For most of human history, people have lived in durable, comfortable buildings made from natural materials such as soil, sand, rocks, and fiber. All over the globe, these ancient traditions persist; a quarter to a third of the world's population today lives in houses built partially or entirely of earth. Conventional Western building techniques using industrial materials may save time and create efficiencies, but these perceived savings come at considerable financial and environmental cost.
As well as boasting a unique and beautiful aesthetic, natural building techniques are accessible, affordable, and non-toxic. Earthen Floors: A Modern Approach to an Ancient Practice is the first comprehensive, fully illustrated manual covering the history, use, and maintenance of this attractive, practical flooring option. This detailed, fully illustrated guide explains every part of the process, including:
- Sourcing and harvesting materials
- Preparing the subfloor
- Pouring, finishing, and sealing the floor
- Living with and maintaining your earthen floor
Because information on creating quality earthen floors was not previously widely available, there have been some negative experiences. Drawing on the combined knowledge of the most qualified earthen floor practitioners, as well their own substantial experience, the authors deliver the definitive resource for this exciting technique, perfect for everyone from the novice to veteran builder.
Sukita Reay Crimmel has installed over twenty thousand square feet of earthen flooring, and is one of the preeminent experts in the emerging field of earthen floors.
James Thomson is part of House Alive, one of the leading natural building training organizations in the country.