Episode 93- Hidden historic details #1-Terrazzo finishes

vloer0 OK, our Maison  may not be as grand and glamourous as this one on  http://www.thisoldhouse.com , but  we have old terrazzo staircases and we have discovered that under layers of dust, dirt and caked on cement, we do have some terrazzo skirtings (base boards) upstairs  that I have finally started sorting and cleaning. Shock horror! these are rather gorgeous! Now I have found out that terrazzo as a building material was more commonly used in the South of France than I thought, I have researched it a bit more.

Used for floors, stairs and fireplace surrounds, this is a combination of marble, granite, quartz and later glass pieces bedded into cement or resin and then ground & polished for a smooth and shiny surface. Originally, clay was the  base. When machinery was developed in 1920 to speed up the process, it became even more popular  as a tough and easy to clean flooring with a cool feel perfect for warmer climes.

We have two colourways that will be cleaned, recut and re-used. The chic grey/silver/lilac colourway with fragments of mother of pearl and abalone shells will go back into the modified and re-designed shower room.IMG_0075

Photos do  not do these justice, will post some of it fully restored and in situ soon.


The one we found in the tulip bedroom is very pale pink with chips of black marble and silvery shell fragments again.

The colours of both suggest the early 20th century( as above) and I am pretty sure that is the period when they were fitted , so nearly a century old!

When we first viewed the house, it wasn’t one of those raw gems of a project stacked floor-to-ceiling  with obvious historic features  and original period details. It was a mis-matched  dark, brown box with  50’s wallpaper and formica everywhere. When we started  taking things down and moving things round, we were  pleasantly suprised at what had been hidden above false ceilings and  behind cupboards

Like the three ancient beams that hold half the house up,the rough undressed stone and giant river pebbles that make up the walls and the traces of medieval timber framework, the house is emerging from it’s ugly duckling aspect into  something even better than we ever thought it could be.

The bargain first foothold in France might just be the last project. Who knew?


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Episode 93- Hidden historic details #1-Terrazzo finishes

  1. bizzyella says:

    Oh yeah, terrazzo is great. How lucky you are to have it in your house — and how smart to appreciate it. I thought about terrazzo, too, but couldn’t find the craftsmen. Can’t wait to see it in place, all fixed up.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s