Diato Flooring

Diato flooring is an old way, that’s making a come-back, of laying a seamless flooring to resemble Mediterranean flooring. It’s made of magnesite, a magnesium carbonate mixture, blended into a magnesite screed (much like concrete floor screeds) and used for a wide range of applications. Applications include magnesite decking, industrial flooring, magnesite tile, office flooring, and residential flooring. It’s especially valuable in hard-to-work areas like stairs and curving floor patters. Though diato is making a come-back, magnesite repair in California and other states where it was popular, is still hard to find. Composition magnesite flooring makes beautiful seamless floors you can design for your own custom look.

Diato, or magnesite flooring, was very popular in the 1930’s to 1950’s. One of the great benefits of magnesite floors is the fact that it is easy to work with and easy to sculpt and mold for use on stairs and around hard-to-tile areas.


Creating the right color to give the custom floor that you desire is another bonus. It is widely seen in homes of Mediterranean-, Spanish- and Art Deco-style homes. It can mimic many different flooring types by being etched or stamped in magnesite marble designs or magnesite tile designs. This is why it is sometimes difficult to ascertain what kind of flooring it is.
What is magnesite? Magnesite flooring is composed of magnesium carbonate along with other materials, and was first used to form dentures for people. Magnesite was also commonly used as flooring in warships because it is spark resistant and extremely durable. It is mostly seen in older Spanish style homes and in many cases, the homeowners are even unaware of what kind of flooring it is until they call in a flooring professional for repair or maintenance of the floor. Magnesite repair in California is very common, as many of the older homes have beautiful magnesite floors hidden under linoleum and carpet.
Magnesite flooring differs from other types of flooring in many different ways. One of the most obvious ways is the installation of magnesite flooring. Magnesite is a poured flooring, much as concrete is poured, rather than being manufactured in strips, sheets, or tiles that need to be installed. It offers seamless floors, which many people will find to be a great benefit. The pouring of the magnesite floors also makes it much easier to install on steps and other difficult areas. Lines or designs can be etched or stamped directly into the magnesite floor, which many times will make the magnesite look like marble or tile flooring even though it is not. The colors range from a reddish terra cotta color to greens and golds.
Magnesite is also used as industrial flooring. Its durability and ease of maintenance makes it a wonderful choice for Spanish or Mediterranean style restaurants or other businesses. The water and fire resistant qualities, as well as unparalleled durability, make it a feasible choice for industrial, retail, and residential use. The ease of maintenance is also another great benefit to this seamless flooring.
Diato, or magnesite flooring, is making a comeback. The durability and ease of maintenance of this wonderful flooring causes many homeowners to consider installing magnesite flooring in their own home or business. The downside is that it will have to be installed by a professional installer — who may be hard to find today — but the benefits of this beautiful flooring will far outweigh this disadvantage. The durability of magnesite flooring will ensure that your investment is worthwhile, and the ease of care will help you to enjoy your flooring for years to come.

15 thoughts on “Diato Flooring

  1. Not too hard to find mag guys. Thats what I do!
    commercial installs with a pigmented(painted) finish, yes.
    Stain or stamping, no.

  2. Hi,
    I’m looking for a Magnesite specialist in the LA (Hollywood) area. Please email (removed for privacy).
    The paint finish is damaged and I need to get it stripped and resurfaced. Let me know a ball park rate $/sq.ft and we’ll go from there.
    Thanks,
    Andrew

  3. Hi Andrew,
    This site is to help others with flooring problems or develop ideas on how to handle various flooring situations.
    I don’t know of anybody out in the Hollywood area myself, maybe somebody else will wander in and provide some assistance. Have you tried your phone book and calling some flooring installers/repairers and ask if they have experience with Magnesite flooring? You might try looking about on the internet too – Google would be a good place to start I’d think.
    Prices vary widely across the country as well, I don’t know what would be a typical rate in the Hollywood area.
    Good luck!

  4. Vanjuan, what territory do you work in? Only California, or do you go elsewhere in the US? And if you don’t go outside the LA Basin, do you know of other Magnesite Diato contractors?

  5. HI,
    I am contacting you from Middle East. My friend owns a magnesite property but the magnesite rock has three sets of joints so it is not possible to make tiles and slabs by sawing. I would like to know, how to use this kind of magnesite in flooring?

  6. Hello Mian,
    I wouldn’t have a clue how to use this particular magnesite for flooring. I don’t about actual methods for cutting or cleaving in a manufacturer’s setting. This site is designed to help others with flooring issues, not manufacturing. Sorry I couldn’t help.

  7. I’ve googled magnesite flooring, as I have 3 floors in my house that are original (circa 1929) and found quite a bit of info on it, but no one actually doing repairs or sealing it in the Northeast or then again pretty much anywhere in general. I’m also trying to test the floor from below to see if radiant heat will be an option as the magnesite is roughly 1/2 to 5/8 thick and whether the heat will pass through it.
    Jim Bates

  8. Hi Jim,
    The gentleman who posted from Beverly Hills, CA, might be able to help you with some information. I don’t know of anyone in the NE who could help you, but maybe this gent has. If nothing else he might be able to help you with some of your questions regarding radiant heat.

  9. I would think that you could find somebody to do that, you could ask local contractors or try google. I have to wonder though – why would you want to paint it? I would think one would rather try restoring it. Just curious.

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