Terrazzo Worker

Norie Sato is an artist who designs terrazzo floors. She lives in Seattle. "Terrazzo is a great medium for artists. It allows artists to do work which is permanent, durable and functional. These are important considerations in the public art world," she says.

"Both written and verbal skills are necessary," she says. "In fact, the art profession involves a great deal of writing of various kinds."

Michele Oka Doner is a terrazzo artist in New York. "One of the most important aspects of creating a floor is the ability to communicate with the foundry, the contractors, the workers and the client. Also, one needs to sell the idea, because a special floor always involves a little more money than ordinary flooring."

A concrete mason must be familiar with key words specific to the trade. Some of these terms are:

  • screed
  • bull float
  • groover
  • trowel

Match each of the four key words with its correct meaning. At least one of these words is a verb (an action word) and the others are nouns (things). See if what you thought these words mean check out with the correct answers at the end of this section.

  1. A special edging tool that is pressed between the forms and the concrete. It is then guided along the edge and the surface. This produces slightly rounded edges to help prevent chipping and cracking.
  2. To level freshly placed concrete by guiding a straight edge back and forth across the top of the forms.
  3. A small rectangular metal tool used to smooth away most imperfections. It brings the fine cement paste to the surface for a smooth finish.
  4. A long-handled 8" x 48" tool used to cover coarser materials in the concrete. It brings a rich mixture of fine cement paste to the surface.

Write in your own words how you believe concrete masons accomplish these three types of finishes:

  1. Smooth finish
  2. Coarse, non-skid
  3. Pebble surface
  • Want to learn more? Check out this URL:

    National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association
    Internet: http://www.ntma.com/