How to Stain Terrazzo Flooring

Lane Cummings

Terrazzo flooring consists of chips of marble, glass and other materials embedded in cement, and then sanded, smoothed and polished. The website “This Old House” explains how this type of flooring was an accidental discovery.

Give terrazzo floors a thorough mopping before applying the stain.

Mosaic artists in northern Italy pushed marble chips on the surface of their terraces, smoothing the surfaces by treading on them. If you have terrazzo flooring, you've chosen a low-maintenance type of flooring that will look good for years. However, if you’re in need of a change, applying stain to your flooring is a suitable solution.


Wear old clothes and rubber gloves during this procedure.

  1. Sweep the floor thoroughly, disposing of all materials into the garbage. Mix 1/4 cup all-purpose cleanser with 1 gallon of water in a bucket. Dip your mop in the solution and mop the entire floor. Allow it to dry.

  2. Fill a bucket with floor wax stripper and dilute it according to the directions on the package. Pour your diluted wax stripper on areas of your floor and then go over them with your electric floor scrubber. Using a wax stripper that doesn't require rinsing cuts down on your work.

  3. Add 1 1/2 cup muriatic acid in to a bucket filled with a gallon of water. Dip a mop in the mixture and apply it to the floor. This will open up the terrazzo to better receive the stain. Rinse with cold water when finished.

  4. Pour your stain into a paint roller pan. Roll the stain onto the flooring, section by section. After you cover one section, buff that section with a buffer, so that the stain penetrates deep into the cement of the terrazzo.

  5. Wipe up the excess specks of stain from the floor with a clean, dry mop. Once you've mopped up all the excess stain, use that same mop to apply a floor wax designed specifically for terrazzo floors.