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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 209 (185)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 209
Page 209

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 209


Among the hard surface floors in the average theatre over the country, terrazzo seems to predominate, especially in the lobbies and rest rooms. Made of marble chips in a cement base, terrazzo is not only a very durable floor but also a very attractive one. Neither is the maintenance of terrazzo a major item. It is rather easily mopped clean and because of its variegated pattern it does not show soil as readily as does light colored tile or marble.

However, terrazzo does often present a problem by its tendency to ftbloom." A fine, powdery substance appears on the surface which is also referred to as tidusting." Usually iibloomii comes from a faulty mixture at the time the door was laid, but it can also be caused by improper cleaners. Never use harsh alkalies or abrasives on a terrazzo floor. Alkaline solutions penetrate the fine pores of the marble chips and when dry the alkaline crystals in the pores cause the surface of the marble to expand and crumble.

A neutral soap type of cleaner is safest and most satisfactory for terrazzo, though if used too lavishly it should be rinsed off to prevent possible slipperiness.

Special seals for terrazzo were becoming fairly common before the war restricted the use of chlorinated rubber and the necessary solvents, but they were never entirely satisfactory. Most of them were so low in solid content they left scarcely a trace of film on the floor. Yet, had they carried a higher percent of solids they would very likely have given a tacky surface.

Perhaps, eventually a reliable seal for terrazzo will be developed, but for the present we would say experiment with them cautiously, and never, in any case, use a regular floor sealer on terrazzo. Not only will it give a light terrazzo a ttyellowish" cast, but will wear off in lanes of trafiic, presenting a difficult repair problem.

Although some theatre owners may look upon a waxed lobby as a hazard, acres of terrazzo doors over the country ' are being safely and satisfactorily maintained with floor wax. Many of these are hospitals, schools, old peoplesi homes, etc. To mention a case or two, there are 90,000 square feet of terrazzo beautifully maintained with floor wax in the Evangelical Deaconness Hospital at St. Louis. There are several thousand feet more in the Home for the Aged of the Little Sisters of the Poor of New York. The vast corridor under Boulder Dam, through which thousands pass weekly, is Hoored with glistening terrazzo treated with lloor wax.

Wax emphasizes the colors in terrazzo and practically eliminates the need for mopping. The soil from traffic does not adhere to a good floor wax and the usual stains do not penetrate.

If you are still doubtful about the safety of floor wax in your lobby, you can experiment with a strip on the iioor and watch the customers walk on it for a few days. If they slip, remove the coat with warm water and soap, or in this case you may need a mild abrasive like Babo or Dutch Cleanser. Or you can dilute your wax with 50 per cent water



UNDER BOULDER DAM, in Colorado, is one of the country's most extensive corridor systems, all with terrazzo floors. Seen here, in a Continental Car-Na-Var Corporation photograph, is the method of maintaining this vast network in in pristine condition. Terrazzo is easily mapped clean and, because of its variegated pattern, it does not Show soil as readily as either light colored tile or marble. Much terrazzo is used in toilets.

and apply it, butting to get a satin-like finish. In recommending dilution with water, we have a self-polishing water wax in mind, as usually this seems best adapted for terrazzo.


Concrete lioors seem to prevail in the auditoriums of most of the larger the atres and since they are carpeted in the aisles the chief problem of maintenance is under the seats. Here, as in the case of the wood floors, the problem is more of utility than of appearance.

If the concrete fioors are "dusting" badly, they should be given a wash with either silicate of soda or fluosilicate (about 20 per cent in water). If not dusting too badly, an occasional mopping

TERRAZZO IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR types of floor finishes for theatres, to not a little extent because of the infinite variety in colors and designs. Made of marble chips set in cement and highly polished, only the artistic imagination of the designer limits the possibilities. In this Portland Cement AssoCIation photograph are seen the two general types of treatment: (1) an over-all design and (2) a massrve central desrgn.
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 209