents pinholes and is specially formulated to have excellent substrate-wetting capabilities to promote penetration and adhesion, enabling the TRU® Self-Leveling topping to be placed in as little as six hours.

The next step was applying TRU Self-Leveling via 3/8-inch gauge rake and TRU spiked roller. Because it cures to a light off-white color, the product is well-suited for stained, dyed or integrally colored floors and decorative embedded-aggregate flooring. For this project, the contractor added liquid pigment to the mix, broadcast colored glass, and polished for a finished look. A different color was assigned to each floor.

As with the epoxy primer, the one-component topping is ideal for the lakeside environment because it is crack-resistant, durable and won’t deteriorate in damp conditions. TRU rapidly levels, maintains workability for 30 minutes and produces a smooth, strong surface with high bond strength. It is ready for foot traffic in two to three hours.

By using fast-setting materials to speed installation time and choosing colored glass as the embedded aggregates instead of pricier materials, like marble chips, D.J. Rosetti was able to provide the owner with a strong, attractive and budget-friendly terrazzo flooring option. The contractor had to work around other trades involved in the hotel renovation, but was able to install the 4,000 square feet of flooring in less than two weeks. The owner is pleased with the finished product.

Project at a glance
  • Project type: Flooring
  • Application: Polishable concrete overlay
  • Location: Lake George Village, NY
  • Size: 4,000 sq. ft.
  • Date: 2015
  • Owner: Surfside on the Lake Hotel & Suites
  • Contractor: D.J. Rosetti of Malta, NY
  • Products: Rapid Set® TRU® Self-Leveling, TXP™ FAST Epoxy Primer, TRU® Spiked Roller
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