Earthen Floors – Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it suitable for homes with children/animals?
    Yes! Many of our clients have young children, dogs and cats. The finished floor is as hard as a hardwood floor.
  • What colour floors can you produce?
    We have in stock a brown and a grey floor finish. Bespoke colours are also possible. Our favourite is to use your local clay and local sand, to create a floor tone which is unique to your region. Please get in contact to talk about colours.

  • I want a light coloured earth floor, is this possible?
    The natural oils we use to cure the floor will darken any colour mix down a few shades. Use of different wax finishes can be used to achieve a lighter surface finish.
  • I want to see the fibre in the floor / I don’t want to see the fibre in the floor.
    The floor needs to have fibre in the mix to add strength, we have a range of fibres available which go from so thin they are invisible in the floor up to visible features in the floor.
  • How do you clean the floor?
    Earth floors can be mopped, swept, vacuumed or steam cleaned. But you should avoid the use of harsh cleaning chemicals.
  • I have an existing concrete/limecrete floor, can you lay an earth floor topcoat on top?
    Yes!Provided the subfloor is in good solid condition and has been laid for more than 8 weeks we can apply a 20mm topcoat over these subfloors.
  • Can I put an earth floor on a timber subfloor?
    Yes! Any timber floor that meets the requirements for a tiled floor is suitable for an earth floor finish. The timber subfloor needs to meet a minimum level of deflection and be able to carry the additional load of the earth floor topcoat. To reduce deflection it may be necessary to fix an additional layer of ply over the floorboards.
  • Will it crack?
    No! We have worked hard to develop a product that will be crack free.
  • Why is an earth floor better than a cement floor?
    Earth floors have far less embodied carbon than a concrete floor. By using clay as a binder, you sidestep all of the carbon intensive firing at high temperatures of other poured floors.  
    Earth floors are also better at storing heat, everyone knows the painful cold that you can feel walking on a cold concrete floor. Earth floors feel warmer. Earth floors are softer than concrete meaning there is a minuscule ‘give’ in the floor. This is much more comfortable to walk on and can reduce joint pain.
  • How long does it take to dry?
    Because the floor is drying, rather than a chemical set, the time taken is dependent on a number of factors. Temperature and air flow are most important. If the floor has underfloor heating pipes and good ventilation the base coat can be dry in 5 days. The top coat in 4 days and the oil can be fully set in 10 days. So it is important that the floor will not be walked on in those days.
  • Can I have underfloor heating?
    Yes! Earthen floors and underfloor heating are an excellent combo. The Earth floor will hold onto the heat gently releasing it back into the surrounding air as the temperature drops.
    We need to install at least 60mm on top of the pipes if you are using the water pipe underfloor heating system. We can lay a 20mm topcoat directly onto electric underfloor heating systems. Please get in contact to discuss.
  • What oil do you seal it with? 
    The mixture we use is tung and linseed oil.
  • What is the purpose of the oil and wax?
    The oil coat penetrates into the clay and polymerises. This creates a hard surface that is more wear and damage resistant. This also makes the floor waterproof, so you can mop the floor.
    Similar to waxing wooden furniture, the wax layer gives a softer finish and provides a sacrificial coat on the floor.
  • Can I put furniture on it?
    Yes, furniture is not a problem. Furniture that creates a point load, like a pin leg chair, will need furniture coasters to spread the weight.
  • How long will it last?
    An earthen floor will last a very long time, subject to normal use.
  • What after-care is there?
    You will need to re-wax the floor every 4 years, and the floor will benefit from another coat of oil every 10 years. We recommend that your earthen floor is a ‘shoes off’ floor system to keep it in the best shape and also to enjoy the feeling!
  • I have a clay-rich subsoil, can we use it?
    Yes! Please contact us to discuss the price and process.