St. Louis CNR Article Features Local 18 Signatory Contractor in Latest Issue

Reprinted with written permission from the September-October 2019 issue of St. Louis CNR Magazine
Excerpted from "Multitude of Flooring Options Offer Spectrum of Colors, Branding, Character" by Kerry Smith. Photo and article used with permission.


Terrazzo, a composite material, can be poured in place or precast, and is commonly used for floors as well as wall treatments. Comprised of marble, quartz, glass and other recycled materials, set in cement or epoxy and given a high polish, terrazzo offers a myriad of color choices.

According to Missouri Terrazzo President and Owner Paul J. Berra III, whose company has been installing commercial flooring for 87 years, terrazzo is a popular choice for high-profile construction and revitalization projects looking to add signature flair. Among many other St. Louis-centric projects, Missouri
Terrazzo installed more than 55,000 square feet of terrazzo at the Gateway Arch Museum and Visitor Center as part of the destination’s total $380 million makeover that was complete in mid-2018.

“That project is unique from a terrazzo perspective because it incorporates every aspect of the flooring material,” said Berra. “It’s known as a sand cushion cement terrazzo because underneath the beautiful surface is a sand bed cushion to tolerate a huge number of visitors. The cement-based product utilizes venetian aggregates.” Because the project owner and designers wanted to recognize and replicate the original designer’s vision, this type of terrazzo made sense, Berra said.

One level up from the visitor center’s terrazzo floor is a 4,200-square-foot, mezzanine-level epoxy terrazzo floor depicting a map of the U.S. detailing the Westward Expansion. “The mezzanine’s terrazzo is not cementitious but rather is epoxy  terrazzo,” Berra said. “The beauty of it is that the epoxy can be made in any color imaginable.”

The epoxy terrazzo U.S. map contains more than 10 unique colors, he added, each representing a distinct shade of epoxy. “Colorful epoxy terrazzo has been popular on the coasts for a while now,” said Berra, “and that trend is now migrating to the Midwest. Architects love to specify epoxy terrazzo flooring because of the limitless color choices as well as its brilliance. More companies are incorporating logos and other branding identities into their flooring through this material.”

Epoxy flake and quartz floors are an additional flooring surface used on commercial projects Missouri Terrazzo completes in and around St. Louis. “Whether it’s in terrazzo or in resinous flooring material, organizations are seeking to create a distinct identity and make a brand statement through their flooring,” Berra said. “Epoxy flake flooring is one option, wherein chips of vinyl flake are mixed into the epoxy.”  

Another option, according to Berra, is decorative quartz flooring, colored quartz sand that is broadcasted into the epoxy. Recycled glass, plastic and porcelain are also incorporated into terrazzo, creating a sustainable, eco-friendly option. “Translucence and color are great features of terrazzo that contains recycled ingredients,” he said.

Terrazzo is timeless, according to Berra. If properly maintained, he said, it will last a lifetime. The company is installing terrazzo flooring in several high-profile healthcare facility projects, including SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital currently under construction in Midtown St. Louis. Missouri Terrazzo is also the terrazzo flooring contractor for several Mercy Health campuses in Missouri and Arkansas.

Wrapping terrazzo up the interior walls of commercial structures is another creative, durable use of this flooring type, according to Berra. “We’re working on a job right now where the contractor accidentally demolished an eight-foot wall of terrazzo,” he said. “We’re replicating that wall by vertically applying terrazzo.”

Creating breathtaking indoor water features – for example, a water fountain built from wood and wrapped in terrazzo – is another usage for the popular flooring material, according to Berra.

Resinous flooring – such as decorative and industrial epoxy floors and wall systems – and dyed/polished and stained concrete flooring are other common commercial flooring options that also offer project owners a variety of color choices.

The full article is available here.