Work in progress: Making waves in the terrazzo floors
March 04, 2024

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While we’re glad to see the iconic carpet coming home to PDX, this winter we’re also excited to watch the artisans from Corradini Corporation pour the main terminal’s terrazzo floors. 

Terrazzo — a type of flooring with small stone “flecks” embedded in an epoxy base that meets LEED certification standards — has a lower carbon footprint than carpet over the two materials’ lifetime. But its sustainability cred isn’t the only reason we’re installing terrazzo in high-traffic areas.

The smooth, polished surface will be easier for wheelchairs and roller bags to glide across as travelers whizz through the terminal. (In contrast, we’re placing carpet in areas where you’re more likely to rest or stand in line.)

The gentle white wave patterns you see in the photos aren’t merely decorative. Just like PDX’s new Douglas fir roof honors the Pacific Northwest forests, the waves —which trace curvy paths from east to west — evoke the rushing waters of the Columbia River. Bonus: They may subtly help guide you from the entrance to the security checkpoints.