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The Complete Earthen Floor


June 27, 2015 - June 28, 2015 Contact

Just 30 min south of Calgary, AB, this natural building workshop will introduce you to the beauty and utility of earthen floors, and how to do it yourself.

Contemporary earthen floors combine traditional methods while addressing modern demands and esthetics for a result that is beautiful, durable, non-toxic, ecologically-sensitive, and healthy.

This two day hands-on workshop will get you everything you need to know about earthen floors: the right proportions of sand to clay to create a successful recipe, the tools, sub floor preparation, the installation of radiant heating in earthen floors, & finishing techniques.



Lunch, snacks and refreshments included both days. A camping option is available as well.

In this two day workshop we’ll cover:

– Where earthen floors can be installed and how to prepare your space
– How to create a durable and beautiful mix from clay, sand and straw – with both local and bagged clay
– Sourcing materials
– Tool selection and technique
– Floor installation techniques, using trowels and other tools to ensure proper laying of the material for best performance
– Proper sub floor insulation and preparation – for ‘on-grade’ , concrete sub floor and standard wood joist & plywood scenarios
– In-floor (radiant) heating installation
– Compression and burnishing
– Finishing techniques including oiling and waxing
– Repairs and maintenance

Earthen floors are the oldest floors on earth. They offer a warmth and beauty that is unsurpassed by other conventional flooring options. Soft and more comfortable than concrete, earthen floors are durable, long lasting, earth and people-friendly, and affordable. They add thermal mass, making them perfect for passive solar designs, while complimenting in-floor heating systems very well.

What is an earthen floor made from?

Earthen floors combine sand, clay and fiber, usually straw. Materials are generally sourced locally, depending on your needs and particular location. The floor is sealed with various plant-bases oils such as hemp, or linseed (flax) oil, and a soft bee’s wax for long term protection.

Where can these floors be installed?

Earthen floors offer versatility for a wide-range of spaces, and are suitable for every room of the house. They are not recommended in outdoor spaces, basements prone to flooding, areas that are frequently wet, or in areas prone to lots of abuse (i.e. in a workshop where heavy tools are frequently dropped).

Earthen floors can be installed “on grade”, on existing concrete slabs, and when properly prepared, on a framed sub floor.

Are earthen floors easy to maintain?

Yes. Earthen floors can be swept, vacuumed, and mopped. An occasional washing with an oil-based soap like castile will keep the floor clean and glossy. A new coat of wax should be applied on occasion, though this may be every 1 to 5 years depending on the wear. Earthen floors are easily patched if they are damaged.

Visit http://dirtcraft.ca/workshop/the-complete-earthen-floor-2/   for more details.


June 27, 2015
June 28, 2015
Event Category:


Dirt Craft Natural Building